PREMA Racing’s Oscar Piastri capped off his final Formula 2 Qualifying session with a fifth successive pole position, lapping at 1:35.077 to add four points to his Championship tally and move one step closer to securing the Drivers’ title. MP Motorsport rookie Jack Doohan continued his impressive start to life in the second tier by securing a spot on the front row, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou.
As they have been for much of the season, PREMA were the early pace setters, with Piastri setting 1:36.044 to head Robert Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala under the lights in Abu Dhabi.
There were plenty of improvements as the field headed off for their second set of flyers, but there was no change to the name at the top of the timesheets, with Piastri retaining P1.
This time around, he was followed by the Campos of Ralph Boschung, who ducked into second, three tenths off the leading pace of 1:35.379. Shwartzman had to settle for third, with Daruvala and Doohan rounding out the top five.
There weren’t any improvements on the third tour of the Yas Marina Circuit as the tyre began to wane and the grid opted to head into the pits for a freshen up.
Armed with a shiny set of fresh Super Softs, the 22-strong field headed back out knowing they had a maximum of two laps to nail their tour of the track. Boschung was the first to attempt a push lap on the new tyres, improving to within a tenth of Piastri.
Piastri was unable to improve himself and this presented an opportunity to his teammate, Shwartzman, who was still chasing a first pole in F2. The Russian shaved off more than two tenths but was still 0.059s away from P1.
The second set of push laps were stronger as Doohan and Guanyu Zhou briefly jumped to first and second, putting the pressure on Piastri to find the time he couldn’t on his last run. Not that there was ever much doubt, the Championship leader responded emphatically, setting a purple first sector to steal the position back by more than two tenths.
Doohan settled for a spot on the front row in just his second round at this level, ahead of Zhou and Shwartzman. Boschung completed the top five, beating Théo Pourchaire and Liam Lawson.
Finishing 10th, Jehan Daruvala will start from pole on the reverse grid of Sprint Race 1, ahead of Dan Ticktum and Felipe Drugovich. Action gets started at 12.20pm local time on Saturday.