Jehan Daruvala opened qualifying with a 1.29.512, putting three tenths ahead of MP Motorsport’s Clément Novalak and Van Amersfoort’s Jake Hughes. Al jumped into second after ten minutes and then continued to close on Daruvala.
Richard Verschoor decided among others no longer synchronized and only look for the asphalt after the first descents. Together with Felipe Drugovich and three other drivers, the Dutchman had the track to himself. On his first attempt, the Trident rider jumped to 12th fastest while Jack Doohan settled into P1 by 0.043s over Drugovich. In the meantime, however, Daruvala was also driving purple sector times again and moved up by more than two tenths to provisional pole position.
With fifteen minutes to go, Verschoor was pushed back to fourteenth on all sorts of improvements. The Dutchman’s second attempt wasn’t good enough to improve positions. World Cup leader Théo Pourchaire was tenth for a long time, giving him pole position for the F2 sprint race.
Nine minutes before the end, many drivers returned to the tarmac with almost empty tanks. The last few attempts were plenty of fast sector times, with Doohan taking over first, followed by Frederik Vesti and Daruvala. Verschoor again decided to hit the track later than the other drivers. Meanwhile, Pourchaire was severely hampered in the first corner, pinning him in P6.
Doohan eventually clinched pole position for Sunday’s F2 feature race, followed by Red Bull junior Juri Vips, who had entered first F1 practice the previous Friday, Frederik Vesti, Daruvala and Logan Sargeant. Verschoor couldn’t improve his time and will start the sprint race on Saturday from 20th place. For Drugovich, the tenth time means that he can start for the Dutch MP Motorsport team in the F2 sprint race on Saturday.
The sprint race on the Spanish circuit starts at 5.40 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.