Home Featured Guanyu Zhou takes pole, Felipe Drugovich second in first F2 qualifying of 2020

Guanyu Zhou takes pole, Felipe Drugovich second in first F2 qualifying of 2020

by Josh Suttill

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Renault junior Guanyu Zhou took pole position for the opening race of the 2020 Formula 2 season, beating series rookie Felipe Drugovich at the Red Bull Ring.

Virtuosi Racing’s Zhou set a 1m14.416s to register his second F2 pole, having first achieved the feat at Silverstone last year.

Zhou led after the first runs and improved his lap time in the final minutes to claim the four bonus points for pole.

A red flag caused by reigning Euroformula champion Marino Sato’s second off-track excursion of the weekend left a late five-minute shootout for pole.

MP Motorsport driver Drugovich claimed second on his series debut, albeit 0.464 seconds adrift of Zhou’s benchmark. Zhou’s Virtuosi team-mate Callum Ilott qualified third, just 0.004s off Drugovich.

Hitech GP’s Nikita Mazepin spun on the exit of Turn 4 with just a minute of the session remaining, denying several drivers the chance to challenge Zhou.

ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard was fourth – on his first day of driving with the new 18-inch wheels – ahead of Prema’s Mick Schumacher, who changed his engine after an issue in free practice, and Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala.

Luca Ghiotto was second fastest in practice for Hitech on the team’s debut, but qualified seventh ahead of Prema’s FIA Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman.

DAMS’ Dan Ticktum will line up in ninth for his first F2 start since the 2018 Abu Dhabi season finale, with Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz rounding out the top 10. Prior to his off, Mazepin posted the 11th fastest time.

Practice pacesetter Yuki Tsunoda (Carlin), ART’s Marcus Armstrong and Campos returnee Jack Aitken were forced to abandon their final laps as a result of Mazepin’s off, and will start from 12th, 13th and 14th respectively.

HWA Racelab’s Giuliano Alesi went off the road at Turn 1 on his first qualifying run and bizarrely hit the barriers on his way back to the track, but recovered to post the 18th fastest time during his second run and beat team-mate Artem Markelov and MP’s fellow series veteran Nobuharu Matsushita.

Zhou will be going in search of his first F2 win on Saturday afternoon, after having finished in third place on five occasions in 2019.


Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi Racing 1m14.416s 15
2 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1m14.880s +0.464s 15
3 Callum Ilott Virtuosi Racing 1m14.884s +0.468s 15
4 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m14.922s +0.506s 16
5 Mick Schumacher Prema 1m14.952s +0.536s 15
6 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m15.028s +0.612s 14
7 Luca Ghiotto Hitech GP 1m15.044s +0.628s 14
8 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m15.051s +0.635s 14
9 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1m15.128s +0.712s 16
10 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1m15.151s +0.735s 16
11 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP 1m15.152s +0.736s 15
12 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 1m15.157s +0.741s 15
13 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1m15.208s +0.792s 15
14 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1m15.264s +0.848s 16
15 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 1m15.376s +0.960s 15
16 Roy Nissany Trident 1m15.457s +1.041s 15
17 Sean Gelael DAMS 1m15.604s +1.188s 16
18 Giuliano Alesi HWA Racelab 1m15.688s +1.272s 12
19 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 1m15.703s +1.287s 13
20 Artem Markelov HWA Racelab 1m15.746s +1.330s 15
21 Nobuharu Matsushita MP Motorsport 1m15.897s +1.481s 15
22 Marino Sato Trident 1m16.011s +1.595s 12