Matsushita takes first F2 pole, Leclerc P7
|2.||N. de Vries||1:31.071|
1 September 2017 – Nobuharu Matsushita ended Charles Leclerc's dominance of Formula 2 qualifying as he captured his maiden series pole at Monza.
Matsushita, just five days after he suffered a high-speed crash at Spa-Francorchamps, posted a time of 1:30.982 early in the session to finish almost a tenth clear of Racing Engineering's Nyck de Vries.
Title leader Leclerc, who had topped each of the previous eight qualifying sessions, was left only seventh, in a session disrupted by two red flags.
Nabil Jeffri spun and stalled at Rettifilo before Trident team-mate Santino Ferrucci stopped exiting Roggia; Leclerc posted a lap between the stoppages, but it was quick enough for just seventh.
Rapax's Louis Delétraz captured his best qualifying result as he took third, while practice pace-setter Artem Markelov was fourth for Russian Time.
Roberto Merhi and Jordan King edged ahead of Leclerc prior to the final red flag, while Antonio Fuoco backed up his Prema team-mate in eighth.
Ferrucci and Alexander Albon rounded out the top 10 while DAMS struggled; Oliver Rowland went across a kerb early on and slumped to 13th, with Nicholas Latifi a lowly 15th.
Leclerc, who leads the standings by 59 points, will clinch the title if he departs Monza with a 96-point advantage.
Saturday's 30-lap Feature Race will begin at 16:00 local time