ROAD TO F1: Alpine junior Doohan takes F2 pole in Bahrain, as Colapinto claims P1 on F3 debut
Alpine junior Jack Doohan took an emphatic first pole position of the year in Formula 2, utilizing an almost empty track to drop an impressive 1m 40.542s, when the majority of the field were busy in the pit lane changing their tyres.
Theo Pourchaire briefly put himself on the front row but saw his time deleted for exceeding track limits. Dusting himself off, the ART Grand Prix driver went again and matched his previous effort, going second once again, but still one-tenth off P1.
Juri Vips was the only other driver to come close to Doohan’s time, but the Red Bull-backed racer’s attempt was only good enough for third as he fell two tenths short of the Virtuosi driver.
Ralph Boschung managed to find enough rubber left in the final minutes to take fifth, in between the two Carlin drivers, with Williams junior Logan Sargeant fourth and Red Bull prodigy Liam Lawson sixth.
Jehan Daruvala had also run in the gap with Doohan, but hadn’t made the most of the clean air and dropped out of the top 10 with a minute to go. Returning to the tarmac with barely enough time to spare, the Red Bull academy driver found the pace to leap to P7.
Van Amersfoort Racing managed to make the top 10 on their qualifying debut as Jake Hughes took P8, ahead of Trident’s Richard Verschoor and Felipe Drugovich. Finishing 10th, the Brazilian MP Motorsport driver will start from pole on Saturday evening’s reverse grid at 1940 local time.
In Formula 3, Argentine rookie Franco Colapinto was a surprise name on pole for newcomers Van Amersfoort, setting a time of 1m 46.249s to beat Trident third-year Roman Stanek, and ART Grand Prix’s Swiss rookie Gregoire Saucy.
Kush Maini finished third, but the Indian MP Motorsport driver was later penalised for missing the weighbridge, meaning that he will start both F3 races from the pit lane.
ART had all three of their drivers in the top five, with Saucy followed by Victor Martins and Juan Manuel Correa. Trident’s Bajan rookie Zane Maloney beat MP’s Alex Smolyar, while Isack Hadjar, David Vidales and Oliver Bearman rounded out the top 10 for Hitech, Campos and PREMA, respectively.
Williams prodigy Zak O’Sullivan will start ahead of Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman on the reverse grid in Saturday’s Sprint Race, which takes place at 1245 local time.