Spa F2: De Vries tops red-flagged qualifying

Nyck de Vries took pole position at Spa and extended his Formula 2 championship lead, after a late red flag thwarted a number of his rivals, including Nicholas Latifi.

Spa F2: De Vries tops red-flagged qualifying

Dutch driver de Vries was tipped to dominate after scoring a hat-trick of pole, fastest lap and victory last year at a weekend he calls his home race due to the proximity to Holland.

The ART Grand Prix driver was fastest in the first sector of the first group of flying runs, but just as most of the field worked through the second sector, Ferrari junior Callum Ilott ground to a halt with a throttle problem and brought out a red flag. It ended a six-round run of qualifying in the top 10 for the Sauber Junior Team driver. 

After the track improved and teams were able to make mid-session changes, De Vries delivered a lap a second quicker than his prior benchmark at the end of the session - before drama at Pouhon ruined a proper battle for pole. 

Juan Manuel Correa, Ralph Boschung and Sean Gelael all went off track on their flying efforts, and the red flag was waved once more with Gelael in the barrier.

DAMS’ Sergio Sette Camara made it through before the red flag to jump up to second, ahead of Jack Aitken and Nobuharu Matsushita – who appeared quick enough for pole but locked up at the penultimate corner – with Matsushita’s Carlin teammate Louis Deletraz rounding out the top five.  

Mick Schumacher – winner of the most recent F2 race in Hungary – and de Vries’s ART Grand Prix teammate Nikita Mazepin also made it through and took sixth and seventh ahead of MP Motorsport's Jordan King. 

But King was deemed to have not slowed down enough under a yellow flag and a three-place grid penalty was applied, meaning he will start 11th.

The Virtuosi Racing team’s tactic of running further back had worked well as top F2 rookie Guan Yu Zhou was third and less than a tenth behind de Vries after the first flying laps. 

But that running position meant they were caught out by the late red flag and Zhou was ninth, one spot ahead of his title-challenging teammate Luca Ghiotto. 

Williams Formula 1 junior Latifi said his car was “horrible” on the first run after suffering with understeer, and will start from 11th after being caught out by the red flag. He trails de Vries by 34 points with eight races remaining.

F2 rookie Marino Sato managed 17th in his first appearance with Campos Racing, the Euroformula Open title contender 2.8s off the pace.

Mahaveer Raghunathan (MP) had qualified 19th and 2.922s off the pace, but falls to 20th and the back of the grid after stewards deemed that he didn't slow down enough for a yellow flag.

Qualifying results:

shares
comments
Spa F2: De Vries sets blistering practice pace
Previous article

Spa F2: De Vries sets blistering practice pace

Next article

Spa F2 race cancelled after horrific accident

Spa F2 race cancelled after horrific accident
Load comments
What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum? Prime

What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum?

Having by his own admission "blown my chances" of reaching Formula 1, Dan Ticktum is facing an uncertain future. A driver of unquestioned ability who has at times been his own worst enemy, can he apply his lessons and rebuild his career hopes?

FIA F2
Sep 30, 2021
How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench Prime

How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench

Tipped as the next big thing after winning the FIA Formula 3 championship in his rookie season, Oscar Piastri has taken Formula 2 by storm and looks set to clinch that title too. But with no Formula 1 seat available to him for next year, the Alpine junior may have to wait for his time in the spotlight…

FIA F2
Sep 24, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Prime

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place on the F1 grid

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Prime

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books Prime

How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype.

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Prime

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends.

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021