Mercedes junior destroys opposition to secure stunning pole in Saudi Arabia

Sam Cooper
Mercedes junior Doriane Pin with Lewis Hamilton

Doriane Pin will start on pole for the first F1 Academy race of the season.

Mercedes junior Doriane Pin has set an early benchmark in the F1 Academy as she finished seven tenths ahead of any other driver in qualifying.

F1 Academy gets underway this weekend with the series running alongside F1 and Pin has set her stall out as an early title contender.

Mercedes junior Doriane Pin sets blistering pole

The junior series this year sees each F1 team support at least one driver and Mercedes have opted for 20-year-old Frenchwoman Pin for the season ahead.

That decision already looks a wise one with Pin finishing on pole by 0.7 seconds over Alpine’s Abbi Pulling in Jeddah.

Ferrari’s Maya Weug was in third but a second behind leader Pin ahead of the first race on Friday.

After she joined the SIlver Arrows in January, team boss Toto Wolff described Pin as “an exciting talent.”

“Doriane is an exciting talent and we’re pleased to begin our participation in F1 Academy with her as our chosen driver,” he said. “We have kept a close eye on her development in recent years as she has consistently impressed.

“The fantastic support of Deborah Mayer and the Iron Dames organisation has enabled her to display her abilities to this point; she has taken full advantage of that opportunity with determination and skill.

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“We now look forward to working in conjunction with Iron Dames, PREMA Racing, and F1 Academy, to support Doriane as she takes the next step in her career.”

Meanwhile in F2, Mercedes’ other highly-rated prospect Kimi Antonelli finished sixth in qualifying while team-mate Oliver Bearman took pole.

Both Mercedes’ juniors will be in action on Friday with the Academy race at 11.55am GMT before the F2 sprint race beginning at 3:05pm GMT.

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