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F2: Piastri heads qualifying in Jeddah ahead of Shwartzman and Pourchaire

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Formula 2 championship leader Oscar Piastri joined Charles Leclerc as the only two drivers to have taken four successive poles in F2, qualifying first in Jeddah ahead of Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman and Sauber Academy driver Theo Pourchaire.

Piastri – who will be Alpine’s official Formula 1 reserve driver for 2022 – was running down in fifth after the first set of runs, but pulled off a storming lap in the second half of the session to break the 1m 42s barrier and leap up to first.

READ MORE: How the Formula 2 standings look with two rounds to go – and can anyone stop Oscar Piastri?

Lapping the all-new Jeddah Corniche Circuit in 1m 42.878s, the Australian’s time was good enough to beat his PREMA team mate Shwartzman to first place. The Russian had spent the majority of the session at the top, but remains without a pole position in the second tier.

Pourchaire briefly took first in the latter stages of the session, but ended up three-tenths off the pace in third, ahead of his own team mate and Alpine junior Christian Lundgaard, who finished in fourth for his best qualifying result since the opening round.

Felipe Drugovich beat 2022 Alfa Romeo F1 driver Guanyu Zhou to the final spot in the top five, with the Chinese driver now 40 points below Piastri in the title race, which could mathematically be settled in Piastri’s favour this weekend.

READ MORE: Vasseur explains why Zhou is the ‘right choice’ for Alfa Romeo – and reveals how he and Giovinazzi have cleared the air

Finishing 10th, Red Bull junior Liam Lawson will start ahead of Ferrari Academy driver Marcus Armstrong and Red Bull prodigy Juri Vips on Saturday’s reverse grid Sprint Race 1, which takes place at 1530 local time.

Qualifying set the grid for Sunday morning's Feature Race, which takes place at 1725 local time, while the grid for Sprint Race 2 at 2140 on Saturday will be set by reversing the top 10 finishers from Sprint Race 1.

For more, visit the official F2 website

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