PREMA Racing showed their pace in Qualifying with a front row lockout at Formula 2’s first outing in Saudi Arabia.
During a close Qualifying, Oscar Piastri put in a stellar late lap to claim a fourth consecutive pole position.
The Australian also claimed the four bonus points in the Championship to further extend his lead ahead of Guanyu Zhou, who will start down sixth.
Piastri said: “Fourth pole in a row, I’m very happy with that.”
“It wasn’t the smoothest of Qualifying sessions, as I kind of left it to the last minute, but I did it when it counted, which is all that matters.”
“The car was great, and I really thank the team for the effort. With Robert and I in first and second, it’s a testament to how strong the team has been today. Now, full focus on the races.”
Meanwhile, teammate Robert Shwartzman started the weekend leading Free Practice and the first part of Qualifying.
The Russian looked set to do another impressive lap time on his second run, but a mistake on the last lap cost him, and he ended up second on the high-speed street circuit.
Shwartzman said: “I’m really happy with the car’s pace in Practice and Qualifying.”
“Today we were probably the quickest car on track, and while P2 in quali is quite a good result, it’s kind of sad to lose the pole with a tiny mistake in the last corner of the last lap.”
“I took it a bit too cautious because I felt the rear was a little on the edge, and that probably cost me P1. Each run we had, we were down for it.”
“However, I’m starting from the front row in race 3, and my goal will be to make the best possible start to get into the lead.”
“It’s going to be P9 tomorrow in race 1, and it will be the first-time racing on this track, so we don’t know how it is.”
“Again, the target will be to make a good start and see how much pace we have, and where to take risks and where not.”
After locking out the front row for the Feature Race, both Piastri and Shwartzman will have to stay out of trouble and make their way up the field from row five in the first race of the weekend to take major points and get a good position for the second race.
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