Frederik Vesti will start the Monte Carlo Feature Race from the coveted pole position after topping Group B Qualifying for PREMA Racing. The Mercedes Junior Team driver battled with Théo Pourchaire for top honours in the second group, ultimately ending up fastest after a late Red Flag.
Victor Martins will line up on the front row alongside the Dane, the ART Grand Prix driver the fastest in Group A.
With Monte Carlo Qualifying split into two groups of 11, the random ballot allocated the even-numbered cars into Group A to go out first, with odd-numbered cars going second in Group B. The first 16-minute segment began with several warm-up laps, but it was Victor Martins who set the initial benchmark with a 1:22.244.
Richard Verschoor was the next to go to the top before a Red Flag stoppage after Arthur Leclerc tagged the barriers out of the final corner, putting him out of the session.
The session resumed with just over five minutes left on the clock and Jack Doohan hit the front immediately. His 1:21.423 was beaten shortly after though by Martins, who jumped back up to P1 with two minutes to go on a 1:21.231.
There was no more time for improvements though as Daruvala brought out the Red Flag once again, hitting the wall out of Turn 5. With just over a minute left, the session wasn’t resumed.
With a 1:21.231 to beat, Group B headed out for their turn and Dennis Hauger laid down the first effort. His 1:22.979 was bettered by several, but it was Théo Pourchaire who went quickest overall on a 1:21.630.
Plenty of personal bests followed but the ART Grand Prix man remained on top with a 1:21.354, ahead of Zane Maloney and Frederik Vesti by a tenth with less than five minutes to go. The Dane put in three purple sectors on his following attempt to go top with a 1:21.053, ensuring Group B was fighting for pole. His lap was 0.052s quicker than Pourchaire could manage with his reply a few moments later.
It was enough for pole as on the final attempts, Clément Novalak hit the barriers at Portier to bring out the Red Flags, ending the session early.
With the field aggregated together following both sessions, Vesti will have Martins alongside him on the front row and Pourchaire third on the grid behind him. Doohan will be in the hunt for a podium from fourth ahead of Maloney, Richard Verschoor and Jak Crawford, on the Hitech Pulse-Eight rookie’s first trip to the Principality. Daruvala had to settle for eighth, with Ayumu Iwasa in ninth.
After finishing tenth, Isack Hadjar will line up on reverse grid pole when the Sprint Race gets underway on Saturday at 14:15 local time.