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Doriane Pin takes dominant double pole position in Jeddah

Updated: Mar 8

Doriane Pin secured the first two F1 Academy pole positions of the season with an utterly dominant display in the Jeddah Corniche night; only Abbi Pulling was able to fight at the top, but eventually had to settle for second, ahead of Ferrari's Maya Weug.


Doriane Pin, Prema Racing, F1 Academy
Photo courtesy: Prema Racing

When the lights went down, the adrenaline went up for the first F1 Academy qualifying session of the season: after a dominant performance, Iron Dame and Mercedes AMG junior Doriane Pin converted her practice pace into two pole positions, almost eight tenths clear of her closest competitor - Alpine Academy's Abbi Pulling, who was the only driver able to challenge the French star in between runs.


Pin had launched the second ever F1 Academy season earlier today by setting the pace in practice, having recorded a faster lap than Pulling's top time from pre-season testing.

With a different qualifying format to last year - which now sees only one 30 minute session setting the grids for both race 1 and 2, based on the fastest and second fastest time from each driver - the 16 young women hit the track at 9.30 pm local on very different conditions compared to the earlier practice, contested at 2pm.


Everyone went out on new tyres - and it would be practice pace setter Doriane Pin to record the first representative time, although barely a tenth ahead of Bianca Bustamante, who had scraped the wall in practice and therefore not shown her full potential in the previous 40 minute session. Abbi Pulling has been one of the fastest drivers around the 6.174 km Jeddah street circuit - and the Alpine junior improved by almost a second to slot into the provisional pole, ahead of series rookie Tina Hausmann.


Pin went purple in all sectors and clocked the new fastest lap of the weekend, in 2:04.599. Aurelia Nobels had a strong lap and moved up to fourth at the ten minute mark.


Midway through the session Abbi Pulling almost matched Pin's benchmark, but a lock-up in sector three cost her three tenths of a second. Rodin Motorsport's teammate Jessica Edgar made a good improvement and climbed to third, demoting Hausmann, Nobels abd Block.

With 14 minutes to go, the Campos drivers Marti, Chambers and Schreiner ventured out for their first timed lap, but would only just get within the top ten. Nerea and Chloe's second laps, though, were good enough for third and fourth.


The MP Motorsport-Red Bull sponsored cars, on the other hand, struggled to climb the order with all three drivers.


Lovinfosse again showed great speed after a highly positive practice and went up into fourth - before Maya Weug recorded her first clean lap of the session which put her second. With a stellar lap, though, Prema teammate Doriane Pin obliterated the previous benchmark and, with a 2:03.472, she was over one second clear of everyone.


Abbi Pulling almost matched Weug, but would still have to find 1.1 second to worry Pin. Pulling did find almost four tenths and moved up to second, but no one could get closer to Doriane Pin, whose hands were firmly on the first two F1 Academy pole positions of the season, having also secured the second-fastest lap.


Pulling's 2:04.257 was good enough for second place, three tenths ahead of Maya Weug - who had a lap deleted for crossing the pit entry line. The same fate awaited Lia Block, who still ended a spectacular seventh fastest.


Nerea Marti will line up from the second row of the grid in the Tommy Hilfiger sponsored machine; Bianca Bustamante put together a fast lap at the end of the session to move into fifth place and will be joined on the third row by Lola Lovinfosse.


An all American fourth row will see Lia Block and Chloe Chambers ub seventh and eighth, ahead of Aurelia Nobels - in a highly promising performance - and Jessica Edgar. Tina Hausmann had fast first and second sectors, but missed a few tenths in the third one in order to improve on eleventh place in her first F1 Academy qualifying.


Race winners Carrie Schreiner and Hamda Al Qubaisi - who has battled with a few technical issues since testing - will have to settle for P12 and P13 respectively. A great effort for wild card entry Reema Juffali - the first ever female Saudi professional racing driver - resulted in a 2:06.112 for the home hero, who will start from P14 in race 1. Amna Al Qubaisi and Emely de Heus will share the final row of the grid, in a rough session for MP Motorsport.


In race 2, the biggest changes will see Lola Lovinfosse gaining two places and starting from fourth, ahead of Nerea Marti and Chloe Chambers, who also will line up two places ahead of her race 1 starting grid. Tina Hausmann's second best lap was good enough for seventh - and Aurelia Nobels will also climb to eighth. Jessica Edgar gains a position, while Bianca Bustamante drops from fifth to tenth.


Sauber Academy's Schreiner will be starting from P11, with Hamda Al Qubaisi moving up one place for race 2. Lia Block's deleted lap in the closing stages means that the American will have to recover from 13th, as positions behind remain unchanged.


Race 1 is scheduled for Friday at 15:10 local time.


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