Monza F2: Russell bags crucial pole

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Monza F2: Russell bags crucial pole
By: Jack Benyon
Aug 31, 2018, 3:53 PM

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell took four points for Formula 2 pole position for the feature race at Monza, extending his series lead to nine ahead of Lando Norris.

With tyres only good enough for one flying lap, the first, the first flier out of the pits with eight minutes to go was key to the outcome.

After what he described as his “toughest weekend of the year” in Spa, Russell bounced back perfectly from set-up issues to secure pole with a 1m31.546s.

Even better for Russell, Norris’s qualifying struggles continued and he could only manage seventh, putting five cars between him and Russell for tomorrow’s race. 

Norris’s Carlin teammate Sergio Sette Camara was fastest early on, having not been outside of the top five in qualifying since Paul Ricard in May - but the Brazilian ultimately couldn’t usurp ART Grand Prix’s Russell at the death.

DAMS ace Alex Albon – who remains in the thick of the title fight – qualified third off the back of a strong weekend in Spa.

Albon will head Artem Markelov and Spa sprint winner Nicholas Latifi off the line for Saturday's race. 

Charouz Racing System driver Antonio Fuoco – a Ferrari Academy driver and last year’s feature race winner at Monza – was the highest-placed Italian driver in sixth ahead of Norris, while Arjun Maini, Luca Ghiotto and Louis Deletraz rounded out the top 10. 

The winner of the last two feature races, Nyck de Vries, had a nightmare session.

A throttle sensor broke in practice, meaning he only got three laps of running, and he could only improve to 11th on his final flying lap in qualifying in his Prema Racing-run car. 

MP's Dorian Boccolacci suffered with gearbox problems and set no representative laptime.

Session results:

Pos. # Driver Team Time Gap
1 8 United Kingdom George Russell France ART Grand Prix 1'31.546  
2 18 brazilSergio Sette Camara United Kingdom Carlin 1'31.600 0.054
3 5 Thailand Alexander Albon France DAMS 1'31.889 0.343
4 1 Russian Federation Artem Markelov Russian Federation RUSSIAN TIME 1'31.922 0.376
5 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi France DAMS 1'32.021 0.475
6 21 Italy Antonio Fuoco czech_republic 1'32.159 0.613
7 19 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom Carlin 1'32.191 0.645
8 16 India Arjun Maini Italy Trident 1'32.248 0.702
9 14 Italy Luca Ghiotto Spain Campos Racing 1'32.346 0.800
10 20 Switzerland Louis Deletraz czech_republic 1'32.407 0.861
11 4 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Italy Prema Powerteam 1'32.566 1.020
12 7 United Kingdom Jack Aitken France ART Grand Prix 1'32.681 1.135
13 12 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi United Kingdom Arden International 1'32.735 1.189
14 2 JapanTadasuke Makino Russian Federation RUSSIAN TIME 1'32.750 1.204
15 15 Israel Roy Nissany Spain Campos Racing 1'32.801 1.255
16 17 Italy Alessio Lorandi Italy Trident 1'32.803 1.257
17 3 Indonesia Sean Gelael Italy Prema Powerteam 1'32.913 1.367
18 10 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'32.965 1.419
19 11 germanyMaximilian Gunther United Kingdom Arden International 1'33.496 1.950
20 9 France Dorian Boccolacci Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'48.586 17.040
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About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Monza
Drivers George Russell , Alexander Albon , Sergio Sette Camara
Teams ART Grand Prix
Author Jack Benyon
Article type Qualifying report