Verschoor Fastest Overall in Monaco Qualifying

Verschoor Fastest Overall in Monaco Qualifying

VERSCHOORR

Richard Verschoor will start on pole for the first time in his FIA Formula 2 career after setting the fastest overall time of both Qualifying sessions in Monaco.

Qualifying format

Due to the nature of the Monaco street circuit, F2 have changed their usual structure for Qualifying to avoid traffic issues.

Since the lap is short and the track is narrow, to avoid any problems in Qualifying, the session will be split into two. Those who race with even numbers will take part in the first session at 15:10 to 15:26, local time (CEST).

Those who race with odd numbers will qualify in the second half of the session shortly after. Both sessions will be 16 minutes long.

To avoid any unfair advantages surrounding track temperature or grip levels, the times of each session will not be compared to make the grid. Instead, each group will start on a different side.  Whoever is fastest between both groups will start on pole, whoever is fastest in the other group will start second on the grid. The rest of the grid will follow the same pattern.

It helps to reduce the risk of crashes by minimising the number of cars on track since closing speeds are a common issue at street circuits during Qualifying. It also gives all of the drivers more of a chance to put a lap in without yellow/ red flag interruptions.

As it happened…

Group A, the even numbered cars were the first to try for pole. ART’s Zak O’Sullivan was the first driver to set the pace in the 16 minute session with a 1:23.118, 5 tenths ahead of Imola Feature Race winner, Isack Hadjar.

The yellow flag was waved with 6 minutes to go, Ritomo Miyata had a problem in the tunnel causing him to slow. He stuck to the inside line but was almost involved in a big accident with Hadjar, who narrowly missed him on a fast lap.

Juan Manuel Correa is under investigation for impeding Mercedes Junior, Kimi Antonelli who almost ran into the slow moving DAMS at the Nouvelle Chicane.

Richard Verschoor was the fastest driver in Group A with a 1:21.283, guaranteeing him a front row start for the Feature Race in Monaco. If anyone from Group B goes faster in their session, he will start second.

Hadjar finished a tenth behind him so will start on the second row.

After a short break between the sessions, Group B got out on track. 6 minutes into their Qualifying, they started their flying laps after building up tyre temperature. Before any driver could set their times, the red flag was thrown to recover Rafael Villagómez’s VAR.

He hit the outside barrier at Sainte Dévote, leaving debris at the first corner with less than 10 minutes to go.

The session got back underway at 15:45 and the yellow flag was flown in Sector 2, just 2 minutes later. It was quickly cleared and the Group B drivers could finally get their flying laps started.

Victor Martins set the initial pace with at 1:22.690, 2 tenths ahead of Roman Stanek. He was soon replaced by championship leader, Zane Maloney who set three purple sectors and put in a 1:21.941, still over 7 tenths of a second shy of Verschoor’s fastest time.

Before the final laps, Stanek sat at the top of the timing screens but was put under investigation for impeding Dennis Hauger at the Anthony Noghés corner. A lap before he almost crashed, losing him time and potentially costing him pole position.

Stanek wasn’t the only one to have a lucky escape in Monaco. Ferrari junior, Ollie Bearman lost his front-wing endplate at Sainte Dévote after hitting the wall.

Martins set the fastest overall time at the last minute but only managed a 1:21.310, slower than Verschoor.

How it will line up:

Since Verschoor set the fastest time overall, Group A (even numbers) will line up on the inside line of the grid, ahead of Group B (odd numbers) who will line up on the outside. This means that Martins will start second on the grid for the Feature Race ahead of Hadjar who was second in Group A.

On provisional reverse grid pole position will be Taylor Barnard who qualified fifth in Group B.

Image: Dutch Photo Agency

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