F2: Piastri beats Daruvala to Sochi pole

Oscar Piastri claimed his third consecutive pole position of the 2021 season in Russia, setting a blistering lap time of 1:47.465 at the Sochi Autodrom which was enough to beat Jehan Daruvala to the top spot. By adding four points to his championship tally, he further extends the gap to rival Guanyu Zhou, who was forced to settle for fourth place.

ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard was the first driver to emerge on the circuit at the start of Qualifying on Friday afternoon, with Ralph Boschung topping the timesheet at the end of the first runs with a 1:48.130.

However, after all drivers completed a cool down lap and then another push lap, it was Zhou who found himself positioned at the head of the leader board, becoming the first driver to dip into the 1:47s, while Daruvala moved into third position behind Piastri.

Jehan Daruvala in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Lars Baron – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

The cars then returned to the pits in preparation for the final runs. When the drivers returned to the track once more with 10 minutes to go, Piastri set the fastest time, going marginally faster than Zhou, who couldn’t improve on his third flying lap.

The fight for pole appeared to be on between the top two in the championship, however on his final push lap, Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala found time to jump to the head of the table with a 1:47.653 and looked to be on for his maiden pole position in Formula 2.

Theo Pourchaire

However, the charging Piastri couldn’t be denied and the Australian driver went almost two-tenths quicker than Daruvala to seal his third pole position of the season.

A late improvement for Théo Pourchaire saw him move into third place, while Zhou couldn’t improve on his final effort and was forced to settle for fourth, over half a second down on pole-sitter Piastri.

Boschung, who displayed strong pace in the Free Practice session as well as during Qualifying, was fifth fastest ahead of Jake Hughes, who makes another outing for HWA RACELAB this weekend.

Robert Shwartzman was seventh, while the Hitech Grand Prix duo of Liam Lawson and Juri Vips were eighth and ninth respectively, the latter securing a front-row start for Sprint Race 1. Rounding out the top ten and ensuring he would start on reverse pole for Saturday morning’s race was Carlin’s Dan Ticktum.

Sprint Race 1, which is forecast to be held in wet conditions, is set to get underway at 10:30am local time on Saturday.

Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Oscar Piastri Prema Powerteam 1m47.465s 0.000s
2 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m47.653s 0.188s
3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m47.891s 0.426s
4 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 1m47.994s 0.529s
5 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m48.024s 0.559s
6 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 1m48.073s 0.608s
7 Robert Shwartzman Prema Powerteam 1m48.098s 0.633s
8 Liam Lawson HitechGP 1m48.129s 0.664s
9 Jüri Vips HitechGP 1m48.139s 0.674s
10 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1m48.171s 0.706s
11 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1m48.190s 0.725s
12 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m48.255s 0.790s
13 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 1m48.286s 0.821s
14 David Beckmann Campos Racing 1m48.428s 0.963s
15 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1m48.587s 1.122s
16 Bent Viscaal Trident 1m48.662s 1.197s
17 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1m48.785s 1.320s
18 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m48.989s 1.524s
19 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1m49.226s 1.761s
20 Marino Sato Trident 1m49.339s 1.874s
21 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System 1m49.465s 2.000s
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 1m50.389s 2.924s


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