Silverstone F2: Piastri takes first pole in truncated qualifying

Oscar Piastri took pole position in FIA Formula 2 qualifying at Silverstone, beating championship leader Guanyu Zhou to the top spot as the session was ended by a red flag.

The Prema Racing driver set the quickest time of 1m39.854s just ten minutes into the 30-minute qualifying session, taking his first ever pole in the series.

ART Grand Prix's Christian Lundgaard was first out of the pits looking to improve on seventh place finish in this morning’s practice session.

Drugovich was quickest after the first runs, setting a 1m40.692s, with Verschoor in second just three-hundredths behind the leader.

Piastri was first to break the 1m40s barrier ten minutes into the session, setting a 1m39.854s to take the top spot almost half a second ahead of second-placed Dan Ticktum.

Returning after a change of tyres and with 12 minutes left on the clock, Lundgaard got out the garage first again as the rest of the field followed, with just a second separating the top 11.

With just two minutes to go, Shwartzman spun off at Stowe and into the gravel, ruining his chance to improve from seventh place and prompting a red flag, ending the session early.

That meant Prema teammate Piastri's early session benchmark was good enough for pole position, as Zhou finished in second for UNI-Virtuosi, two-tenths behind the leader, with Richard Verschoor putting his MP Motorsport car in third for Sunday’s feature race.

Ticktum, who topped this morning’s practice session at his home round for Carlin, will start fourth, while Theo Pourchaire took fifth place in his ART Grand Prix car, having been confirmed fit to race after suffering a fractured arm in a collision in Baku.

UNI-Virtuosi driver Felipe Drugovich will start sixth, with Robert Shwartzman (Prema Racing) in seventh.

The top 10 of today’s qualifying session sets the grid for Saturday’s first sprint race, putting Lundgaard on pole, followed by Hitech Grand Prix’s Juri Vips in second and DAMS driver Roy Nissany in third. Drugovich will start fourth, with Pourchaire in fifth.

The grid for Saturday afternoon’s second sprint race is determined by reversing the results of the first sprint race.

Qualifying results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 2 Australia Oscar Piastri Italy Prema Powerteam 1'39.854  
2 3 China Guanyu Zhou United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 1'40.075 0.221
3 11 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'40.259 0.405
4 5 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom Carlin 1'40.408 0.554
5 10 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 1'40.419 0.565
6 4 Brazil Felipe Drugovich United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 1'40.451 0.597
7 1 Russian Federation Robert Shwartzman Italy Prema Powerteam 1'40.452 0.598
8 16 Israel Roy Nissany France DAMS 1'40.486 0.632
9 8 Estonia Jüri Vips United Kingdom HitechGP 1'40.491 0.637
10 9 Denmark Christian Lundgaard France ART Grand Prix 1'40.556 0.702
11 7 New Zealand Liam Lawson United Kingdom HitechGP 1'40.679 0.825
12 6 India Jehan Daruvala United Kingdom Carlin 1'40.683 0.829
13 12 Germany Lirim Zendeli Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'40.772 0.918
14 17 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong France DAMS 1'40.895 1.041
15 21 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 1'40.915 1.061
16 20 Italy Matteo Nannini Spain Campos Racing 1'41.050 1.196
17 24 Netherlands Bent Viscaal Italy Trident 1'41.185 1.331
18 14 Germany David Beckmann Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'41.295 1.441
19 22 United Kingdom Jack Aitken HWA Racelab 1'41.306 1.452
20 15 Brazil Guilherme Samaia Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'41.758 1.904
21 25 Japan Marino Sato Italy Trident 1'41.790 1.936
22 23 Italy Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 1'43.734 3.880
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