Sochi F2: McLaren junior de Vries beats Norris and Russell to pole

McLaren Formula 1 junior Nyck de Vries claimed pole position in Formula 2 qualifying at Sochi as title battlers Lando Norris and George Russell took second and third respectively

Sochi F2: McLaren junior de Vries beats Norris and Russell to pole

Russell dominated for most of the session after setting a stunning opening lap that must have had the rest of the field worried.

But inside the last five minutes, de Vries drove with renewed vigour to unseat Russell for his second pole position in F2.

ART Grand Prix driver Russell struggled to improve on both of his final flying laps and to add insult to injury, Norris jumped him at the last.

Norris has struggled with qualifying in F2 all season and appeared to be out of sorts in this session, until a brilliant last lap aboard his Carlin car sealed second.

But missing out on pole, and the four-point bonus for it, means Norris still trails Russell by 22 points heading into the penultimate weekend of their title fight.

Nicholas Latifi jumped DAMS team-mate Alex Albon on his last lap as the pair took fourth and fifth respectively, Latifi's strong run of form continuing after he had struggled with the new F2 car for most of this season.

Luca Ghiotto put Campos into the top six, while surprise Monza feature race winner Tadasuke Makino continued to be Russian Time's best hope of home success in seventh as team-mate Artem Markelov could only manage 19th.

Markelov, who had driven for Renault in opening practice at his home grand prix earlier in the day, was the last car to set a representative lap as Arjun Maini's early spin meant he brought up the rear for Trident.

Behind Makino, Sergio Sette Camara's four-race run of beating his team-mate Norris ended with eighth - ahead of ART Grand Prix's Jack Aitken and Arden's Maxi Gunther.

Roberto Merhi was the best of the drivers joining the series for this round, having switched from MP Motorsport to Campos Racing with a gap of two rounds - Spa and Monza - in between. He will start 12th for his F2 return.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1m46.476s -
2 Lando Norris Carlin 1m46.696s 0.220s
3 George Russell ART Grand Prix 1m46.839s 0.363s
4 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m46.890s 0.414s
5 Alexander Albon DAMS 1m47.039s 0.563s
6 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 1m47.151s 0.675s
7 Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 1m47.372s 0.896s
8 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1m47.384s 0.908s
9 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1m47.634s 1.158s
10 Maximilian Guenther BWT Arden 1m47.743s 1.267s
11 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 1m47.774s 1.298s
12 Roberto Merhi Campos Vexatec Racing 1m47.854s 1.378s
13 Alessio Lorandi Trident 1m48.006s 1.530s
14 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1m48.105s 1.629s
15 Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1m48.154s 1.678s
16 Niko Kari MP Motorsport 1m48.206s 1.730s
17 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 1m48.327s 1.851s
18 Dorian Boccolacci MP Motorsport 1m48.491s 2.015s
19 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m48.568s 2.092s
- Arjun Maini Trident 2m14.971s 28.495s

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About this article

Series FIA F2
Drivers Lando Norris , George Russell , Nyck de Vries
Author Jack Benyon
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