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RECAP: Piastri claims Jeddah pole over Shwartzman

Oscar Piastri claimed pole position for the first F2 round in Saudi Arabia, his teammate Robert Shwartzman following behind.

A slightly delayed qualifying session commenced under the floodlights to decide the grid for F2’s first Sprint Race tomorrow.

The first runs of the session saw the Prema duo of Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri leading the way. Ralph Boschung was the next quickest after the first flying laps for Campos Racing.

Theo Pourchaire initially went 4th quickest, 7 tenths from the top of the sheets. However, the Frenchman managed to discover a chunk of time the next run. Subsequently, he knocked Shwartzman off the top with a 1:41.364.

Shwartzman wasted no time to respond. The Russian re-claimed provisional pole position by just 3 hundredths of a second over Pourchaire.

Meanwhile, Piastri’s championship rival Guanyu Zhou sat in P9, unable to find his way into the 1:41 times.

After a short moment of inactivity on-track, the field left the pits again with under 10 minutes left to go. Shwartzman was in possession of the provisional pole as drivers weaved their way around one another on a busy circuit to start their next flying lap.

Many drivers struggled to improve from their previous laps, with Zhou and Boschung as two exceptions. Zhou leaped up to P3, only a tenth and a half off pole position. Meanwhile, Boschung improved ahead of Piastri, relegating the Australian to P5.

However, the drivers refused to give in and managed to start improving during their next flying laps. Zhou improved to P2, but only to be brought back down to P3 after Pourchaire claimed P1. Piastri increased the fastest time further, stealing P1 from Pourchaire in the final minute.

Shwartzman gave his all to beat his teammate during his final run but lost out by 0.165 seconds on his first F2 pole. Piastri emerged the quickest of them all to claim his 4th pole of the season, with rival Zhou losing out in P6.

The top 10 of the Formula 2 qualifying in Saudi Arabia:

1Oscar PiastriPREMA1:40.878
2Robert ShwartzmanPREMA+0.165
3Theo PourchaireART+0.340
4Christian LundgaardART+0.419
5Felipe DrugovichUNI-Virtuosi+0.424
6Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi+0.472
7Ralph BoschungCampos+0.654
8Juri VipsHitech GP+0.732
9Marcus ArmstrongDAMS+0.740
10Liam LawsonHitech GP+0.741

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