Uni-Virtuosi Racing made a stunning debut in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, with Italian driver Luca Ghiotto on pole position for the first race of the season in Bahrain.
With the Formula 1 teams watching on in between practice sessions at the same track, UNI-Virtuosi executed a brilliant strategy, waiting until the last minute to send out Ghiotto for a final flying lap.
He delivered a perfect effort to take pole by over 0.3 seconds, securing the UNI -Virtuosi team its first pole position position, and Ghiotto's first in the series.
Chinese driver Guan Yu Zhou – who is a junior for the Renault Formula 1 team – struggled to get a lap in early due to traffic. He ran as high as eighth, but drivers improving late-on pushed the rookie – in his first ever F2 race – outside of the top 10.
The series has a feature race – which is longer and involves a pit stop – and a shorter sprint race on each weekend. The feature race in Bahrain starts at 1010hrs on Saturday, and the sprint race – which is decided by reversing the finish9ing result of the top eight form the feature race – at 1215hrs on Sunday.
Luca Ghiotto – #8 driver
The car felt great and the gain between the first and second set of tires was much more than I expected. The car felt good already on the first run so we didn’t change anything, all we had to do was put the lap together and not make any mistakes. Its great to start the new season with my first ever pole position in the series.
Guan Yu Zhou – #7 driver
The first tyre run was an average lap with a few mistakes but it was still a competitive time, I felt the potential was there for the second run but unfortunately we seemed to develop a brake imbalance which meant I had to abort the lap. Anything can happen in the race tomorrow and we know we have a competitive car so I am really looking forward to the race.
Andy Roche – team boss
It was a fantastic lap from Luca for pole position and to be on pole in our debut as UNI-Virtuosi is a great start. Unfortunately for Guan it didn’t quite come together for that one lap but hopefully he can have a better race tomorrow.