top of page

F2: Bortoleto secures pole in track-limit-filled qualifying session

Written by Caitlyn Gordon, Edited by Sean McKean

Credit: Formula 2

After a month-long interval, F2 returns for its fourth round in Imola. Heading into the weekend Zane Maloney leads the standings with 62 points after securing three podiums including two victories. The “Boy from Barbados” has had a stellar start to his 2024 campaign, dominating in a series of races in Bahrain. Behind him sits Paul Aron with 47 points, followed closely by Dennis Hauger, who is just six points behind and rounds out the top three. 

Before qualifying, practice unfolded around the three-mile (four-kilometre) circuit, with Paul Aron topping the sheets with a 1:28.852. The session was brought to an early close after a red flag was flown due to Oliver Bearman sliding off the track and into the barriers at the Tamburello Chicane. 

The incident hindered Richard Verschoor, who lost his fastest time and finished the session in 19th. Gabriel Bortoleto put in an impressive lap of 1:28.923, slotting himself into second, with Zane Maloney clocking in a time of just 0.008s behind Bortoleto to round out the top three.

How qualifying unfolded

As the sun blazed down on the track, the 22 drivers set about bringing heat to their tyres and brakes before the first set of flying laps started to appear on the board, with Maloney setting the initial lap. Behind the first couple of drivers who crossed the line, Martí caught the curb, spun off the track, and onto the grass - though, the Spaniard left the scene unscathed. 

Martí spins off in the opening minutes - Credits: Formula 2

The next fastest lap came from Bortoleto with a 1:28.044, Hadjar only two-tenths off his time. Maloney, looking to grab his second pole of the season, was gliding around the circuit and as he crossed the line first. 

It wasn’t long before Bortoleto came flying back round and took the first place once again out of Maloney’s hands.

A yellow flag was briefly shown for Colapinto, who ran onto the gravel and hit the barriers. Though, the Argentianian was able to keep his engine running and escaped with little damage.

After their recent acquisition, AIX Racing (formerly PHM Racing) was running at the top of the field with both of its drivers sitting in fourth and fifth respectively with 17 minutes to go. The rest of the grid retreated to the pits to await their final laps.

Track limits were becoming an issue, with Colapinto and Crawford being the only two drivers yet to set a time on the board. This wouldn’t be the last time in the session where track limits would catch drivers out.

With 10 minutes on the clock, the drivers once again headed out, with several setting purple sectors. Antonelli crossed the line first and bounced to the top of the timings. However, just a couple of seconds later, his teammate snatched the provisional pole out from under his wheels.

Bortoleto crosses the line and to secure pole - Credit: Formula 2

As time counted down and with four minutes to go, Hadjar was flying around the circuit, setting personal bests, though he made no improvements after crossing the line and secured second place. 

Bortoleto wasn’t letting go of pole position and, after dominating throughout, the Brazilian crossed the line with a 1:27.056, grabbing pole position and pushing Bearman into second and Hadjar into third.

Track limits then began to hit the grid, with the Prema pair having their lap time deleted and dropping down to 16th and 18th respectively. 

After appealing to the stewards, their laps were later reinstated, with the pair returning to second and fourth. Aron, Colapinto, and Cordeel were the other three drivers to be hit with track limits but were reinstated as well.

Crawford, who didn’t head out onto the track until the final minutes, could only muster a 21st after suffering from engine issues.

The grid will be reversed for Saturday’s sprint race with Cordeel starting on pole, with Colapinto and Aron just behind him.

Final Classification:

  1. Gabriel Bortoleto

  2. Oliver Bearman

  3. Isack Hadjar

  4. Andrea Kimi Antonelli

  5. Joshua Dürksen

  6. Zane Maloney

  7. Roman Stanêk

  8. Paul Aron

  9. Franco Colapinto

  10. Amaury Cordeel

  11. Enzo Fittipaldi

  12. Taylor Barnard

  13. Dennis Hauger

  14. Pepe Martí

  15. Richard Verschoor

  16. Ritomo Miyata

  17. Kush Maini

  18. Zak O'Sullivan

  19. Rafael Villagómez

  20. Juan Manuel Correa

  21. Jak Crawford

  22. Victor Martins


bottom of page