Prema’s Nyck de Vries took pole in the FIA Formula 2 Championship at Sochi as Carlin’s Lando Norris pipped ART Grand Prix’s George Russell for second.
The British driver headed the order after initial running which was interrupted due to the stoppage of Trident’s Arjun Maini in the final sector. The Indian spun before stalling, thereby bringing out the red flag.
He finished dead last and could only manage handful of laps in the practice session as well which makes it a situation as he hasn’t qualified within the 107% rule. After the action resumed, Russell continued his charge to head the standings.
However, the final running changed the course as de Vries managed to find time to go even quicker than Russell who couldn’t show any improvements on his lap times. The Dutchman clocked a 1m46.476s to take his second pole of the season.
Russell’s non-improvement saw him lose another place as title contender Norris snatched away the front-row start from his fellow countryman with a late improvement of a 1m46.696s lap time.
With Russell in third, DAMS’ duo slotted in fourth and fifth respectively with Nicholas Latifi (1m46.809s) beating Alexander Albon (1m47.093s) – the Canadian was the last driver in the 1m46s bracket.
Behind, Campos Racing’s Luca Ghiotto (1m47.151s) displaced Russian Time’s Tadasuke Makino (1m47.372s) for sixth with Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara (1m47.384s) having a tough run in eighth.
ART’s Jack Aitken (1m47.634s) and Arden’s Maximilian Gunther (1m47.743s) rounded out the Top 10. The returning Roberto Merhi was 12th with newcomer Niko Kari in 16th as Artem Markelov could only manage 19th.
Position 11-20: Antonio Fuoco, Merhi, Alessio Lorandi, Louis Deletraz, Sean Gelael, Kari, Nirei Fukuzumi, Dorian Boccolacci, Markelov and Maini.