Alexander Albon claimed his maiden Formula 2 pole position for the Azerbaijan feature race, beating championship leader Lando Norris to the fastest time in a red-flagged qualifying session in Baku. 

Albon, who initially joined DAMS for the opening round in Bahrain, left it late to snatch pole with a 1m54.480s to finish 0.2s clear of Carlin’s Norris, who completed the front-row. 

British driver George Russell was a further 0.1s back in third place to lead ART Grand Prix's charge, ahead of Luca Ghiotto’s Campos and Haas F1 development driver Santino Ferrucci, who surged to fifth in the closing stages for Trident. 

Carlin’s Serge Sette Camara was the morning pacesetter in practice and will line up from sixth on the grid, having set a time fractionally quicker than the ART of Jack Aitken. 

Arjun Maini recovered from an early spin to post the eighth quickest time, with Prema’s Nyck de Vries ninth quickest and 1.2s off the pace of pole sitter Albon, as MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung rounded out the top 10. 

Maximilian Gunther - who claimed a maiden F2 podium with second place in the Bahrain sprint race - brought out the red flags five minutes into the session when his Arden appeared to cut-out leaving the pit lane, but the German recovered to set the 11th fastest time. 

Tadasuke Makino was the fastest Russian Time driver in 12th, ahead of former Manor F1 driver Roberto Merhi, while Antonio Fuoco got the better of Charouz Racing System teammate Louis Deletraz for 14th place. 

Honda F1 protege Nirei Fukuzimi was unable to match his Arden teammate’s pace as he ended up a low-key 16th, ahead of Sean Gelael’s Prema and Russian Time’s Artem Markelov. 

The Russian driver, who staged a stunning comeback drive to the podium at the opening round of the season before winning the sprint race in Bahrain, could only manage the 18th-quickest time as he struggled in Baku, finishing over three seconds off the pace. 

Roy Nissany was 19th ahead of Nicholas Latifi, who had a session to forget for DAMS, as the French squad ended up at the top and bottom of the timesheets. The Canadian spun at Turn 7 in the final moments and brought out the red flags, ensuring teammate Albon secured pole. 

 

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