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The F2 cars on track in Hungary.

F2 Qualifying Results: Hungary

A tough fought battle for pole position went the way of the Invicta Virtuosi driver

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Jack Doohan takes his first pole position of the season at the Hungaroring, beating out the Championship leaders. 

Jack Doohan on track at the Hungaroring
Jack Doohan picked up his first pole position of the 2023 season. (Image credit: Formula 2 on Twitter)

Ayumu Iwasa kicked off the race weekend by establishing himself as the early pace-setter. The DAMS driver topped the timesheets in Friday’s free practice, though was closely matched by Championship leader Frederik Vesti for much of the session. Victor Martins, who took his first feature race victory in Silverstone last round, went third fastest overall.

Pourchaire and Martins will seek to take the battle to PREMA this weekend, as ART Grand Prix continue to steadily creep up on the Italian racing team. PREMA currently lead the Teams’ Standings by just six points.

Session begins

The 30-minute qualifying session got underway as the drivers took to the track. They eased their way around the circuit on their out laps, getting to grips with a circuit tampered by residual dampness from Friday’s earlier downpour.

Frederik Vesti set the initial benchmark, putting in a time of 1:28.334. Two-tenths back from Vesti was Jack Doohan, who in turn was two-tenths up on Victor Martins.

The drivers began to improve their early lap times, re-shuffling the standings. PREMA’s Frederik Vesti remained on top, improving on his previous time by a hefty margin. A time of 1:27.931 became the standard to beat. Martins came closest, but still couldn’t quite better Vesti’s time, remaining a tenth back.

Red flag

Just over ten minutes into the session, Trident’s Roman Stanek went off into the barriers at the exit of turn 11, bringing out the red flags. It wasn’t too long before the session got back underway, putting to bed any fears that rain would strike before qualifying could continue.

Jack Doohan was one of the first to get back out on track, a strong sector 2 boosting him up into P3. With twelve minutes left on the clock, the majority of the grid took to the circuit once again. Down in P6, Ayumu Iwasa began to chase an improved lap time, looking to close the half-second gap between himself and Vesti.

Ten minutes remaining…

An untidy lap by Iwasa only put the DAMS driver as high as P5. Theo Pourchaire took provisional pole, but his hold on the position was fleeting. Frederik Vesti was quick to improve, pipping Pourchaire by almost two-tenths to reclaim the top position. Daruvala put in a strong lap, leaping up to P5.

Ahead of Daruvala sat Bearman, who was three-tenths off of teammate Vesti’s time. A much stronger lap from Iwasa promoted him to P4, jumping ahead of Daruvala and Bearman. Victor Martins was next to put in a rapid lap, taking provisional pole. But Martins soon lost out to an emergent Jack Doohan, who improved on the ART driver’s time by 0.052s.

Final push

With just a minute left on the clock, Theo Pourchaire set out on a final attempt to take pole position, but was soon forced to abort the lap. Teammate Victor Martins continued to push too, but couldn’t take pole from the grasp of Jack Doohan.

The Invicta Virtuosi driver continued on another lap, improving on his previous lap time. There was little need for it, though — pole position was well and truly his. Martins narrowly missed out on pole, finishing five hundredths behind Doohan. Kush Maini, who qualified P10, will start tomorrow’s sprint race on reverse pole.

Full results can be found here.

Featured Image Credit: Formula 2 on Twitter

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