George Russell Qualifies 4th in FIA F2 at the Hungaroring
ART Grand Prix Driver George Russell, will line up 4th on the grid for the opening FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at the Hungaroring in Budapest.
Russell headed into the final race before the traditional 'Summer Break' with a 37-point lead at the top of the FIA F2 Championship standings, ahead of nearest rival Lando Norris.
The championship leader took the momentum with him into the Free Practice session, setting the fastest lap of a 1:28.886s to head his rivals by 0.302s at the end of the session.
Heading into the cooler conditions of Qualifying, the BRDC Superstar followed his ART Grand Prix teammate Jack Aitken out of the pits for the first-runs of the session. The pair of them headed the times after the first flying laps, with Aitken ahead by less than half a tenth of a second.
Russell went for a second push lap, following a cool-down lap, but was thwarted by his teammate going wide at Turn 1 and compromising Russell in sector 1. No driver was unable to improve on a second fast lap on the Pirelli 'Super-Soft' tyre however, so getting in the best possible first flying lap on the tyres became essential.
Russell pitted for changes and a new set of tyres with just shy of 10-minutes of the session left to go. Russell this time took an extra preparation lap before his final flying lap. As he went through the first sector of the lap, he had to slalom between driver's exiting the pitlane on their 'out-laps', causing Russell to be 3 tenths of a second off the benchmark time just in the first sector alone.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Reserve Driver managed to hook up the best middle sector of the session in the rest of his lap, however the deficit was too large to make up, as he crossed the line 0.332s off the provisional best time set by teammate Aitken - with Russell currently in 3rd place.
At the very last moments of the session, Carlin's Sergio Sette Camara jumped to the top of the final sheets to claim his maiden pole position. Therefore Russell would start the first race of the weekend from 4th position on the grid, on the outside of the second row. Importantly, Russell will start two places ahead of his nearest championship rival Norris for the opening Budapest F2 race.
Tomorrow and Sunday's race is due to take place under conventional 'standing starts', following a clutch and engine fix by the FIA F2 organisers. This is after the last two events saw the field begin the race under 'rolling starts' behind the Safety Car.
The Feature Race begins tomorrow at 16:45 (GMT +2), shown live on Sky Sports F1 HD, following the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Session.
Photos: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2