Callum Ilott has extended his lead in the Formula 2 Championship standings after claiming his third pole position of the 2020 season.

The UNI-Virtuosi driver will start Saturday’s Feature Race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya alongside fellow Ferrari junior and former points leader Robert Shwartzmann, who will be looking to bounce back after a horror showing over two rounds at Silverstone.

Shwartzmann held provisional pole position after the opening qualifying runs, shading Ilott by just 0.025 seconds.  Ilott’s teammate Guanyu Zhou then shuffled the Englishman down to second, as the Chinese driver opted to delay his opening run and take advantage of a clear track to split Shwartzmann and Ilott.

On his second run, Ilott vaulted to the top of the timesheets with a rapid 1:28.381, putting him nearly half a second clear of Shwartzmann.  The Russian was able to improve on his earlier time at his second attempt, but wasn’t quick enough to topple Ilott and so had to settle for second-fastest.

Zhou then looked to threaten the pair on his final flying lap, posting a purple first sector time before the Renault junior lost ground over the following two sectors.

Felipe Drugovich will start alongside Zhou on the second row of the grid for MP Motorsport, with the top-six completed by Mick Schumacher (Prema Racing) and Yuki Tsunoda (Carlin), the winner last time out at Silverstone.

Jack Aitken (Campos Racing) will be looking to claim three successive podium finishes from seventh on the grid, while compatriot Dan Ticktum (DAMS) completes an all-British fourth row.  Ticktum was the pacesetter in Friday’s earlier practice session but was unable to carry that pace into qualifying.

Nikita Mazepin (Hitech) and Louis Delétraz (Charouz Racing System) complete the top ten, which was surprisingly missing both ART Grand Prix runners – championship frontrunner Christian Lundgaard and teammate Marcus Armstrong were a poor P14 and P19 respectively.

2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Barcelona Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Callum Ilott UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Logo 1:28.381
2. Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 1:28.564 + 0.183
3. Guan Yu Zhou UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Logo 1:28.601 + 0.220
4. Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1:28.767 + 0.386
5. Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 1:28.889 + 0.508
6. Yuki Tsunoda Carlin Motorsport 1:28.903 + 0.522
7. Jack Aitken Campos Racing 1:28.979 + 0.598
8. Dan Ticktum DAMS 1:28.986 + 0.605
9. Nikita Mazepin Hitech Grand Prix 1:29.033 + 0.652
10. Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 1:29.199 + 0.818
11. Artem Markelov BWT HWA Racelab 1:29.297 + 0.916
12. Jehan Daruvala Carlin Motorsport 1:29.308 + 0.927
13. Sean Gelael DAMS 1:29.316 + 0.935
14. Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1:29.333 + 0.952
15. Roy Nissany Trident Racing 1:29.469 + 1.088
16. Marino Sato Trident Racing 1:29.493 + 1.112
17. Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 1:29.524 + 1.143
18. Nobuhara Matsushita MP Motorsport 1:29.641 + 1.260
19. Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1:29.686 + 1.305
20. Luca Ghiotto Hitech Grand Prix 1:29.690 + 1.309
21. Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA Racelab 1:29.748 + 1.367
22. Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 1:30.093 + 1.712

Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • To be advised.

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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