Hadjar Takes First F2 Pole as Title-Rival Aron Falters

Hadjar Takes First F2 Pole as Title-Rival Aron Falters

Isack Hadjar InsideF2.com Formula 2 Imola 2024

Frenchman Isack Hadjar took his first FIA Formula 2 pole position as championship rival Paul Aron made a potentially critical error at Silverstone.

The Estonian, who leads Hadjar by 11 points, spun at the start of his final run in Qualifying for Round 8 of the season and fell to 12th by the end of the session.

Hadjar, winner of two Feature Races this season, ended up more than two-tenths of a second clear of 2023 pole sitter Victor Martins, who enjoyed his best Friday performance of the year.

The Red Bull Junior Team driver will start both this weekend’s races ahead of Aron as a result, giving him a great chance to close the gap to his rival – or even take the championship lead himself.

PREMA’s Oliver Bearman was the lead British driver at his home race in fifth, with ART’s Zak O’Sullivan 15th and AIX driver Taylor Barnard 21st.

Bearman’s PREMA teammate Andrea Kimi Antonelli qualified tenth, meaning the Italian will start Saturday’s Sprint Race from reverse-grid pole position.

Hadjar delivers to slow Aron momentum

The Silverstone circuit is one of the drivers’ favourites, with a pole position around the high-speed circuit held in high regard.

Hadjar delivered the pole position time on his first lap with a second set of soft compound Pirelli tyres.

It was timed to perfection as it came moments after Aron’s dramatic spin at Abbey corner – the first of the lap. 

The Estonian approached the corner as he started a flying lap, but hit the inside kerb too hard, unsettling the car and pitching it into a spin.

With the lap ruined, Aron recovered to the track but the tyres were now wrecked, leaving him unable to improve.

It’s the first true mistake Aron has made in a season that has seen the 19-year-old display remarkable consistency, scoring points at every round so far.

But that record is in jeopardy as he’ll start both races from 12th on the grid.

And if Hadjar goes on to win the Feature Race on Sunday, it’s likely the Frenchman will take the championship lead.

Surprise strugglers back on form?

The likes of PREMA and ART Grand Prix have struggled in 2024, but appear to be getting their act together at last.

Hadjar’s compatriot Victor Martins got closest to deposing the Campos from top spot, doing enough to put his ART on the front row, ahead of Austria pole sitter Dennis Hauger, with his MP Motorsport teammate Franco Colapinto in fourth. 

On the weekend it was confirmed he’ll join Haas F1 Team in 2025, Oliver Bearman starts from the middle of the top 10 for both races, giving him a chance to score a home podium.

PREMA appear to finally be getting to grips with the new-for-2024 F2 machine, with both cars in the top 10.

They’ll be aiming for back-to-back Sprint Race wins with Antonelli on reverse-grid pole, after Bearman won the equivalent race in Austria.

Image RedBull CP

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Isack Hadjar InsideF2.com Formula 2 Imola 2024

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