George Russell 2nd on the grid at Spa-Francorchamps
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Reserve Driver George Russell set the 2nd fastest time in today's FIA Formula 2 Qualifying session, where he will start alongside Nyck de Vries for tomorrow's Feature Race.
FIA Formula 2 returned to action at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium this morning. Championship leader George Russell set the 3rd fastest time in this mornings sole Free Practice session, ran exclusively on the 'Medium' Compound Pirelli Tyre.
Qualifying got underway just after the Formula 1 FP2 session, with Russell one of the last drivers out on track in his ART Grand Prix machine.
Russell set the 2nd fastest time early on, slotting in just behind Prema Racing's Nyck de Vries. This was to be short-lived as de Vries had his laptime deleted for exceeding track limits at Raidillon. Russell therefore led the pack by two tenths of a second from his nearest rival, after setting a 1:56.507s lap - ahead of main championship rival Lando Norris.
In the gap between runs, were driver's headed into the pits for setup changes and a change of 'Soft' Pirelli Tyres, de Vries decided to complete his second run while the majority of his rivals were in the pits. The Dutchman took advantage of the clean track to set a 1:56.054s lap to take provisional pole from Russell.
Russell was setting personal bests throughout his final flying lap, however was unable to match de Vries in the second sector - where the Prema Racing driver had an advantage. Russell crossed the line to set the 2nd fastest time of a 1:56.457s to line up on the front row, for the first of the two F2 races this weekend.
Russell starts ahead of his two main rivals in the F2 championship standings; Norris and Albon, who qualified 5th and 6th respectively.
George Russell "We struggled quite a lot in practice with the car, even though we were P3 it wasn’t feeling great and to the usual standard. We worked really hard between the two sessions to sort it out, so I’m rather pleased with second.
The Feature Race starts tomorrow at 16:45 (GMT+2) and will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 HD, where the season will resume after the annual Summer Break.
Photos: FIA Formula 2 Media