Martins takes pole in red flagged F2 qualifying

Victor Martins took pole the F2 Feature race in Saudi Arabia

Victor Martins took pole the F2 Feature race in Saudi Arabia

Victor Martins has taken pole position for Sunday’s F2 Feature race in Saudi Arabia in a session twice interrupted by red flags.

The Frenchman ended qualifying 0.7s clear of Oliver Bearman to take the first F2 pole position of his career.

Little separated the next four drivers, with championship leader Theo Pourchaire just 0.001s slower than Bearman.

Fourth best was Jack Doohan, who was only 0.04s away from second, and then Jehan Daruvala who was a tantalising 0.001s back from the Australian in fifth.

In sixth, and just 0.05s away from Bearman, was Ayumu Iwasa in an intense qualifying session.

It was ultimately called early when Arthur Leclerc stopped at Turn 22 after brushing the wall earlier in the lap.

The Monegasque damaged the rear of his car and pulled off the circuit with two minutes remaining.

That drew the red flag and, with the session no restarted, confirmed the order.

Leclerc will start both the Sprint and Feature race from 13th as a consequence.

Earlier, Richard Verschoor drew the red flag when he came to a stop at Turn 22 after 12 minutes.

Once the session was resumed, Martins shot to the top of the timesheets.

Leclerc had a brief spell at the time of the standings before Martins improved as the session wore on, his time withstanding the challenge posed Bearman.

A key lap from Doohan elevated him up the order just prior to the red flag, which caught out Dennis Hauger who will start 15th.

Saturday’s Sprint race will see a reverse top 10, meaning Jak Crawford will start from pole, joined by Ralph Boschung on the front row.

Martins will then take pole on Sunday for the F2 feature race with Bearman alongside him.

The 20-lap Sprint race begins at 18:10 local time (02:10 AEDT Sunday).

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