Charles Leclerc picked up his second straight Formula 2 pole position on Friday in Barcelona, edging out Luca Ghiotto to take P1 for the start of Saturday’s feature race.
2016 GP3 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc made an immediate impression in his debut F2 weekend last month in Bahrain, taking pole and finishing on the podium on Saturday before charging to a remarkable race win in the sprint event on the Sunday.
The Monegasque racer continued his impressive start to life in the category by taking pole for Prema Racing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, going almost two-tenths of a second faster than Ghiotto to nab pole away in the dying minutes of the session.
McLaren junior Nyck de Vries qualified third ahead of British youngster Jordan King, while Alexander Albon and Oliver Rowland finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Norman Nato will start seventh on Saturday for Arden, with Antonio Fuoco and Nicholas Latifi eighth and ninth respectively. Nobuharu Matsushita will round out the top 10 on the grid tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton needed to outduel teammate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying for Sunday’s French Grand Prix, after the Finn jumped ahead of the Briton on his final run – Bottas turned in a lap at 1:30.147 to barely get clear of Hamilton.
However, Hamilton ultimately got the last laugh and turned in a 1:30.029 on his final lap, bettering Bottas by just over one tenth of a second, to take the 75th pole of his career.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified third, followed by the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended up sixth.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified seventh, and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc qualified a brilliant eighth as the Frenchman continued a strong rookie campaign in front of his home crowd.
The Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean completed the top 10, with Grosjean actually crashing out of Q3 after nosing his VF-18 into a barrier.
Results are below. Of note: the McLaren drivers of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne failed to advance out of Q1 and qualified 16th (Alonso), and 18th (Vandoorne), though Vandoorne will start 17th as Brendon Hartley will start at the back of the grid after Toro Rosso changed several components of the power unit.