Alpine Academy driver Oscar Piastri was quickest in FIA Formula 2 qualifying in Sochi, which will see him on Feature Race pole on Sunday.
The Australian was strong throughout the session and concluded by pulling nearly two tenths of a second clear of everyone else, with his main championship rival Guanyu Zhou in fourth position.
Qualifying began smoothly for the drivers, with Zhou completing a 1:47.994 during the first runs to go 0.136 second quicker than Piastri to see the top two in the championship occupy first and second heading into the final runs. Jehan Daruvala was third and Ralph Boschung fourth.
In the final runs whilst the sun continued the sink down on the Sochi Autodrom, Daruvala improved by around half a second to take provisional pole for a few seconds before Piastri set an even better time to place his PREMA at the front of the grid.
Theo Pourchaire was third for ART, with Zhou in fourth, more than half a second off the pole sitter.
Fifth was Boschung, followed by Jake Hughes, who claimed his best F2 qualifying in sixth.
Home representative Robert Shwartzman was seventh, as his difficult string of one-lap displays continued, in front of Red Bull Junior drivers Liam Lawson and Juri Vips.
By qualifying 10th, Dan Ticktum will line-up for Sprint Race 1 on reverse-grid pole.
The first race of the F2 weekend commences on Saturday at 10:30 track time.