Carlin driver Logan Sargeant secured his maiden FIA Formula 2 pole position with a superb lap of the Silverstone circuit, where less than two-tenths of a second covered the top five positions.
The 21-year-old American was constantly setting fastest sector times and grabbed pole with a 1:38.432, 0.107s quicker than fellow F2 rookie, ART’s Frederick Vesti.
Sargeant’s pole completed a sweep of FIA junior formula poles at Silverstone for Carlin and the Williams Driver Academy, who had earlier taken FIA F3 pole position with Zak O’Sullivan.
The young Ameican, who topped practice in the morning, is the fourth different driver to take a Formula 2 pole position in 2022.
Championship leader Felipe Drugovich of MP Motorsport picked up a vital third place for Sunday’s Feature Race, despite a session littered with uncharacteristic errors.
However, the Brazilian’s only clean lap still was not enough to take a third pole of the year, with his closest challenger Théo Pourchaire fourth fastest in the second ART.
Liam Lawson in the other Carlin ended up fifth ahead of Ayumu Iwasa, Jack Doohan, Jüri Vips, Enzo Fittipaldi, and Jehan Daruvala.
PREMA Racing’s Daruvala, who ran out of sync to set his best lap time, will line up on the reverse-grid pole for Saturday’s Sprint Race, with the 23-year-old no doubt eyeing his first win of 2022.
The British pair Jake Hughes and Olli Caldwell couldn’t break into the top ten and will start both races from 14th and 16th in front of their home crowd.
Story of the session
Qualifying for Round 7 of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 championship commenced in dry and cool conditions, with Logan Sargeant hoping to turn his practice form into a first F2 pole position.
Series leader Felipe Drugovich made an early mistake at Village corner on his first lap but he still set the first lap below 1m 40s, only to be marginally beaten by Jack Doohan and Jüri Vips.
Danish driver Frederick Vesti however, beat them all on the opening laps, going three-tenths faster than Australian Doohan in his ART car.
Drugovich then set a purple middle sector, but a second mistake, braking for the Vale chicane, meant could not improve his position.
A driver who improved was Sargeant, the American setting a rapid 1:38.946 to move four-tenths clear of Vips at the top of the timesheets.
Halfway through the session, the top ten were: Sargeant, Vips, Lawson, Hauger, Armstrong, Vesti, Pourchaire, Iwasa, Hughes, and Drugovich.
Running out of sync while everyone else was in the pit lane, PREMA’s Daruvala made the most of the clear space to leap up to second fastest, less than two tenths behind Sargeant’s time.
On his third timed lap, Sargeant set an even faster lap time, now joined at the top of the times by Vesti, whose ART team mate Pourchaire slotted into fourth.
Drugovich finally put together a tidy lap to go third fastest.
David Beckmann’s session came to an early end as he deputised for the suspended Amaury Cordeel, his Van Amersfoort Racing car stopping in the first sector, with no delay to the session.
Drugovich’s messy session continued with a spin when trying to find traction through Club corner. However, he pirouetted his MP Motorsport car without damage and carried on.
On the last attempts, the tyres had cried enough, and nobody could significantly improve; the final seconds of the session counted down as the drivers returned to the pit lane.
Sargeant had done enough with his earlier run to claim his maiden FIA Formula 2 pole position and two championship points.
While Sargeant is currently a whopping 71-points off championship pace setter Drugovich, a win in the Feature Race could be the springboard to a title push for the Williams-backed driver.
Both races promise to be incredibly exciting, as FIA Formula 2 always is, with many of the drivers in form together on the grid for both Saturday afternoon’s Sprint Race and Sunday morning’s Feature Race.
The Sprint Race starts at 16:45 BST on Saturday, with lights out for the Feature Race at 10:10 BST on Sunday.
Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd