Having won the final FIA Formula 2 race of 2019 with Luca Ghiotto, Italian squad UNI-Virtuosi didn’t show any signs of slowing down when the F2 paddock took part in the post-season three-day test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Ghiotto isn’t eligible to race in 2020 after he lasted the maximum four years at a time in the championship and so Brit Callum Ilott has been signed in his place.
Ilott spent the 2019 F2 season with the Sauber Junior Team and consistently showed top five pace despite lacking luck on some occasions and his speed transferred to Virtuosi.
He was fourth fastest overall but was particularly impressive on the third and final day of the test securing a pair of second places on Saturday.
He said: “In general the test was very good, very positive. It’s a good bunch of people to work with at UNI-Virtuosi and it made it easy to integrate into the team straight away. Especially working with Joe (teammate Guanyu Zhou) on the test.
“I think we got through the plan that the team wanted to get through. Very happy with how it was and we got some good consistent results. It’s just testing, but it gives us a great idea of what we need to do next year at the start of the season in Bahrain. On my side I know there’s things to work on but I think we’ve got an idea of how to move ahead with that.”
2019 saw Ghiotto paired with Chinese rookie of the year Guanyu Zhou and the Renault academy driver kept his seat for the test despite not being confirmed as a driver for 2020.
Zhou said: “It was good, everything was under control. We tested lots of things that we tried to improve on the car for next season. At the same time trying to compromise with next year having a new tyre and the car being heavier.
“Everything went well and I was quite happy with everything, especially with Callum alongside me as I felt we worked well at the test. I’ve known him for a long time now so it’s good. We did a lot of race runs, but I think overall we had a lot of good information for the future.”
UNI-Virtuosi were beaten to the teams’ title by DAMS in 2019 and will be pushing harder than ever to go one step better in 2020.