Iwasa beats DAMS team mate Nissany to Yas Marina pole · RaceFans

Ayumu Iwasa snatched a surprise pole position from DAMS team mate Roy Nissany to top the final qualifying session of the Formula 2 season at the Yas Marina circuit.

Despite not troubling the top of the times throughout much of the half-hour session, Iwasa’s final lap saw him beat team mate Nissany by less than five-hundredths of a second before a red flag effectively ended the session. Theo Pourchaire took third on the grid for Sunday’s feature race ahead of champion Felipe Drugovich.

With qualifying taking place immediately after the conclusion of the opening F1 practice session, Drugovich was one of three drivers who climbed out of the cars they had been lent for the first F1 practice an immediately jumped back into their Formula 2 machines for qualifying. The other two were Liam Lawson and Jack Doohan.

When the session began, Pourchaire set the initial benchmark time with a 1’37.145, which could not be matched by Juri Vips, Lawson and Jehan Daruvala. Doohan jumped to the top of the times with a 1’36.677 only seconds before his Virtuosi team mate Marino Sato lost control of his car entering turn 13, spinning into the barriers. That brought out the red flags while Sato’s car was recovered.

The session eventually resumed with just over 23 minutes of time remaining. Pourchaire improved on his second flying lap by two tenths of a second, but remained in second place behind Doohan. Daruvala also improved to move into third, with Dennis Hauger taking fourth place.

With around 15 minutes of time remaining, the track fell silent. It was only until just over 10 minutes were left that the drivers began peeling out of the pit lane and back onto the circuit as the sun slowly began to set over the Yas Marina circuit.

Sitting in sixth place, champion Drugovich was one of the first drivers to commence another flying lap. He successfully went quickest after a strong final sector, but he was immediately beaten by Pourchaire, who took provisional pole by almost two tenths from Drugovich. Logan Sargeant then grabbed a provisional spot on the front row start by improving to second place, while Doohan threw away an opportunity to take back pole by brushing the wall on the exit of turn 14.

In the final minutes, Drugovich improved on his final flying lap to move ahead of Sargeant into second place before, suddenly, DAMS driver Roy Nissany leapt up into pole position, narrowly beating Pourchaire’s pole time. DAMS’ excitement doubled when Nissany’s team mate Iwasa went even quicker, taking pole position by 0.036 seconds.

Debutante Zane Maloney then spun at the hairpin of turn nine on his final lap, stopping on the outside run off and triggering a red flag. With only seconds remaining, the interruption effectively ended the session and ensured an all-DAMS front row for Sunday’s feature race.

Pourchaire took third on the feature race grid, ahead of Drugovich, Doohan and Sargeant in sixth. Richard Verschoor will start on pole position for Saturday’s reversed-grid sprint race, with Lawson lining up alongside him.

Juan Manuel Correa took 18th on the grid for his return to F2 with HWA, one place ahead of Maloney.

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Formula 2 Yas Marina qualifying results

Position Car Driver Team
1 17 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS
2 16 Roy Nissany DAMS
3 10 Theo Pourchaire ART
4 11 Felipe Drugovich MP
5 3 Jack Doohan Virtuosi
6 6 Logan Sargeant Carlin
7 1 Dennis Hauger Prema
8 25 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort
9 5 Liam Lawson Carlin
10 20 Richard Verschoor Trident
11 7 Marcus Armstrong Hitech
12 2 Jehan Daruvala Prema
13 22 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz
14 15 Ralph Boschung Campos
15 8 Juri Vips Hitech
16 9 Frederik Vesti ART
17 12 Clement Novalak MP
18 24 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort
19 21 Zane Maloney Trident
20 14 Olli Caldwell Campos
21 23 Tatiana Calderon Charouz
22 Marino Sato Virtuosi

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