Marcus Armstrong will start from the second row for the inaugural FIA Formula 2 feature race from Mugello as the young Kiwi showed a strong turn in pace after a disappointing string of races.
Armstrong was even sat provisionally on pole position after the opening times of the 30-minute session were set, leading ART teammate Christian Lundgaard.
Ultimately, the Dane would better his efforts to elevate himself ahead of Armstrong and at the chequered flag he found himself at the head of the timesheets to score his maiden F2 pole position.
Dan Ticktum will start alongside the ART in second with championship leader Callum Ilott starting from third. Williams F1 development driver Ticktum had never previously qualified higher than fourth place and fell agonisingly short of Lundgaard’s time by just 0.005s.
Armstrong ended up fourth quickest in his best qualifying performance of the year and his first top-10 start in a dry session.
The Kiwi was only 15th in free practice but his qualifying pace suggests ART may have finally gotten atop of their setup woes which has hindered Armstrong every weekend since Austria.
Felipe Drugovich claimed fifth while Jehan Daruvala was a surprise sixth as he comfortably out-qualified his title-fighting Carlin team-mate Yuki Tsunoda by five places.
Mick Schumacher suffered a tumultuous session at Ferrari’s home circuit when he ran wide the tricky right-hander in the final sector which resulted in a spin. The German would set a time after repairs to the consequent damage but he would only end up a frustrating 15th.
His Prema teammate and former Toyota Racing Series champion Robert Shwartzman fared little better sitting in 14th for most of the session. He would eventually improve his time to grab ninth.