The Carlin driver knocked Ayumu Iwasa off pole after the DAMS driver was unable to make it across the line for a fourth attempt, with the American beating his earlier time by 0.006s, setting a 1m43.871s.

It marks Sargeant’s second pole in three rounds, having taken his maiden pole position at Silverstone and sitting second in the standings after two consecutive feature race wins.

Iwasa settled for second after getting caught up in traffic after a late red flag, prompted by Prema Racing’s Dennis Hauger stopping on track with seven minutes left in the session.

A dash to the line ensued once the field emerged from the pits, with Felipe Drugovich initially topping the times, before Frederik Vesti shot up from 11th to the top spot.

Iwasa was next to go quickest, before Sargeant toppled him on the final attempt.

Clement Novalak was first out the pits at the start of the 30-minute session, leading MP Motorsport teammate Drugovich at his home race.

The Frenchman was first to set a representative time, with a 1m46.744s, before his teammate bettered him by a second.

Several others followed suit, with Juri Vips briefly top before Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan went fastest with a 1m44.953s, just 0.01s quicker than the Hitech driver.

The second runs saw purple sectors across the board, with Drugovich up to third place with a 1m45.100s as home favourite Theo Pourchaire took the top spot with a 1m44.941s.

The ART driver’s reign was short-lived though, as Sargeant improved to a 1m44.599s, having been fifth after the first attempts.

As the field pitted at the halfway mark, Drugovich languished in eighth place, with title rival Sargeant out front.

Enzo Fittipaldi was out of his car for Charouz having suffered a technical issue, ending his qualifying session early while running in seventh.

Hauger’s terminal issue came as the reigning FIA Formula 3 champion ran in 13th, having also had an issue in this morning’s practice session.

Following the red flag, Drugovich reclaimed the top spot, setting a 1m44.241s with a mighty final sector before he was toppled by Vesti, who was 0.2s quicker.

Pourchaire went second but was knocked down to sixth as the times tumbled, while Doohan tussled to get back across the line as the clock ran down.

Vesti settled for third, with the championship leader in fourth and Doohan, who had his second lap time deleted, in fifth. Pourchaire settled for sixth at his home race, with Vips behind him.

Jehan Daruvala will take reverse-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race, with Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong lining up in second and third respectively.

By admin