Italian driver Luca Ghiotto scored a scintillating pole position for UNI-Virtuosi Racing in qualifying for the Spanish Formula 2 feature race, while Renault Formula 1 junior and Chinese driver Guan Yu Zhou rounded out the podium.
Ghiotto suffered some issues during qualifying, but his mid-session fastest time of all 20 drivers was beaten by another driver on a different strategy with half the session remaining.
That meant Ghiotto had to go out in the dying seconds under pressure, but urged on by his engineer Geoff Spear, he smashed the previous benchmark and drove his car aggressively to pole position, which also awards him four championship points in his fight for the series’ title. It was an even faster lap than that set in last year’s F2 race.
Zhou is new to the series in 2019 having competed in a lower formula last year, but after a strong debut so far he scored his best session result with third in qualifying in what was a clean and precise lap from the 19-year-old driver.
He scored a fourth place finish earlier in the season but the Circuit de Barcelona is the first track on the calendar he is familiar with as a rookie to the series, and he made the most of his knowledge to impress those watching in the Formula 1 paddock.
Luca Ghiotto – #8 driver
“The car was great this morning in practice, it was really a joy to drive it, and I think we did a really good job as a team overall considering Guan Yu [Zhou] is P3 and he's in his rookie season. He was by far the best rookie today so yeah, I'm really happy about the qualifying overall, but of course it's just half of the job and we're already thinking about tomorrow.”
Guan Yu Zhou – #7 driver
“Yeah, firstly I'm really thankful to the team. I mean congrats to Luca, the whole team being strong here in the testing and then we kept the momentum here for the race weekend, so it's quite good for the team. Yeah, pretty good qualifying from my side. I've been quite happy with the car all weekend so far, and I'm just looking for a good race tomorrow.”