Drivers Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott drove on the 18-inch wheels for the first time in Bahrain – where the first race of the season will take place on March 21-22.
The new wheels are bigger than the previous ones used, which has presented teams with a fight to obtain data on how that affects the car performance and set-ups, as well as giving the team’s tyre-changers some extra weight to lift during pitstops.
On the first and last day of the three day test, UNI-Virtuosi opted for longer race-run simulations with both drivers praising the car’s performance, while on day two the pair went for qualifying runs and proved the team’s one-lap pace will be competitive.
The top rookie from FIA F2 last year, Renault Formula 1 junior Zhou, set the second q
uickest time of the day on his qualifying simulation lap, while Ferrari junior Ilott wasn’t far behind in seventh.
The team now head back to Norfolk to analyse the data obtained over the three days in order to be ready for the new season.
Guan Yu Zhou
“It definitely felt good to be back driving the car again. Obviously the test was about getting information for the team on the new wheels and tyres we have this year. There’s quite a lot of differences from last year but some similarities. In general we did lots of laps, race sims, went through all the data, and we had a pretty good pace with the qualifying run. Pretty happy with our progress. There’s a lot of stuff to analyse back at the factory before the first race, but in general I’m happy with how things went and I can’t wait to be racing.”
“From day one to day three we made a lot of improvements, obviously got everything done that we wanted to. It’s looking good. I think these tyres are a bit more challenging because they are new and it requires a different style. It’s definitely going to be interesting. I think we have a lot of information going into the race.”
Notes to editors:
The team has run in various forms and different names since the early 1990s. It is well known within the motorsport community and has most recently run the Russian Time team in Formula 2, before taking over the squad for 2019. Based in Norfolk, the team is headed up by team principal Andy Roche and finished second in the championship for teams in 2019 in its maiden year as UNI-Virtuosi.
FIA Formula 2
FIA Formula 2 is the closest championship to Formula 1, where junior drivers compete to impress F1 teams such as Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing. The cars have a 3.4-litre turbo engine built by Mecachrome, a six-speed Hewland gearbox and are capable of 0-100kph in 2.9 seconds. The cars have a halo device above the driver for protection, and benefit from the same drag reduction system (DRS) used by F1 teams.
For a full guide to the car, click here: http://www.fiaformula2.com/Guide-to/The-car-and-engine/
There are two races per weekend, the first a race with a pitstop and the second usually without a pitstop. The grid for race one is decided by the fastest qualifier. The grid for race two is decided by the finishing order of race one, but with the top eight positions reversed.
Also for 2020, the F2 championship switches to 18-inch wheels, which is expected to shake-up the order. The move has been made a year before Formula 1 makes the same switch, meaning all eyes will be on the F2 category this year as it embarks on this new journey.
The championship will forgo its usual trip to Paul Ricard this year and instead will join F1 in returning to Zandvoort in the Netherlands. The full calendar can be found here: http://www.fiaformula2.com/Calendar/
For more information, please contact Andy Roche: email@example.com