Jack Doohan delivered a storming early lap to claim his maiden F2 pole position ahead of Theo Pourchaire and Juri Vips for the main race in Bahrain.
The session started with an immediate red flag as the Red Bull-backed Ayumu Iwasa spun his DAMS into the gravel at turn three, sending the field back to the pits with less than a minute elapsed.
Upon the resumption and as lap times started to come in, there was a near-miss between Vips and Dennis Hauger as the latter cut across the front of his rival while trying to enter the pits.
The first foray of flying laps then saw the Van Amersfoort of Jake Hughes set the initial pace ahead of the MP Motorsport of Felipe Drugovich before Doohan made the most of clear air in the mid-part of the session to go over half a second faster.
With the field returning to the track for their second runs, the Hitech of Vips purpled the first sector but a loss of time in the middle saw him fall short of Doohan's time by two-tenths of a second.
ART driver Pourchaire also came close to Doohan's time after, too, set a purple first sector, but like Vips he also could not do enough to deny the Virtuosi driver his pole.
With the 10th fastest time, Drugovich will begin tomorrow's sprint race from reverse-grid pole.
F2 qualifying results
1. Jack Doohan [Virtuosi] 1:40.542
2. Theo Pourchaire [ART Grand Prix] +0.141
3. Juri Vips [Hitech] +0.213
4. Logan Sargeant [Carlin] +0.218
5. Ralph Boschung [Campos] +0.458
6. Liam Lawson [Carlin] +0.558
7. Jehan Daruvala [PREMA] +0.573
8. Jake Hughes [Van Amersfoort] +0.579
9. Richard Verschoor [Trident] +0.636
10. Felipe Drugovich [MP Motorsport] +0.668
11. Roy Nissany [DAMS] +0.676
12. Calan Williams [Trident] +0.771
13. Marcus Armstrong [Hitech] +0.812
14. Marino Sato [Virtuosi] +0.832
15. Dennis Hauger [PREMA] +0.967
16. Enzo Fittipaldi [Charouz] +0.987
17. Olli Caldwell [Campos] +1.210
18. Clement Novalak [MP Motorsport] +1.323
19. Frederik Vesti [ART Grand Prix] +1.541
20. Cem Bolukbasi [Charouz] +1.547
21. Amaury Cordeel [Van Amersfoort] +2.338
22. Ayumu Iwasa [DAMS] No time