FIA Formula 2 rookie Guanyu Zhou achieved his first ever pole position in the series, headlining a UNI-Virtuosi Racing front row lockout at Silverstone for the Feature race.
The Renault Academy driver becomes the first driver from China to achieve pole, setting a 1:38.182 to beat team-mate Luca Ghiotto in the quest for pole position. Zhou also becomes the first rookie in 2019 to achieve a pole position.
Behind the two Virtuosi cars lies teams’ championship leaders DAMS. Austria Sprint race winner Sérgio Sette Câmara takes third ahead of Nicholas Latifi, as they share the second row together. Louis Delétraz captured fifth place at Carlin‘s home race.
Qualifying began with the Campos Racing of Jack Aitken heading out on track first, leading out a train of cars onto the circuit.
With their first initial hot laps, Aitken placed a 1:38.860 to go on top ahead of Nyck de Vries, Anthoine Hubert and Nobuharu Matsushita, before the two DAMS cars of Sette Câmara and Latifi surpass their times to go fastest overall. The Brazilian set a 1:38.511, going fastest overall and ahead of his team-mate by 0.008 seconds.
The Trident of Giuliano Alesi lost control of his car at Brooklands, spinning as a result and briefing bringing out the yellow flag.
The two Virtuosi cars quickly improve on their times, managing to jump first and second with Zhou setting the fastest time in his second run ahead of Ghiotto and the two DAMS, leaving the top four within 0.021 seconds to each other at the halfway stage.
Mick Schumacher opted to run in the gap in a bid to improve his position within the top ten, but the German encountered traffic and lost time, failing to find a faster time. Jordan King meanwhile managed to find time and jumped up to tenth place.
With the session reaching its climax, de Vries improved on his time but could only manage fifth before he was beaten by Delétraz and Callum Ilott. Zhou improved his time into a 1:38.182 to remain on top whilst team-mate Ghiotto couldn’t match his time, leaving him down in second. Sette Câmara couldn’t improve on his time to beat the Virtuosi cars and break into the top two.
The two Virtuosi drivers attempted one final lap to decide between the two drivers who would achieve pole. Zhou abandoned his final lap, but Ghiotto couldn’t find any improvement on his time and was left to take second place.
With the session ended, Zhou captured pole and becomes the first rookie of 2019 to take pole position. Zhou and Ghiotto will headline a Virtuosi front row ahead of the two DAMS cars of Sette Câmara and Latifi. The two teams’ championship contenders will go head-to-head in the Feature race on Saturday.
|1||7||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Guanyu Zhou||CHI||1:38.182|
|2||8||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||+0.228|
|3||5||DAMS||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||+0.329|
|5||1||Carlin Motorsport||Louis Deletraz||CHE||+0.365|
|6||11||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Callum Ilott||GBR||+0.367|
|7||4||ART Grand Prix||Nyck de Vries||NED||+0.431|
|8||15||Campos Racing||Jack Aitken||GBR||+0.504|
|9||2||Carlin Motorsport||Nobuharu Matsushita||JPN||+0.695|
|10||19||BWT Arden||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||+0.864|
|11||12||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||+0.889|
|12||16||MP Motorsport||Jordan King||GBR||+1.043|
|13||9||Prema Racing||Mick Schumacher||GER||+1.045|
|14||14||Campos Racing||Arjun Maini||IND||+1.330|
|16||3||ART Grand Prix||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||+1.433|
|18||10||Prema Racing||Sean Gelael||INO||+1.608|
|19||18||BWT Arden||Tatiana Calderon||COL||+2.348|
|20||17||MP Motorsport||Mahaveer Raghunathan||NED||+3.543|