Carlin’s Yuki Tsunoda will line up on pole position for Saturday’s Formula 2 feature race at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Japanese driver continued his impressive practice pace as he managed to fend off Nikita Mazepin for top spot and an extra four championship points.

Qualifying was halted midway through the opening runs with Guilherme Samaia’s Campos stopping out on track, with fire blazing out of the back of his car.

This resulted in the first red flag period but there was soon another stoppage because the FIA wasn’t happy with the positioning of a recovery vehicle on the circuit.

Once the session got underway again Tsunoda surged to the top of the time-sheets ahead of Mick Schumacher and points leader Callum Ilott.

It all changed on the final runs, however, with Mazepin moving two-tenths clear of Tsuonda but the Honda-backed junior managed to respond with a 1m57.593s to take pole by 0.128s.

MP Motorsport’s Nobuharu Matsushita and Felipe Drugovich came alive in the dying moments, sandwiching championship contender Robert Shwartzman for third and fifth place.

Shwartzman will be happy to qualify fourth with main title rival Ilott down in 12th - the first time in 2020 the British driver has qualified outside of the top three.

Guanyu Zhou will start sixth ahead of the second Prema car of Mick Schumacher.

Louis Deletraz could only manage eighth having been inside the top five for much of the session, while Jehan Daruvala and Luca Ghiotto rounded out the top ten.

After missing practice due to an inconclusive COVID-19 test - he tested negative in his second test meaning he could take part in qualifying - Ticktum was 14th.

On his Formula 2 debut, Red Bull junior Juri Vips will line up last after stopping out on track in the early stages of the session.

The Estonian replaced Sean Gelael for this weekend after he suffered a broken vertebra last time out in Barcelona.

 

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