UNI-Virtuosi on pole with epic Ilott in Hungary, Zhou third in the wet
UNI-Virtuosi drivers Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou proved once more they are the drivers to beat in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, qualifying at the front of the grid at the Hungaroring near Budapest. In a difficult session marred by inclement wet weather conditions and red flags, the team pulled off a tactical masterstroke to make sure its drivers had banked strong laps, in case of any late drama. A late red flag put an end to the action and meant Ilott scores his second career FIA F2 pole position, while Zhou is in contention to add big points to his title challenge. The red flag did halt Zhou from a late improvement, but he can be happy to be starting from the second row of the grid where he scored a pair of top 10s last year. With this pole position result, Ilott adds to his points tally which means he is just one point off the championship lead entering the fifth race of the season. Following first round technical drama, Zhou has already recovered to sixth and is in place to close in on the points' lead again this weekend with a strong result.
"I'm definitely happy to be back here. With the wet conditions it's definitely shaky out there. We didn't get any laps in during practice, so I was really hoping for a dry session because we knew our car would be really strong. We were strong here in Free Practice last year as well. I was confident but then it became wet and it was really tough. I'm really happy I was P3 before I boxed. After that, it was really difficult with the new tyres to get grip. I think the red flag came when I was on an out lap, so that was probably a good thing. I'm really happy for the team and the hard work they've put in. Both in dry and wet conditions so far this season and getting both drivers up there in every race so far."
"I have to say it was very wet! I think I got a couple of times deleted early on, just from pushing to find the limit. It was very difficult to see so for that reason I couldn't get a lap in at the beginning. I waited for a couple of people to box and stayed out for one more lap, just to do it and that turned out to be the lap. It was very on the edge, the tyres were on the edge as well, so it was a good call by me and the team to stay out and get it. I came in and went for new tyres, and I think I managed just one lap before the red flag. I was struggling to get a bit of temperature in the tyres and I think that's also why other people who boxed early didn't really improve. It was a mega job by the team, obviously another top three result for both of me and Zhou, and it's good to get my first pole of 2020."
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