Liam Lawson qualified sixth in the first Formula 2 qualifying of the year in Bahrain, while fellow Kiwi Marcus Armstrong was outside the top ten.
Armstrong starts both of the weekend’s races from 13th.
Meanwhile, Lawson will start fifth in the earlier sprint race due to the reverse top-ten format. He will then start sixth for the feature race.
Both Kiwis were quick in the day’s practice session. Armstrong was fifth, and Lawson was seventh-fastest.
However, qualifying was held at night with much cooler track conditions, so practice speed can often be redundant.
In fact, the fastest time in practice was four seconds slower than Jack Doohan’s pole position lap in qualifying.
For Doohan, it is his first F2 pole. The young Australian only made the jump from F3 to the second-tier series late last year.
“I had the confidence, I had the faith,” he said.
Doohan will start Sunday’s feature race alongside Theo Pourchaire.
“Congrats to Jack for the pole,” he said. “He did an amazing job.”
Armstrong’s teammate Juri Vips was third, with Lawson’s teammate Logan Sargeant joining him on the second row.
F2’s first race of the year starts at 5.40 am NZT on Sunday.
F2 Qualifying Results: