Fantastic Fourth FIA F2 Pole Position for Russell in Monza
Mercedes-AMG F1 Reserve driver George Russell took his fourth pole position of the season, extending his FIA Formula 2 Championship lead in the process after setting the fastest time by just 0.054s at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
Russell bounced back from a challenging weekend in Spa-Francorchamps in the best possible way, by lining himself up at the front of the grid for the FIA F2 Feature Race at Monza, in his ART Grand Prix machine.
In the early qualifying running, it was Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara who set the benchmark after the first runs, with Russell slotting in just behind in 2nd position.
After a cool-down lap, most of the field attempted to go for a second ‘push lap’, however it became clear the best performance was on the first flying lap.
With ten minutes remaining, most of the field ventured back out onto the circuit with a fresh set of Pirelli ‘Super-Soft’ compound tyres.
A flurry of personal bests and fastest sectors were popped in, before Russell usurped them all - setting a provisional pole laptime of a 1:31.546s to head the timesheet.
Sette Camara ran Russell close, setting a laptime just 0.054s off the time set by the BRDC Superstar – but Russell was not to be denied, as he claimed his fourth pole position of the season.
George Russell “I was very pleased with my second lap as I struggled a bit to get my confidence on the lap in free practice so I just went for it, and really nailed the lap I think. I had a great position behind the DAMS cars and everything just came together, so I was really pleased with that.
In Formula 2 anything can happen! I don’t think it’s going to be as easy to race on this circuit as people may expect, as we’re all running very low downforce so therefore the slipstream gained is much less than it would be on a circuit with high downforce. With the current situation at the starts, as we saw in a track such as Spa with such a short run to turn 1, De Vries managed to go from P8 to P3 in turn 1. I’m just happy to get the 4 points, and not so worried about tomorrow at the moment.”
Russell claimed the 4 championship points for pole position, which extends his championship lead heading into the opening F2 race of the weekend to 9 points, over nearest rival Lando Norris.
The 30-lap FIA Formula 2 Feature Race starts tomorrow following qualifying for the 2018 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, with the race starting at 16:55 (GMT +2) and will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 HD.
Photos: FIA Formula 2 Media