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F2: Barcelona pole-sitter anticipates ‘interesting’ races after challenging qualifying

Barcelona is a more traditional race circuit on the F2 calendar but this year marks the championship’s first time in the new car

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Paul Aron secured pole position by 0.002 seconds in Qualifying for F2 and admitted that he anticipates the races to not be “straightforward” following the “challenges” of Qualifying.

Paul Aron drives on track during practice ahead of Round 6 Barcelona of the Formula 2 Championship. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Qualifying around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Round 6 of the 2024 Formula 2 Championship saw an incredibly close field. Paul Aron of Hitech-Pulse Eight took his maiden pole position in the series, but he was only 0.002 seconds ahead of Jak Crawford.

The competitiveness of this season’s F2 grid was evident in Qualifying with the top 19 drivers all setting a lap time within one second of each other. For Aron, he had yet to be in the top three of Qualifying, but this weekend he achieved that task, following a podium in the Feature Race last time out in Monaco. Currently, he leads the Drivers’ Championship by two points.

After Qualifying, FormulaNerds spoke to Aron about the two races ahead. We asked him just how challenging he anticipates the weekend to be, given how competitive the field was in Qualifying.

Don’t ‘underestimate the challenges of this qualifying’

When speaking to FormulaNerds, Aron spoke about the challenges of the Qualifying session. He said:

“Obviously, it’s a track that probably most drivers have done the most laps around. We had the test here, the teams have probably done the most laps around here.

“But I wouldn’t underestimate the challenges of this qualifying session because it was the first time this weekend we’ve been on the soft tyre and compared to the test we had a few months ago, it’s much warmer, the tyres are behaving a lot differently, it was very windy.

“In the end, we had two laps because the first lap on the set of tyres is clearly the quickest lap so we had the first one to get a banker and the second one to deliver. No matter how many laps you do if the conditions change like that then in the end it’s always going to be a challenge for the drivers and the fact that it was this close just shows how competitive Formula 2 is this season.”

‘I don’t think the races will be straightforward’

Aron continued speaking, looking ahead to the races and admitted that he anticipates a lot of action on track. The Estonian driver said:

“On the other hand, it will be our first time on this track this year with this car running in hot conditions so again the tyres will behave differently. I’m sure everyone in the team has an idea of what to do but in the end, the sprint race will be the first time we actually get any confirmation that what they planned works or doesn’t work.

“I think there’s still interesting races coming up. We know that Barcelona is a very evasive circuit so there will be some degradation and I think strategy will be key.

“I don’t think the races will be straightforward, I think there will be a lot of fighting and a lot of opportunities.”

For today’s F2 Sprint Race, Aron will start in P10 due to the reverse grid but will be on pole for Sunday’s Feature Race. With a championship lead and clearly the pace to succeed, the question is whether or not Aron can keep hold of P1 and create a big enough gap to take the victory?

Headline Image: GettyImages

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