Abu Dhabi F2: Russell edges towards title with pole
George Russell took a step closer to the Formula 2 title by taking pole position in Abu Dhabi on his final race weekend before he joins Williams in Formula 1.
ART Grand Prix driver Russell takes four championship points for his fifth pole of his rookie F2 campaign, extending his lead over his only title rival Alexander Albon.
The latter – the favourite for a Toro Rosso F1 seat next year – now trails by 41 points as he could only manage eighth in qualifying, meaning Russell only needs eighth to take the title in Saturday’s feature race.
Prema’s Nyck de Vries ran in the mid-session gap where drivers usually regroup in the pits and took provisional pole, while Albon’s DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi followed a similar strategy and moved into second.
But Russell’s 1m49.251s gave him a two-tenth cusion over de Vries and Latifi, as the latter was told to abort his last lap with an undiagnosed issue.
Artem Markelov took fourth – improving his Russian Time machine’s woeful handling from practice – while Russell’s ART teammate Jack Aitken rounded out the top five in his best qualifying since Budapest in July.
Recently announced Haas F1 junior driver Louis Deletraz was sixth, ahead of the McLaren-bound Lando Norris.
Behind Albon, Tadasuke Makino (Russian Time) and Norris’s teammate and now fellow McLaren junior Sergio Sette Camara completed the top 10.
Makino showed strong pace throughout the session and was baulked by the errant car of Campos driver Luca Ghiotto early on, but recovered to set a respectable late lap.
Red Bull F1 junior Dan Ticktum out-qualified Arden teammate and potential future Super Formula rival Nirei Fukuzumi by 0.4s in his first ever F2 qualifying session, going 14th quickest.
|1||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1'49.251|
|2||4||Nyck de Vries||Prema Powerteam||1'49.541||0.290|
|4||1||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1'49.869||0.618|
|5||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1'49.946||0.695|
|6||20||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1'50.038||0.787|
|9||2||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||1'50.180||0.929|
|10||18||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||1'50.187||0.936|
|11||10||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||1'50.375||1.124|
|12||15||Roberto Merhi||Campos Racing||1'50.513||1.262|
|13||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1'50.522||1.271|
|14||11||Dan Ticktum||Arden International||1'50.580||1.329|
|15||3||Sean Gelael||Prema Powerteam||1'50.812||1.561|
|17||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Racing||1'50.892||1.641|
|18||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||1'51.037||1.786|
|19||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden International||1'51.048||1.797|
Abu Dhabi F2: Russell tops practice for title decider
Abu Dhabi F2: Russell secures title with feature race win
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|Teams||ART Grand Prix|