Hungaroring F2: Ferrari's Leclerc sets qualifying pole run record

Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver Charles Leclerc set a new outright record for consecutive Formula 2 qualifying pole positions as he topped the Hungaroring session ahead of Oliver Rowland

Hungaroring F2: Ferrari's Leclerc sets qualifying pole run record

Leclerc, who was quickest in practice earlier on Friday, finished with a best time of 1m26.268s as his closest rival in the championship - Artem Markelov - completed the top three behind Rowland.

Prema driver Leclerc has now taken pole position at all seven rounds of the 2017 F2 championship that have taken place so far.

NEWS UPDATE: Leclerc stripped of record pole

Rowland was the first driver to take to the Hungaroring circuit and held provisional pole for much of the session having topped the times after the initial runs.

Leclerc was among a group of four drivers - which also included ART Grand Prix's Alexander Albon and Arden International pair Norman Nato and Sean Gelael - to wait for a gap in the action on the narrow circuit before entering the fray.

But when they did, with Leclerc last in the train, Gelael spun at Turn 1 and could not get going again, which brought out the red flags.

That meant 19-year-old Leclerc did not set a representative lap time until there were just over 10 minutes of the 30-minute session remaining, but when he did he went quickest, 0.463 seconds faster than Rowland.

That was the Monegasque driver's eventual pole-winning margin as Rowland could not improve on his final lap, which included a major save at the exit of Turn 9 as the rear of his car snapped left.

Leclerc abandoned his last effort and celebrated beating Stoffel Vandoorne's record run of seven poles set across the 2014-'15 seasons, in what was then called GP2, with his Prema team in the pitlane.

Jordan King finished fourth for MP Motorsport, ahead of Antonio Fuoco, Nato and Nicholas Latifi - who looked set to improve his best time before catching Sergio Sette Camara at the final corner and losing out.

Nyck de Vries - whose car was repaired by his Rapax team after a practice crash - ended up eighth, as Nobuharu Matsushita and Sergio Canamasas rounded out the top 10.

F2 debutant Santino Ferrucci achieved his pre-qualifying aim of being near 10th place as he qualified 11th, ahead of Albon and Luca Ghiotto in the second Russian Time-run car.

Gelael's spin meant he was the only driver not to set a representative lap time and he finished in 20th place as a result.

QUALIFYING RESULT:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Oliver Rowland DAMS 1m26.731s -
2 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m26.806s 0.075s
3 Jordan King MP Motorsport 1m26.849s 0.118s
4 Antonio Fuoco Prema Racing 1m26.885s 0.154s
5 Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 1m26.968s 0.237s
6 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m26.973s 0.242s
7 Nyck de Vries Rapax 1m27.026s 0.295s
8 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1m27.103s 0.372s
9 Sergio Canamasas Rapax 1m27.129s 0.398s
10 Santino Ferrucci Trident 1m27.139s 0.408s
11 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1m27.221s 0.490s
12 Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME 1m27.238s 0.507s
13 Robert Visoiu Campos Racing 1m27.301s 0.570s
14 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m27.339s 0.608s
15 Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 1m27.492s 0.761s
16 Louis Deletraz Racing Engineering 1m27.582s 0.851s
17 Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1m27.804s 1.073s
18 Nabil Jeffri Trident 1m28.248s 1.517s
- Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 1m46.783s 20.052s
- Charles Leclerc Prema Racing - -


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