After struggling for pace in practice, Callum Ilott came from nowhere to take yet another pole position after a late crash for Mick Schumacher ended the session early.
Ilott positioned himself tremendously for the second run and had a huge tow around the lap off Felipe Drugovich to help drag the UNI-Virtuosi driver to the front.
The Brit will be aware of the challenges of leading from pole at Monza after doing so in 2019 but he won’t be complaining considering where he was in practice, and the four points he gets for pole position which leaves him just six points behind championship leader Robert Shwartzman.
Yuki Tsunoda sits third in the standings and will start alongside Ilott on the front row; they will both see this as a huge opportunity to gain ground on Shwartzman as he could only qualify sixteenth.
The first runs of the session indicated that times would only get quicker on the second and third laps on the tyres but Schumacher stopped anymore improvements as he spun at the Ascari chicane and hit the barriers, bringing out the red flag and ending the session with three minutes to go.
Luca Ghiotto was one of the drivers to get a good lap in before Schumacher’s off, qualifying third ahead of Christian Lundgaard who has been at the top of the times all day and will be confident of a hefty haul of points for the weekend.
Roy Nissany capped off a busy day with his best ever F2 qualifying in fifth after running ninety minutes in Formula One Free Practice One for Williams where he was faster than four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the below-par Ferrari.
As Schumacher was careering towards the barriers, Nikita Mazepin was coming across the line to complete his second flying lap and that put him sixth overall, ahead of the German who will start seventh despite his off.
Tsunoda’s Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala had the pace expected of him for the first time for a while as he will line up eighth for Saturday’s feature race ahead of Louis Delétraz and Dan Ticktum.
|3||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||1:32:127|
|6||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||1:32:267|
|12||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1:32:412|
|13||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||1:32:420|
|20||Guiliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||1:32:626|
|21||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||1:33:311|