Home Featured Ilott takes pole in Bahrain, Schumacher 10th, Tsunoda last

Ilott takes pole in Bahrain, Schumacher 10th, Tsunoda last

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Callum Ilott put a mighty lap in early in Bahrain to secure his fifth Formula 2 pole of the season, while his championship-leading rival Mick Schumacher could only manage 10th.

Ilott topped the 30-minute session early with a lap of 1m41.479 before Yuki Tsunoda spun at Turn 12. Championship contender Tsunoda had got oversteer through the mighty-fast Turn 11, ran onto the kerb on the exit and spun.

He was unable to get going, and the session was paused as the car was recovered.

Several drivers were able to improve once the session got going before pitting for their second set of tyres. Ilott was not one of those.

Even on his second set of tyres, Ilott was unable to find more time, but his first effort remained strong enough to secure his fifth pole of the season by nearly four tenths of a second.

This was guaranteed when MP Motorsport’s Giuliano Alesi – who had just gone sixth-fastest – came to a halt with a mechanical problem. This brought out the red flag with just a minute remaining and the session was not resumed.

Schumacher, despite adjustments made to the car between his runs, was unable to make a significant impression. He was 12th after his first run and could only improve to 10th at the flag.

MP’s Felipe Drugovich was Ilott’s closest challenger but ended up second in the end. He improved in the final sector on his last lap but it was not enough to displace Ilott.

DAMS Dan Ticktum took third, some half a second behind, ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Marcus Armstrong who matched his best F2 qualifying in fourth.

Ilott’s Virtuosi team-mate Guanyu Zhou ended up fifth fastest ahead of Alesi. Hitech GP’s Nikita Mazepin was seventh, having had a wild moment of oversteer at Turn 1 during the session.

Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala and ART’s Christian Lundgaard were the two other drivers ahead of Schumacher in eighth and ninth respectively.

Championship contenders Louis Deletraz, Robert Shwartzman and Luca Ghiotto were 11th, 14th and 20th respectively.

Ahead of his F2 debut, HWA Racelab’s Theo Pourchaire was 16th fastest,1.4s from pole, while DAMS’ Sean Gelael – who returns after injury and had few laps in practice – ended up 18th.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Callum Ilott Virtuosi 1m41.479s
2 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1m41.870s +0.391s
3 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1m42.047s +0.568s
4 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1m42.052s +0.573s
5 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi 1m42.065s +0.586s
6 Giuliano Alesi MP Motorsport 1m42.074s +0.595s
7 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP 1m42.139s +0.660s
8 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m42.191s +0.712s
9 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m42.259s +0.780s
10 Mick Schumacher Prema 1m42.283s +0.804s
11 Louis Deletraz Charouz 1m42.316s +0.837s
12 Roy Nissany Trident 1m42.338s +0.859s
13 Pedro Piquet Charouz 1m42.481s +1.002s
14 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m42.654s +1.175s
15 Jack Aitken Campos 1m42.848s +1.369s
16 Theo Pourchaire HWA Racelab 1m42.967s +1.488s
17 Marino Sato Trident 1m43.170s +1.691s
18 Sean Gelael DAMS 1m43.191s +1.712s
19 Guilherme Samaia Campos 1m43.286s +1.807s
20 Luca Ghiotto Hitech GP 1m43.366s +1.887s
21 Artem Markelov HWA Racelab 1m44.019s +1.2.540s
22 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 1m57.048s +1.15.569s