Heart-stopping pole position for Leclerc, F2 championship leader

Roberto Merhi and Sergio Canamasas classified 15th and 19th fastest

Formula 1

Charles Leclerc (Prema Racing) shone at the Formula 2 opening act today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Prema Racing Monaco driver blitzed the morning free practice and claimed pole position in the afternoon, clear of Italian Luca Guiotto (Russian Time) and France’s Nyck de Vries (Rapax). Local drivers Roberto Merhi (Campos Racing) and Sergio Canamasas (Trident) will start from the back of the grid after finishing 15th and 19th fastest.

Leclerc seems to have found his sweet spot, and the reigning GP3 champion is now lording over the revamped F2 series. After clinching pole position in the Bahrain season opener and moving on to the top of the podium of one of two the races, this established upcomer in the Ferrari feeder team was the fastest man at the Catalan track today on 1:29.285, after ousting Luca Guiotto – who was watching in dismay from the pit wall- from the top of the provisional standings on the very final lap, right under the chequered flag.

The Russian Time Italian driver was rightly disappointed, as he had kept the practice under his grip with a flying 1:29.478 lap. In the dying minutes of the session, the practice was stopped when Nabil Jeffri’s car broke down. The red flag caught many drivers off-guard and without much room for manoeuvre. But Leclerc steeled his nerves and clinched his second back to back pole position right down to the wire.

Local drivers sunk down on the grid. Former F1 Roberto Merhi (Campos Racing) is making his debut in this series with a modest 15th place finish (1:30.389), while Barcelona driver Sergio Canamasas (Trident) settled for 19th fastest and now owns the penultimate spot on the starting grid with a 1:31.148 fastest lap.

All these young talented drivers aspiring to a F1 wheel will stage the first weekend race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, scheduled for tomorrow at 3.40pm. Their battle will develop over 37 thrilling laps and will showcase their talents to motorsports lovers in an surely exciting show.

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