With a fierce title fight seeing 26 points separating the top four, Formula Two entered Round Eight at Monza with all to play for through Practice and Qualifying.
With 40 points covering the top six and a maximum of 48 points on offer throughout the final five rounds of this season, several drivers knew that a perfect weekend is important to their title hopes and the chance to catch Robert Shwartzman who currently heads up the championship standings.
Now here is a full roundup of Practice and Qualifying action.
Having taken part in Formula One’s morning practice, Trident’s Roy Nissany was straight out onto the circuit as several drivers opted for installation laps before returning to the pits.
Nissany soon proceeded to set the initial pace with a 1m 33.297 ahead of Dan Ticktum and Jehan Daruvala, although it would be Ticktum who got the better of the Israelian driver on their second runs until Luca Ghiotto went fastest with a 1m 32.837.
Callum Ilott had lost the championship lead last weekend but slowly built himself into this session and briefly went top in the 16th minute, only to be immediately displaced by Marcus Armstrong then Nikita Mazepin who posted a 1m 32.232 until Tsunoda went quicker just seconds later with a session topping 1m 32.169.
Come the halfway mark, Tsunoda led from Mazepin, Ticktum, Armstrong and Ilott who completed the top six at the checkered flag, with Christian Lundgaard producing a late effort to go 0.058 seconds slower than Tsunoda’s best lap time whilst many focused on race simulations which showed little tyre degradation on the mediums.
Campos’ Guilherme Samaia caused the only incident when his engine failed in the 25th minute through Variante, requiring a Virtual Safety Car whilst marshals removed his car from the racetrack.
At the flag, only 0.861s separated the top 16 which set up a mouth-watering Qualifying session on the soft tyre compound.
Tsunoda was first out onto the circuit ahead of Lundgaard plus rest of the field but some drivers including Jack Aitken chose to wait before heading out into clear space in order to avoid getting stuck in traffic.
Lundgaard was fastest during the first initial attempts with a 1m 32.296 as Luca Ghiotto, Marino Sato and Ticktum all ran wide down the escape road at Variante, with Sato knocking over two polystyrene bollards.
Everyone then proceeded to have a second attempt with Mick Schumacher emerging fastest with a 1m 32.277 which was 0.018s quicker than Lundgaard’s time with Jehan Daruvala, Ticktum and Mazepin rounding out the top five as everyone retreated to the pits to prepare for their final runs.
Unlike F3, every F2 driver managed to avoid traffic or impeding as several drivers found time with Ilott utilising a tow from Drugovich to post a 1m 31.929 and snatch his fourth pole position of this season by 0.030s from Tsunoda as Ghiotto, Lundgaard and Nissany completed the top five with just 0.697s covering the top 20 drivers.
Schumacher however brought the session to an early end after suffering a huge crash on the exit of Ascari with two minutes left, which secured Ilott four vital points as he reduced his championship deficit over Schumacher’s teammate – Robert Shwartzman to six points as the Russian only qualified 16th for the Feature Race.
|1||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||1m 32.169|
|2||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+ 0.058|
|3||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||+ 0.063|
|4||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||+ 0.275|
|5||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||+ 0.353|
|6||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.463|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema||+ 0.468|
|8||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||+ 0.483|
|9||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||+ 0.526|
|10||Jack Aitken||Campos||+ 0.557|
|11||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||+ 0.683|
|12||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||+ 0.748|
|13||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||+ 0.760|
|14||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||+ 0.777|
|15||Juri Vips||DAMS||+ 0.847|
|16||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||+ 0.861|
|17||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||+ 1.025|
|18||Roy Nissany||Trident||+ 1.061|
|19||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 1.080|
|20||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 1.296|
|21||Marino Sato||Trident||+ 1.316|
|22||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||+ 1.921|
|1||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||1m 31.929|
|2||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||+ 0.030|
|3||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||+ 0.198|
|4||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+ 0.271|
|5||Roy Nissany||Trident||+ 0.297|
|6||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||+ 0.338|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema||+ 0.348|
|8||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||+ 0.379|
|9||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||+ 0.413|
|10||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||+ 0.444|
|11||Juri Vips||DAMS||+ 0.452|
|12||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.483|
|13||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||+ 0.491|
|14||Marino Sato||Trident||+ 0.605|
|15||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||+ 0.663|
|16||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||+ 0.668|
|17||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.673|
|18||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||+ 0.681|
|19||Jack Aitken||Campos||+ 0.694|
|20||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||+ 0.697|
|21||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||+ 1.382|
|22||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||+ 1.572|