Baku F2: Albon takes pole in red-flagged session

Baku F2: Albon takes pole in red-flagged session
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Apr 27, 2018, 11:46 AM

Alexander Albon scored his maiden Formula 2 pole position at Baku in a qualifying session that was interrupted twice by red flags.

At the very beginning of qualifying, the session was halted due to Maximilian Gunther's Arden-run car breaking down after Turn 1 on his first flyer, while Nicholas Latifi spun during the final minute.

When the action resumed after Gunther's incident, Lando Norris took the lead with a time of 1m55.139s, but Albon and then Luca Ghiotto narrowly outpaced him.

The Italian led into the mid-session lull with a 1m54.980s with the top three separated by less than two tenths and next-best George Russell 0.701s adrift.

Norris went three tenths faster on his second run, but Albon also improved soon afterwards and took the lead with a 1m54.480s.

Although there were two minutes left on the clock, a lack of further improvements left Albon on top, the DAMS driver taking his maiden pole position in F2.

Carlin driver Norris took second with Russell (ART Grand Prix) also beating Ghiotto (Campos) for third, the Italian failing to improve after being caught out by Latifi's late spin.

Trident's Santino Ferrucci took fifth, beating Sergio Sette Camara (Carlin) and Jack Aitken (ART) by 12 and 36 thousandths of a second respectively.

The top 10 was completed by Arjun Maini (Trident), Nyck de Vries (Prema) and Ralph Boschung (MP).

Gunther, who returned to the track during the mid-session break, recovered from his early mechanical issue to take 11th.

Several drivers including Maini, Aitken, Tadasuke Makino and Gunther had off-track excursions. Roy Nissany also went off-track but his car was pushed away by the marshalls.

UPDATE: Ferrucci lost his fifth place on the grid after he was disqualified for having lower tyre pressures than allowed.

In addition, both Arden cars of Gunther and Nirei Fukuzumi, who were 11th and 16th respectively, were disqualified as the team had "13 team personnel associated with the operation of the team’s cars, over the maximum allowable allocation of 12."

All three, as well as Nicholas Latifi who failed to set a representative time in qualifying, will be allowed to start Saturday's feature race from the back of the grid.

Revised qualifying results:

1 thailand Alexander Albon  france DAMS 1'54.480  
2 united_kingdom Lando Norris  united_kingdom Carlin 1'54.694 0.214
3 united_kingdom George Russell  france ART Grand Prix 1'54.842 0.362
4 italy Luca Ghiotto  spain Campos Racing 1'54.980 0.500
5 brazil Sergio Sette Camara  united_kingdom Carlin 1'55.212 0.732
6 united_kingdom Jack Aitken  france ART Grand Prix 1'55.236 0.756
7 india Arjun Maini  italy Trident 1'55.474 0.994
8 netherlands Nyck de Vries  italy Prema Powerteam 1'55.728 1.248
9 switzerland Ralph Boschung  netherlands MP Motorsport 1'55.761 1.281
10 japan  Tadasuke Makino  russia RUSSIAN TIME 1'56.139 1.659
11 spain Roberto Merhi  netherlands MP Motorsport 1'56.532 2.052
12 italy Antonio Fuoco  czech_republic Charouz Racing System 1'57.090 2.610
13 switzerland Louis Deletraz  czech_republic Charouz Racing System 1'57.105 2.625
14 indonesia Sean Gelael  italy Prema Powerteam 1'57.508 3.028
15 russia Artem Markelov  russia RUSSIAN TIME 1'57.604 3.124
16 israel Roy Nissany  spain Campos Racing 2'01.902 7.422
17 canada Nicholas Latifi  france DAMS 2'02.970 8.490
EX germany Maximilian Gunther  united_kingdom Arden International 1'55.970 1.490
EX japan Nirei Fukuzumi  united_kingdom Arden International 1'57.351 2.871
EX united_states Santino Ferrucci  italy Trident 1'55.200 0.720
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About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Baku
Sub-event Friday qualifying
Location Baku City Circuit
Drivers Alexander Albon
Teams DAMS
Author David Gruz
Article type Qualifying report