Jerez F2: Leclerc bags eighth pole of 2017 season

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Jerez F2: Leclerc bags eighth pole of 2017 season
By: Alex Kalinauckas
Oct 6, 2017, 2:26 PM

Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver Charles Leclerc beat Luca Ghiotto to the top spot in qualifying at Jerez, as he claimed his eighth pole of the 2017 Formula 2 season.

Leclerc produced two laps good enough to claim first place on the grid for tomorrow ’s feature race, and added four points to his pre-weekend lead of 59.

Sergio Sette Camara completed the top three, ahead of Leclerc’s closet championship challenger, Oliver Rowland.

Several drivers – including Rowland, ART Grand Prix pair Nobuharu Matsushita and Alexander Albon, and Artem Markelov – opted to remain in the pits when the lights went green on the 30-minute session.

Leclerc was one of the drivers to head out straight away and soon moved to the top of the times with a lap of 1m25.112s – already quicker than he had gone when he topped the day’s practice session ahead of Rowland this morning.

Ghiotto slotted into second place and the top two positions remained unchanged despite both drivers improving their best laps.

Leclerc, after coming in and using the stop as an opportunity to change his helmet, improved the best time to 1m24.930s and extended his advantage over Ghiotto.

But although the Russian Time driver hit back with a best effort of 1m24.942s, Leclerc went faster again, ending the day with a quickest time of 1m24.682s.

Ghiotto, who abandoned a final attack after not improving in sectors one and two, therefore wound up 0.260s adrift, with Sette Camara a further 0.315s behind for MP Motorsport.

Rowland, who had been third fastest after completing his delayed first effort, had looked set to get in amongst the fight for pole as the session headed into its final five minutes.

The Renault F1 development driver was up against what would become Leclerc’s second best time in sector one before fading slightly in sector two.

But a heavy left-front lock-up at the final Turn 15 hairpin cost him and he could not improve his time, ending up 0.634s behind Leclerc.

Markelov put in a late improvement to finish fifth in the second Russian Time machine, ahead of Albon and Matsushita.

McLaren F1 junior Nyck de Vries qualified eighth for Racing Engineering, as Nicholas Latifi and Norman Nato rounded out the top 10.

Alex Palou, who is making is F2 debut for Campos Racing after taking over from the recently retired Robert Visoiu, qualified 11th.

Jordan King was 14th, one spot in front of Leclerc’s Prema Racing teammate and fellow Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco.

Rene Binder – returning to the series where he started 73 races when it was known as GP2 – qualified 17th for Rapax.

Qualifying result

ClaDriverTeamTimeGap
1 monaco Charles Leclerc  italy Prema Powerteam 1'24.682  
2 italy Luca Ghiotto  russia RUSSIAN TIME 1'24.942 0.260
3 brazil Sergio Sette Camara  netherlands MP Motorsport 1'25.257 0.575
4 united_kingdom Oliver Rowland  france DAMS 1'25.316 0.634
5 russia Artem Markelov  russia RUSSIAN TIME 1'25.422 0.740
6 thailand Alexander Albon  france ART Grand Prix 1'25.426 0.744
7 japan Nobuharu Matsushita  france ART Grand Prix 1'25.450 0.768
8 netherlands Nyck de Vries  spain Racing Engineering 1'25.470 0.788
9 canada Nicholas Latifi  france DAMS 1'25.477 0.795
10 france Norman Nato  united_kingdom Arden International 1'25.583 0.901
11 spain Alex Palou  spain Campos Racing 1'25.600 0.918
12 switzerland Louis Deletraz  italy Rapax 1'25.627 0.945
13 united_states Santino Ferrucci  italy Trident 1'25.632 0.950
14 united_kingdom Jordan King  netherlands MP Motorsport 1'25.653 0.971
15 italy Antonio Fuoco  italy Prema Powerteam 1'25.739 1.057
16 sweden Gustav Malja  spain Racing Engineering 1'25.916 1.234
17 austria Rene Binder  italy Rapax 1'26.121 1.439
18 malaysia Nabil Jeffri  italy Trident 1'26.148 1.466
19 indonesia Sean Gelael  united_kingdom Arden International 1'26.163 1.481
20 switzerland Ralph Boschung  spain Campos Racing 1'26.647 1.965
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About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Jerez
Location Circuito de Jerez
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Prema Powerteam
Author Alex Kalinauckas
Article type Qualifying report