F2: Qualifying Report – Norris claims pole on debut


Carlin’s Lando Norris kicked off the new FIA Formula 2 season by claiming pole position for tomorrow’s feature race in Bahrain, with the top three within one tenth of a second.

At the beginning of the half hour session, it was George Russell (ART) who set the early benchmark of 1:42.373 to top the timesheets.

The track surface was still slippery in places, with Arjun Maini (Trident) and Norris both going wide at the final corner during their first runs.

After a short break, the drivers went out once more, and saw Russell find another half a second and recorded a 1:41.823 extend his lead. Shortly after, Russell’s team-mate Jack Aitken went second fastest to lock out the front row for ART.

However, this didn’t last long as Norris went quickest with three minutes remaining on a 1:41.761, despite going wide again at Turn 15.

Alexander Albon (DAMS) did well to qualify in third, with Nyck de Vries (Prema) posting a quick time late on to finish in fourth.

Louis Delétraz (Charouz Racing) pipped Sérgio Sette Câmara (Carlin) and Nirei Fukuzumi (Arden) to fifth, with Tadasuke Makino (Russian Time), Aitken and Maximilian Günther (Arden) completing the top ten.

The runner-up in last year’s championship, Artem Mareklov (Russian Time), struggled and could only manage 17th, whilst Sean Gelael (Prema) had limited running and will start tomorrow’s race from the back row.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship, Round One Qualifying Classification:

Pos. Car No. Driver (Nationality) Team Time
1 19 Lando Norris (GBR), Carlin 1:41.761
2 8 George Russell (GBR), ART Grand Prix +0.062
3 5 Alexander Albon (THA), DAMS +0.089
4 4 Nyck de Vries (NED), PERTAMINA PREMA +0.119
5 20 Louis Delétraz (CHE), Charouz Racing System +0.413
6 18 Sérgio Sette Câmara (BRA), Carlin +0.460
7 12 Nirei Fukuzumi (JPN), BWT Arden +0.485
8 2 Tadasuke Makino (JPN), RUSSIAN TIME +0.503
9 7 Jack Aitken (GBR), ART Grand Prix +0.521
10 11 Maximilian Günther (DEU), BWT Arden +0.575
11 21 Antonio Fuoco (ITA), Charouz Racing System +0.581
12 14 Luca Ghiotto (ITA), Campos Vexatec Racing +0.653
13 9 Roberto Merhi (ESP), MP Motorsport +0.662
14 16 Arjun Maini (IND), Trident +0.676
15 6 Nicholas Latifi (CDN), DAMS +0.686
16 10 Ralph Boschung (CHE), MP Motorsport +0.699
17 1 Artem Markelov (RUS), RUSSIAN TIME +1.055
18 17 Santino Ferrucci (USA), Trident +1.057
19 3 Sean Gelael (IDN), PERTAMINA PREMA +1.255
20 15 Roy Nissany (ISR), Campos Vexatec Racing +1.589