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FIA F2 Melbourne

F2 Australia: Iwasa secures pole in disrupted wet qualifying

Ayumu Iwasa secured his third Formula 2 pole position in a disrupted wet qualifying session at Albert Park.

Ayumu Iwasa, DAMS

The DAMS driver was quick from the off, tackling torrential downpours before setting a 1m45.118s to top the timesheets for his first pole position since Abu Dhabi last season.

He went quickest at the halfway mark and despite being briefly demoted by ART driver Theo Pourchaire, reclaimed the top spot before a crash from third-placed Victor Martins saw the session end early.

Home favourite Jack Doohan, who led the morning's practice session, was first out amid torrid conditions, telling his engineer that he was aquaplaning before adding "it is so bad."

By the time he had made it to the end of his first lap, the session had been stopped, with crashes throughout the field.

Ollie Bearman had a huge shunt into the wall along the back straight in his Prema-run car, smashing his front wing on the way to Turn 9, but was able to rejoin the session after the stoppage.

DAMS driver Arthur Leclerc had a spin at Turn 9, with fellow rookie Jak Crawford (Hitech) losing a front wing.

After a 15-minute stoppage, the rain had somewhat subsided, and despite poor visibility, the session resumed.

Alpine Academy member Doohan set an early benchmark of 1m52.238s before Saudi Arabia feature race winner Frederik Vesti surpassed him by two seconds.

Doohan improved the next time around but was quickly toppled by Isack Hadjar (Hitech) as Martins slotted into second.

Despite the Virtuosi driver continuing to improve, Iwasa took the lead at the halfway mark with a 1m46.376s.

Martins put in the first sub-1m46s lap to take the lead next, with a 1m45.736s, before team-mate Pourchaire went quicker by 0.001s.

It was Iwasa who was faster though, shaving 0.6s off Pourchaire's time to lead before a crash from Martins at Turns 5 and 6 ended the session with three minutes remaining.

Hadjar will line up fourth ahead of fellow rookie Zane Maloney (Rodin Carlin), with Bearman sixth.

Dennis Hauger will start on reverse-grid pole for Saturday's sprint race for MP Motorsport ahead of Kush Maini (Campos Racing) and Leclerc.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Japan Ayumu Iwasa
France DAMS 13 1'45.118
2 France Theo Pourchaire
France ART Grand Prix 12 1'45.732 0.614
3 France Victor Martins
France ART Grand Prix 12 1'45.736 0.618
4 France Isack Hadjar
Hitech Pulse-Eight 13 1'46.037 0.919
5 Barbados Zane Maloney
Rodin Carlin 13 1'46.045 0.927
6 United Kingdom Oliver Bearman
Italy Prema Powerteam 12 1'46.058 0.940
7 Monaco Arthur Leclerc
France DAMS 13 1'46.309 1.191
8 India Kush Maini
Spain Campos Racing 12 1'46.530 1.412
9 United States Jak Crawford
Hitech Pulse-Eight 12 1'46.687 1.569
10 Norway Dennis Hauger
Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'46.737 1.619
11 Switzerland Ralph Boschung
Spain Campos Racing 12 1'46.859 1.741
12 India Jehan Daruvala
Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'46.896 1.778
13 Denmark Frederik Vesti
Italy Prema Powerteam 12 1'46.899 1.781
14 Israel Roy Nissany
PHM Racing by Charouz 12 1'47.194 2.076
15 Australia Jack Doohan
Invicta Virtuosi Racing 13 1'47.266 2.148
16 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi
Rodin Carlin 13 1'47.267 2.149
17 Czech Republic Roman Staněk
Italy Trident 13 1'47.470 2.352
18 Netherlands Richard Verschoor
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 11 1'47.533 2.415
19 France Clement Novalak
Italy Trident 13 1'47.578 2.460
20 United States Juan Manuel Correa
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 12 1'47.989 2.871
21 Belgium Amaury Cordeel
Invicta Virtuosi Racing 13 1'48.198 3.080
22 United States Brad Benavides
PHM Racing by Charouz 10 1'50.122 5.004

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