Nyck de Vries delivered on his Free Practice form with Pole position in FIA Formula 2 Qualifying, to strengthen his grip at the top of the Driver’s Championship and set himself up for a potential fourth win of the season. The ART Grand Prix man will start ahead of DAMS’ Sérgio Sette Câmara and Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken, following an early end to the session, after a late red flag.
Sette Câmara was the first out on track in hot conditions and the first to top the timesheets, thrashing his machine around the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in 2:23.620. Callum Ilott was one of seven cars yet to set a time when his Sauber Junior Team by Charouz machine came to a halt on track and forced the session to a brief stop, with a red flag.
When they returned, De Vries and Nobuharu Matsushita swiftly went to work and both set purple sectors in their battle for pole position. It was the Dutchman who came out trumps, beating the Japanese driver by as little as 0.0.17s for P1.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, the grid headed in for fresh rubber and when they returned, De Vries and Matsushita continued to dominate. The in-form duo shattered their own times to remain 1st and 2nd, ahead of Guanyu Zhou and Louis Delétraz.
Four minutes of the session remained when Sean Gelael slid off the circuit and slammed into the walls, bringing out the second red flag of Qualifying. Sette Câmara and Aitken were fortunate to cross the line in time to clock their laps, and their tours of the circuit were good enough for P2 and P3, which put them ahead of Matsushita.
The session ended under the red flag, leaving the order otherwise unchanged. De Vries remained on top, ahead of Sette Câmara, Aitken, Matsushita and Delétraz. Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin, Jordan King, Zhou and Luca Ghiotto completed the top then.
With De Vries’ main title rival, Nicholas Latifi, languishing back in 11th, the Dutchman will sense a massive opportunity in the fight for the Championship when action resumes tomorrow, at 4.45pm local time.