Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc continued his perfect pole position record in Formula 2 by topping qualifying at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Saturday, extending his championship lead in the process.
2016 GP3 champion Leclerc stepped up to F2 – rebranded after operating as GP2 since 2005 – for 2017 and has immediately impressed in the series, enjoying a 42-point lead in the drivers’ championship heading into this weekend’s round in Austria.
Leclerc took his fifth pole in five races in Saturday’s qualifying session for Prema Racing, turning in a fastest lap of 1:13.396 to finish three-tenths of a second clear at the head of the field, as well as picking up two bonus points.
Leclerc finished ahead of MP Motorsport’s Sergio Sette Camara in P2, the Brazilian still doing enough to secure his first front row start in F2 despite spinning out on his final lap.
Leclerc’s Prema teammate and fellow Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco took third, while Alexander Albon qualified fourth upon his return from a collarbone injury.
Oliver Rowland’s hopes of cutting the gap to Leclerc in the championship were dealt a blow as he could only qualify fifth, with Honda youngster Nobuharu Matsushita taking P6.
McLaren junior Nyck de Vries was seventh ahead of Luca Ghiotto and Nicholas Latifi while Norman Nato completed the top 10.