F2: Alpine junior Martins untouchable in Spielberg qualifying
Victor Martins went from strength to strength in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, as he secured his second pole position of his rookie Formula 2 season. The Frenchman maintained his hold on the top spot throughout, pipping championship leader Frederik Vesti by 0.139s.
The title fight continues to heat up as the Mercedes junior outqualified his nearest rival Theo Pourchaire, who secured a 1-3 for ART Grand Prix.
As drivers squabbled for track position around the short Austrian circuit, Martins stayed out of the fray. Going fastest on his first attempt, his 1:14.926 kept him ahead of Amaury Cordeel throughout the opening half.
Bolting on a second set of the soft tyres, the Alpine junior posted a 1:14.643 to remain out front, as Vesti and Pourchaire improved into the top three in the final minutes.
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Kush Maini bounced back from a disappointing Barcelona weekend to take fourth, as track limits forced Jack Doohan to settle for fifth. Sixth-placed Enzo Fittipaldi looked rapid throughout but couldn’t put it all together, after Jehan Daruvala rejoined the track in his path and then suffering a huge lock up on his next run.
Cordeel held on to seventh ahead of Arthur Leclerc, Daruvala and Jak Crawford, who rounded out the top 10. The Hitech Pulse-Eight driver will now line up on reverse grid pole for Saturday’s Sprint Race at 13:45 local time.