F2: Iwasa takes pole in incident-filled wet qualifying at Albert Park
Ayumu Iwasa secured Formula 2’s first-ever pole position in Australia, making his final attempt count around a drenched Albert Park Circuit. Torrential rain made conditions tricky with two Red Flag stoppages, but the Red Bull junior managed to go six-tenths clear as running was brought to an early end.
ART Grand Prix ensured their third consecutive front-row start as Sauber Academy’s Theo Pourchaire snatched second, while Alpine junior Victor Martins claimed third despite crashing out on his final attempt and triggering the second Red Flag.
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The session was halted five minutes in due to the heavy rain, with Oliver Bearman spinning sideways into the barrier between Turns 8 and 9. When running resumed as the rain eased, eight drivers traded turns in P1 with the likes of home hero Jack Doohan, Isack Hadjar, Frederick Vesti, Roman Stanek and Dennis Hauger all clocking in the fastest times.
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Bolting on a fresh set of wet tyres for their final runs, Martins went quickest with a 1m 45.736s before his team mate demoted him by just 0.004s.
Having led at the halfway mark, Iwasa found his way back in front with a 1m 45.118s as Martins slid into the wall on the exit of Turn 5, concluding the session with over two minutes left on the clock.
One of seven rookies inside the top 10, Red Bull juniors Hadjar and Zane Maloney secured fifth and sixth, whilst Bearman bounced back to finish in sixth ahead of fellow Ferrari junior Arthur Leclerc, Kush Maini and Jak Crawford.
Hauger lines up on reverse grid pole for Saturday’s Sprint Race, which kicks off at 14:20 local time.
For the full report and more, head to the Official FIA Formula 2 website.