Sochi F2: De Vries beats Norris, Russell to pole
McLaren Formula 1 junior Nyck de Vries took pole position in Formula 2 qualifying at Sochi, edging title contenders Lando Norris and George Russell.
Russell led the way for much of the session after a stunning opening lap, only for the Dutchman to unseat the championship leader late on and claim his second pole in F2.
ART Grand Prix driver Russell struggled to improve on both of his final flying laps and to add insult to injury, Norris jumped him at the death.
The 2019 McLaren F1 driver has struggled with qualifying in F2 all season and appeared to be out of sorts in this session, until a brilliant last lap aboard his Carlin car sealed second.
With neither of the leading title contenders picking up the four bonus points for pole, Norris trails Russell, who starts third in Saturday’s feature race, by 22 points.
Nicholas Latifi jumped DAMS teammate Alex Albon on his last lap as the pair took fourth and fifth respectively.
Luca Ghiotto put Campos into the top six, while surprise Monza feature race winner Tadasuke Makino took seventh.
Makino's Russian Time teammate and FP1 Renault F1 tester Artem Markelov could only manage 19th, the slowest of those to set a representative lap as Arjun Maini’s early spin meant he brings up the rear for Trident.
Behind Makino, Sergio Sette Camara’s four-race run of beating his teammate Lando Norris ended with eighth, ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Jack Aitken and Arden’s Maxi Gunther.
Roberto Merhi, who started the season with MP and sat out the two most recent rounds before joining Campos, was 12th on his return.
|1||4||Nyck de Vries||Prema Powerteam||11||1'46.476|
|3||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||12||1'46.839||0.363|
|6||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Racing||12||1'47.151||0.675|
|7||2||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||12||1'47.372||0.896|
|8||18||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||12||1'47.384||0.908|
|9||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||13||1'47.634||1.158|
|10||11||Maximilian Gunther||Arden International||9||1'47.743||1.267|
|11||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||10||1'47.774||1.298|
|12||15||Roberto Merhi||Campos Racing||9||1'47.854||1.378|
|14||20||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||12||1'48.105||1.629|
|15||3||Sean Gelael||Prema Powerteam||12||1'48.154||1.678|
|16||10||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||10||1'48.206||1.730|
|17||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden International||11||1'48.327||1.851|
|18||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||12||1'48.491||2.015|
|19||1||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||9||1'48.568||2.092|
Sochi F2: Norris leads de Vries in practice
Sochi F2: Albon wins chaotic race, drama for Norris