Guan Yu Zhou claimed the first pole position of his FIA Formula 2 Championship career, and the first for a rookie driver this season, for this weekend’s Feature Race at Silverstone.

The Renault academy driver beat home teammate Luca Ghiotto to give the UNI-Virtuosi team a front-row lockout, with DAMS’ Sérgio Sette Câmara qualifying third-fastest.

Sette Câmara and teammate Nicholas Latifi were the early pace-setters in qualifying, however their stint at the top of the timesheets proved short-lived as first Ghiotto, and then Zhou claimed provisional pole at the end of the first qualifying runs.

As the majority of the field returned to the pits for fresh rubber, PREMA’s Mick Schumacher attempted to replicate the strategy that had worked so well for BWT Arden’s Anthoine Hubert last time out at the Red Bull Ring by staying out on track. The German’s hopes of finding a clear track were dashed as he hit traffic on his flying lap.

No one could stop Zhou, with the Chinese driver extending his margin over Ghiotto on his second run. Ghiotto attempted to mount a challenge on his final flying lap, and despite posting a purple first sector the Italian driver lost ground over the remainder of the lap and had to settle for second-fastest.

Sette Câmara and Latifi ensured an all-DAMS second row on the grid, with Carlin driver Louis Delétraz qualifying a fine fifth ahead of Callum Ilott (Sauber Junior Team), who was the best-placed of the field’s three British drivers competing on home soil – his compatriots Jack Aitken (Campos Racing) and Jordan King (MP Motorsport) were eighth- and twelfth-fastest respectively.

Championship leader Nyck de Vries could manage no better than seventh-fastest, while Austria Feature Race winner Nobuhara Matsushita (Carlin) and Hubert completed the top ten.

2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Great Britain Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Guan Yu Zhou UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 1:38.182
2. Luca Ghiotto UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 1:38.410 + 0.228
3. Sérgio Sette Câmara DAMS 1:38.511 + 0.329
4. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:38.519 + 0.337
5. Louis Delétraz Carlin Motorsport 1:38.547 + 0.365
6. Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:38.549 + 0.367
7. Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 1:38.613 + 0.431
8. Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1:38.686 + 0.504
9. Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin Motorsport 1:38.877 + 0.695
10. Anthoine Hubert BWT Arden 1:39.046 + 0.864
11. Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:39.071 + 0.889
12. Jordan King MP Motorsport 1:39.225 + 1.043
13. Mick Schumacher de Prema Racing 1:39.227 + 1.045
14. Arjun Maini Campos Racing 1:39.512 + 1.330
15. Giuliano Alesi Trident Racing 1:39.574 + 1.392
16. Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 1:39.615 + 1.433
17. Dorian Boccolacci Trident Racing 1:39.622 + 1.440
18. Sean Gelael Prema Racing 1:39.790 + 1.608
19. Tatiana Calderón BWT Arden 1:40.530 + 2.348
20. Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 1:41.725 + 3.543

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • Sean Gelael – who provisionally qualified 18th-fastest – was issued a three-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Louis Delétraz in Free Practice.

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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