Alpine Formula 1 junior Guanyu Zhou set the fastest time during qualifying for Bahrain’s Formula 2 opener but is under investigation for allegedly taking the chequered flag twice.
UNI-Virtuosi driver Zhou snatched pole from fellow Alpine protege Christian Lundgaard by just 0.003s in the final moments of qualifying.
Felipe Drugovich and Dan Ticktum were third and fourth ahead of Juri Vips, Richard Verschoor, Jehan Daruvala, Oscar Piastri and Liam Lawson.
David Beckmann qualified 10th, which means he is set to start Sprint Race 1 from pole position, under the revised weekend format.
Theo Pourchaire was 11th while pre-season favourite Robert Shwartzman was only 12th after his Prema-run car ground to a halt shortly before the field began their final push laps.
The first F2 race of the campaign begins at 13:25 local track time.