Honda Formula 1 Nobuharu Matsushita delivered a stunning pole position for the Formula 2 race in Baku after an epic battle with Nyck de Vries and Luca Ghiotto, ONA reports citing Autosport.
Almost immediately after the session had started, Sean Gelael stopped on track at Turn 7 with a car issue. Marshals helped him to get back underway but those pushing the rear of the car were hit as Gelael got going again. Once back at the pits, he was unable to continue and had to watch from the Prema Racing pitwall. After the first set of rapid runs were complete with around 12 minutes to go, Virtuosi Racing's Ghiotto headed de Vries of ART Grand Prix and Matsushita as drivers pitted for the usual mid-session debrief. The action continued with just over seven minutes remaining and the drivers all fighting for clear track as the whole field joined the street circuit together.
Matsushita - returning to the series after a year in Super Formula - delivered a rapid lap with just over a minute to spare as ex-Carlin driver Lando Norris watched on. It is his second F2 pole after Monza 2017.
It was good enough for a large 0.4s gap over de Vries, while Ghiotto's struggle in the middle sector means he will start third after taking pole in the season opener in Bahrain.