F2 Red Bull Ring: Russell beats Norris to pole, cuts points deficit

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell took a second Formula 2 pole in a row at the Red Bull Ring, reducing Lando Norris's points lead to single figures

F2 Red Bull Ring: Russell beats Norris to pole, cuts points deficit

Russell was a level above the rest in Friday morning practice, and his pole time was just 0.145 seconds slower than Charles Leclerc's the year before despite the F2 using a new, heavier car for 2018.

Russell had already done enough for pole on his penultimate lap, but improved on his final flier by 0.033s to set a time of 1m13.541s.

Norris took second - his best qualifying effort since the second round in Baku - to lock out an all-British front row, but the gap between the two still fell from 13 to nine ahead of Saturday's main race.

His final lap ended in the runoff at Turn 9, although it did not look like he would challenge Russell with that effort, with McLaren junior Norris ending the session 0.2s off Russell and fractionally ahead of Carlin team-mate Sergio Sette Camara.

Russell's ART Grand Prix stablemate Jack Aitken recovered from contact with Roy Nissany in practice, for which they were awarded a point and two penalty points respectively, to take fourth - his best qualifying of the season.

Arjun Maini rewarded his Trident team for an engine change between practice and qualifying with his best starting slot of the season, after problems were identified with the unit he used in Paul Ricard where he issued an emotional radio message in the cool down laps.

Maxi Gunther was the third driver in a row on the grid to score his best qualifying result this season in sixth for Arden, ahead of Louis Deletraz's Charouz Racing System-run car that has been on the podium at three consecutive F2 rounds.

Alexander Albon had not qualified outside of the top three so far this season, but a wide moment at Turn 4 on his first flying lap stunted his progress.

He was limited to eighth, ahead of the usually further forward Prema-run car of Nyck de Vries.

Tadasuke Makino rounded out the top 10 for Russian Time, while his team-mate Artem Markelov repeated a scrappy practice performance with an identical moment in qualifying when he was launched airborne off the Turn 9 exit kerb.

He could only manage 18th on the grid, which jeopardises his fifth place in the points standings.

He qualified ahead of birthday boy Nicholas Latifi - who was the star of last year's feature race, driving through the field to challenge eventual winner Leclerc for victory - and Nissany.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 1m13.541s -
2 Lando Norris Carlin 1m13.779s 0.238s
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1m13.823s 0.282s
4 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1m13.961s 0.420s
5 Arjun Maini Trident 1m13.999s 0.458s
6 Maximilian Guenther BWT Arden 1m14.014s 0.473s
7 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1m14.104s 0.563s
8 Alexander Albon DAMS 1m14.115s 0.574s
9 Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1m14.171s 0.630s
10 Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.201s 0.660s
11 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 1m14.309s 0.768s
12 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 1m14.323s 0.782s
13 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 1m14.330s 0.789s
14 Santino Ferrucci Trident 1m14.334s 0.793s
15 Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1m14.363s 0.822s
16 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 1m14.389s 0.848s
17 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 1m14.400s 0.859s
18 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.589s 1.048s
19 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m14.700s 1.159s
20 Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 1m15.436s 1.895s

shares
comments
Haas F1 junior Arjun Maini gets new engine from Formula 2
Previous article

Haas F1 junior Arjun Maini gets new engine from Formula 2

Next article

Rolling safety car starts for Red Bull Ring, Silverstone F2 races

Rolling safety car starts for Red Bull Ring, Silverstone F2 races
What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground Plus

What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground

Despite having two talented drivers, albeit at very different stages of their careers, Prema Racing has had mixed fortunes in FIA Formula 2 this year. Both drivers told Autosport how they rate their seasons so far – and their next steps beyond 2022

FIA F2
Aug 24, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders Plus

The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders

Two feature race wins in as many rounds have helped Logan Sargeant to emerge as the closest challenger to runaway Formula 2 points leader Felipe Drugovich. The Williams F1 junior couldn't have timed his rise better, with interest in grand prix racing on the rise in his US homeland, and he could be his country's best shot at getting a driver on the grid for the first time since 2015

FIA F2
Jul 16, 2022
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Plus

The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022 Plus

The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022

With a disappointing 2021 season behind him, Frederik Vesti makes the move up to FIA Formula 2 with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Could this finally be the breakthrough year for the talented Mercedes junior?

FIA F2
Mar 14, 2022