UNI-Virtuosi Claim Fourth Pole
UNI-Virtuosi claimed their fourth pole of the season in Barcelona with Callum Ilott putting it in first place and Guanyu Zhou just behind third.
Ilott trailed his closest championship rival heading into the final run, but under pressure, the Brit delivered and took his second pole position in a row. With pole came the extra four points to add to his championship total.
Uni-Virtuosi decided to run against the grain and sent their drivers out in the gap and out of sync and sent Ilott out early for his last run. In the last minutes of the session, the Ferrari Academy Driver sat in the pits as he watched others fail to beat his time that was good enough for his third pole of the year.
Ilott said: “My engineer said that we could run in the gap and I might get the second lap in, but it was likely that people would come out. I was like, ‘yeah, okay, let’s give it a go’. It worked. A good free track. I think, because of where we are in the pit lane, it’s a little bit mixed and you can’t really get in the queue. Other people queue up for ages. I don’t know how they do it without going over temperature. But it worked and I put in a good lap. What can I say? It’s pole! It’s a good place to start. It doesn’t get much better! It’s always nice to come into the weekend with a good job done already. Let’s see.”
Meanwhile, Guanyu Zhou is back at the place where he claimed his first Formula 2 podium last year and he too delivered in the final minutes to take third place on the grid.
The Renault Formula 1 test and development driver also used the off-sync strategy but running in the mid-session gap before heading out in the last four minutes to deliver under pressure.
Zhou’s tyres lost grip in the final sector but will still start the race with a chance to fight for victory in the Feature Race from third on the grid.
Zhou said: “I got into the lap and it was all nice and smooth in the first two sectors. I got to the last sector and I think you could see on the TV that the rear of the car was dropping massively. I had it snap three times in the last three corners. I was happy to improve the lap time, but obviously, it’s not enough for pole or the front row. Considering where we were in practice this morning, I think me, my engineer and the whole team did a good job to put us up here again.”
UNI-Virtuosi will want the best in the Feature Race with both drivers starting the race in the top three.
Can Ilott take the win from the front or can his teammate become the next new race winner of 2020?
Let us know @F2inside on Twitter
Image Credits: (C) Formula Motorsport Limited