Russell takes third F2 Pole Position in a Row at Silverstone
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One Reserve Driver George Russell took his third FIA Formula 2 pole position in a row at Silverstone. The Briton will start his 'home' race from the front of the grid after setting the fastest time for the third time, in as many weeks.
Russell headed into the Silverstone weekend, the third round in three weeks in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, leading the championship following a brilliant round at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
The BRDC Superstar carried this momentum forward into the Free Practice session earlier today, ran exclusively on the 'Hard' Pirelli tyre compound. Russell set the fastest time by 0.7s over his nearest challenger, signalling strong one-lap and race pace in the 45-minute session.
Into Qualifying, now on the 'Soft' compound Pirelli tyres, Russell set the pace after the opening runs with a 1:40.706s lap time - heading the field by a couple of tenths after each driver completed their initial fast laps. The ART GP driver managed to have another attempt, following a cool down lap - where he further lowered his benchmark time by one tenth of a second to a 1:40.606s, before pulling into the pits for a tyre and setup change.
The session was halted for a red flag, with Campos Racing's Roy Nissany stopped on track. When the action got back underway, Charouz Racing System's driver Antonio Fuoco took advantage of 'running in the gap' and the clear track, setting a lap which was strong enough to usurp Russell's fastest time by three tenths of a second with 15-minutes of the session left to go.
With all drivers on
track for a final attempt on new tyres, Russell hooked up a stellar lap to become
the only driver so far to dip under the 1m40s time barrier, posting a 1:39.989s
lap. His rivals came close, with DAMS driver Alexander Albon running Russell
within 0.076s in 2nd position.
Some driver's attempted to have another attempt, however no one was able to improve - meaning Russell took pole position once again, this time in front of his 'home' crowd.
This is Russell's third pole in as many races, making it a clean sweep in Qualifying over the course of the 'Triple Header Weekend.
The 29-lap Feature Race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 HD at 15:45 (GMT+1) tomorrow. Russell will lead the field away in tomorrow's first race of the weekend, which will once again be started via a 'rolling start' under the Safety Car, the same scenario used in the Red Bull Ring last week.
Russell currently leads the FIA F2 Championship on 136 points, gaining a further 4 points for taking pole position in today's Qualifying session - with the perfect chance to extend his championship lead tomorrow in-front of his 'home' fans.
Photos: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2