Home Featured Yuki Tsunoda tops Formula 2 free practice in Austria

Yuki Tsunoda tops Formula 2 free practice in Austria

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Carl Bingham / LAT Images

Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda topped practice on his Formula 2 debut at the Red Bull Ring, as the 18-inch Pirelli tyres made their first appearance in the series.

Carlin driver Tsunoda’s fastest time of 1m15.249s came after the mid-point of the 45-minute session. A red flag for Trident’s Marino Sato spinning off at Turn 6 brought out a short red flag period.

With many drivers opting to not change from their medium compound tyres during the intermission, Tsunoda was able to hold onto the top spot as the session concluded.

Sato’s off was the only significant incident in an otherwise clean opening session for the F2 drivers, which started with damp parts on the circuit but conditions continued to improve late-on.

Hitech GP’s Luca Ghiotto ended the team’s debut second-fastest, having set his fastest lap time earlier in the session and holding that spot for a while.

Debutant Marcus Armstrong was third for ART Grand Prix, ahead of Virtuosi Racing’s Guanyu Zhou.

Armstrong’s team-mate and fellow FIA Formula 3 Championship graduate Christian Lundgaard rounded out the top five in his second F2 weekend.

FIA F3 champion Robert Shwartzman was seventh fastest, just behind MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich, but the Prema driver was without his DRS throughout the session. His team-mate Mick Schumacher was only 19th after he spent the majority of the session in the garage with a suspected technical issue.

Tsunoda’s Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala was eighth, ahead of DAMS’ Sean Gelael and Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz, who rounded out the top 10.

Debuting team HWA Racelab were 12th and 13th with Artem Markelov and Giuliano Alesi, with Markelov appearing to have steering issues during the session.

Sato was the slowest drivers of the 21 that made it on track, as Hitech’s Nikita Mazepin was unable to set a lap.


Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 1m15.249s 21
2 Luca Ghiotto Hitech GP 1m15.303s +0.054s 22
3 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1m15.405s +0.156s 22
4 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi Racing 1m15.468s +0.219s 22
5 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m15.509s +0.260s 24
6 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1m15.598s +0.349s 24
7 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m15.702s +0.453s 24
8 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m15.718s +0.469s 26
9 Sean Gelael DAMS 1m15.928s +0.679s 22
10 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1m15.940s +0.691s 25
11 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1m16.015s +0.766s 23
12 Artem Markelov HWA Racelab 1m16.028s +0.779s 23
13 Giuliano Alesi HWA Racela 1m16.174s +0.925s 24
14 Callum Ilot Virtuosi Racing 1m16.268s +1.019s 23
15 Nobuharu Matsushita MP Motorsport 1m16.334s +1.085s 22
16 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 1m16.379s +1.130s 25
17 Roy Nissany Trident 1m16.514s +1.265s 25
18 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1m16.544s +1.295s 24
19 Mick Schumacher Prema 1m16.597s +1.348s 10
20 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 1m16.894s +1.645s 21
21 Marino Sato Trident 1m16.905s +1.656s 13
22 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP no time 0