UNI-Virtuosi begin sophomore F2 year with solid test

by Joe Ellis

Norfolk based FIA Formula 2 team UNI-Virtuosi were pleased with how their three-day pre-season test went at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain.

2019 saw the team’s first year of F2 racing having taken over from the Russian Time team and they were highly impressive, finishing second with Luca Ghiotto taking four wins.

The Italian though moves to 2020’s newcomers Hitech GP and so alongside 2019’s Anthoine Hubert Award winner (given to the highest placed rookie) Guanyu Zhou will be Brit Callum Ilott.

The pair focused mainly on race pace for the first two days of the test as they attempted too get to grips with the new 18-inch tyres that make their bow this year ahead of their implementation in F1 in 2021.

The final day saw them produce their best laps as Zhou ended second quickest with Ilott seventh.

Ilott showed very impressive pace in 2019 despite not winning a race for his former team Sauber Junior Team (now Charouz). Credit: FIA Formula 2.

“It definitely felt good to be back driving the car again. Obviously the test was about getting information for the team on the new wheels and tyres we have this year. There’s quite a lot of differences from last year but some similarities,” said Zhou.

“In general we did lots of laps, race sims, went through all the data, and we had a pretty good pace with the qualifying run. Pretty happy with our progress. There’s a lot of stuff to analyse back at the factory before the first race, but in general I’m happy with how things went and I can’t wait to be racing.”

Ilott added, “From day one to day three we made a lot of improvements, obviously got everything done that we wanted to. It’s looking good. I think these tyres are a bit more challenging because they are new and it requires a different style. It’s definitely going to be interesting. I think we have a lot of information going into the race.”

The 2020 FIA Formula 2 season is due to start in two weeks time in Bahrain on March 21-22 where UNI-Virtuosi will be keen to launch their season on the right foot.

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