Luca Ghiotto Snatches F2 Barcelona Pole Away From Championship Leader Nicholas Latifi

by Aaron Gillard

UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto snatched pole position away from DAMSNicholas Latifi for the Formula 2 Feature race in Barcelona.

The Italian driver in the dying seconds of qualifying placed a 1:28.031 to capture his second pole of the season. Championship leader Latifi had pole position in the final runs of the session, grabbing it away from Campos Racing‘s Jack Aitken. Ghiotto’s team-mate Guanyu Zhou achieved his best qualifying of the season so far with third place, starting behind Ghiotto for the race on Saturday.

ART Grand Prix‘s Nyck de Vries did an impressive job with fourth place, despite limited running in practice, placing himself ahead of last year’ Sprint race winner Aitken. Sauber Junior Team‘s Callum Ilott improved on his time in the final stages of qualifying to capture sixth place ahead of Sergio Sette Câmara.

Trident‘s Ralph Boschung secured eighth place in qualifying ahead of Campos’ Dorian Boccolacci, who opted to run during the quiet stages of qualifying before everyone made their final runs. Prema Racing‘s Mick Schumacher concludes the top ten.

Qualifying got underway with the Trident cars leading away a train of cars from the pit lane to the track. de Vries set the initial pace with a 1:28.907 in the first runs, before the likes of Aitken, Latifi and Zhou jumped ahead of the Dutch driver with their first lap times. The Campos driver managed to set a 1:28.406 to go fastest overall.

Ghiotto was the last of the front runners to set a lap and went third fastest, but lost a lot of time on the exit of Turn 9 by running too much on the exit kerbs. Schumacher improved his lap in his second run during the midway point of the session, placing himself in fourth place.

The Virtuosi driver of Ghiotto improved with his second run to go second fastest, falling short by 0.086 seconds to provisional pole sitter Aitken. The Italian driver reported over the radio about how unhappy he was with the car, despite the strong lap time.

Midway through qualifying, the cars returned to the pits for fresh set of tyres and wait for the final moments of the session. Campos decide to come out on track with Aitken and Boccolacci. Aitken improved on his time to a 1:28.355 with nine minutes remaining, as the rest of the field headed out on track to start their final runs.

Both Campos cars returned to the pits and waited on the rest of the field to set their laps, with Aitken sitting on provisional pole. But the Briton lost pole when Latifi jumped to the top of the time sheets with a 1:28.212, with de Vries placing in second, 0.037 seconds slower than the DAMS driver.

Ilott improved on his time to go fourth ahead of Ghiotto and Sette Câmara. Zhou, who was one of the last cars to head out on track, then jumped to second place, falling short from pole by 0.037 seconds. But with seconds left on the clock, Ghiotto remained on track and set a 1:28.031 to snatch pole away from the Canadian driver.

With Ghiotto on pole ahead of title rival Latifi, the race on Saturday is set for a fight between the two title rivals, with Aitken not far behind.

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
18UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITA1:28.031
26DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN1:28.212
37UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHI1:28.249
44ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED1:28.266
515Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR1:28.355
611Sauber Junior Team by CharouzCallum IlottGBR1:28.470
76DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ1:28.550
821TridentRalph BoschungCHE1:28.580
914Campos RacingDorian BoccolacciFRA1:28.581
109PREMA RacingMick SchumacherGER1:28.605
112Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN1:28.683
123ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUS1:28.758
1310PREMA RacingSean GelaelINO1:28.761
141Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHE1:28.869
1519BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA1:28.980
1616MP MotorsportJordan KingGBR1:29.023
1720TridentGiuliano AlesiITA1:29.346
1818BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOL1:29.590
1912Sauber Junior Team by CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA1:30.171
2017MP MotorsportMahaveer RaghunathanNED1:30.691

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