Oscar Piastri Clinches Pole Position For 2021 Saudi Arabian Feature Race

(Image credit: Formula 2)

Oscar Piastri claimed his fourth consecutive F2 pole position ahead of Robert Shwartzman in a PREMA front-row lockout for 2021 Saudi Arabian Feature Race.

Piastri endured a tough Practice session in warm conditions but rebounded in Qualifying to snatch pole position at the death ahead of PREMA teammate – Shwartzman and put the title in his own hands this weekend.

Theo Pourchaire meanwhile qualified third fastest ahead of Christian Lundgaard in an ART GP second-row lockout as drivers adapted quickly to Jeddah Corniche Circuit, following a delay to Practice.

Now, here is a full roundup of Practice and Qualifying for the penultimate round of 2021 F2 season.

 

Practice

(Image credit: FIA Formula 2)

Practice was delayed 50 minutes due to operational delays but once the session got underway, MP Motorsport debutant, Clement Novalak set the initial pace with 1m 48.217 but times quickly tumbled as the track rubbered in.

Campos’ Ralph Boschung continued his strong form on street circuits as he led the way in the opening runs as he posted 1m 44.087, just before the red flag was waved in the 17th minute after rookie – Logan Sargeant spun his HWA Racelab into the barriers.

The session resumed seven minutes later as lap times continued to fall with Juri Vips suffering a spin through Turn 16, although the Estonian was able to get his Hitech going again quickly despite a brief stall of the engine.

Just moments later, Alessio Deledda suddenly locked up his rear tyres and spun into the outside barrier at Turn One, which caused his rear right tyre to snap and caused a three minute Virtual Safety Car as Deledda’s HWA Racelab was cleared.

Boschung found further time with three minutes left to improve to 1m 42.807 ahead of Ticktum by 0.147 seconds.

Shwartzman though left it very late as he snatched the fastest lap of Practice with a 1m 42.623 just seconds before the checkered flag fell, leaving the Russian fastest from Boschung and Ticktum heading into Qualifying.

Felipe Drugovich was fourth quickest ahead of Marcus Armstrong and Juri Vips with 0.036s separating the trio, whilst Guanyu Zhou finished seventh ahead of Jack Doohan, Christian Lundgaard and Oscar Piastri.

On the rookies front, Jack Doohan was fastest with the eighth quickest lap time ahead of Olli Caldwell and Novalak in 15th and 16th position, whilst Sargeant finished second-last but ahead of his more experienced HWA teammate, Deledda.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Robert Shwartzman PREMA 1m 42.623
2 Ralph Boschung Campos + 0.184
3 Dan Ticktum Carlin + 0.331
4 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi + 0.604
5 Marcus Armstrong DAMS + 0.626
6 Juri Vips Hitech GP + 0.640
7 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi + 0.703
8 Jack Doohan MP Motorsport + 0.717
9 Christian Lundgaard ART GP + 0.739
10 Oscar Piastri PREMA + 0.833
11 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.870
12 Jehan Daruvala Carlin + 1.013
13 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 1.181
14 Bent Viscaal Trident + 1.200
15 Olli Caldwell Campos + 1.362
16 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport + 1.482
17 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz + 1.849
18 Roy Nissany DAMS + 1.862
19 Guilherme Samaia Charouz + 2.580
20 Marino Sato Trident + 2.715
21 Logan Sargeant HWA Racelab + 5.764
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab + 6.244

 

Qualifying

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Following a five minute delay. Roy Nissany was the first driver out on track under the lights in Jeddah for the opening runs.

Shwartzman soon proceeded to set the initial pace with 1m 41.747 ahead of teammate – Piastri by 0.064s as Boschung put himself third quickest after the opening fliers, with the Russian again top after the second round of flying laps as Pourchaire improved to second.

Guanyu Zhou meanwhile found himself sat just inside the top ten after the opening runs but was first out on track and avoided fights for position behind him, as drivers complained about traffic on their warm-up laps.

Ticktum meanwhile suffered a right rear puncture which forced a second stop for a fresh set of tyres, which left him 13th at the checkered flag.

Up front, Piastri found more time on his final flier as he claimed his fourth consecutive pole position for the Feature Race, finishing 0.165s ahead of Shwartzman in a PREMA front-row lockout with Pourchaire leading an all ART GP second row ahead of Christian Lundgaard with Drugovich and Zhou rounding out the top six.

Piastri also picked up four points for pole position which meant that he extended his championship lead over Zhou to 40 points.

Elsewhere, Novalak qualified 12th as the fastest rookie with Doohan, Caldwell and Sargeant all qualifying 16th, 19th and 21st respectively on the grid.

HWA Racelab’s Alessio Deledda didn’t participate in the session due to damage sustained in his Practice incident.

Hitech GP’s Liam Lawson will meanwhile start the first Sprint Race from pole position ahead of Marcus Armstrong after the top ten drivers on the grid are reversed.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Oscar Piastri PREMA 1m 40.878
2 Robert Shwartzman PREMA + 0.165
3 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 0.340
4 Christian Lundgaard ART GP + 0.419
5 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi + 0.424
6 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi + 0.472
7 Ralph Boschung Campos + 0.654
8 Juri Vips Hitech GP + 0.732
9 Marcus Armstrong DAMS + 0.740
10 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.741
11 Jehan Daruvala Carlin + 0.983
12 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport + 1.012
13 Dan Ticktum Carlin + 1.082
14 Bent Viscaal Trident + 1.094
15 Roy Nissany DAMS + 1.198
16 Jack Doohan MP Motorsport + 1.236
17 Marino Sato Trident + 1.588
18 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz + 1.992
19 Olli Caldwell Campos + 2.041
20 Guilherme Samaia Charouz + 2.544
21 Logan Sargeant HWA Racelab + 2.603
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab No Time Set

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