One year on from the tragic events of Spa, Formula Two returned to the circuit as it geared up for an emotional 2020 Belgian Grand Prix weekend in memory of Anthoine Hubert.
On a day which featured plenty of on track drama as drivers got to grips with one of motorsport’s most demanding tracks and three red flags, it was Yuki Tsunoda who reigned supreme as we round up the action from Practice and Qualifying.
Giuliano Alesi immediately brought Practice to an early halt when he lost the rear of his HWA Racelab, spinning it into the barrier to spread debris across the track as he proceeded to retire from this session at the top of Raidillon to cause an eight minute red flag.
Once the session resumed, Robert Shwartzman initially set the pace with a 1m 58.874 which was 0.297 seconds quicker than Mick Schumacher’s effort, before improving to a 1m 58.233 with Felipe Drugovich improving to second on his own second attempt.
Come end of session, Shwartzman topped practice from Tsunoda, Nikita Mazepin, Drugovich and and Jehan Daruvala as rain began to briefly fall across the circuit.
Dan Ticktum was ruled out of Practice after returning an inconclusive Coronavirus test in a disastrous dent to DAMS’ weekend, as rookie – Juri Vips made his F2 debut in 16th position and 1.364s off Shwartzman’s time as he steps in for the injured Sean Gelael.
MP Motorsport and recent race winners, Nobuharu Matsushita and Felipe Drugovich were the first pair to hit the track at start of Qualifying but DAMS’ Juri Vips only lasted six minutes before retiring on the exit of Les Combes with a mechanical issue.
Guilherme Samaia however would trigger a nine minute stoppage when his Campos suffered an engine failure on the exit of Blanchimont, only for the session to again be red flagged just seconds after resuming due to an out of position truck on track, although the session did eventually get going just minutes later once the truck had returned to its correct position.
Callum Ilott was first back out and set the initial pace with a 1m 58.427 ahead of Louis Deletraz and Shwartzman until Mick Schumacher and then Tsunoda usurped the Brit at the top of the timesheets, as the latter posted a 1m 57.994.
Jack Aitken opted to conduct his second run in the gap but a mistake at Rivage on his first effort meant that all Aitken could manage was P17 come the checkered flag, despite improving on his second attempt.
Up front, Tsunoda found 0.401s to improve his pole time to a 1, 57.593 as Mazepin, Matsushita, Shwartzman and Drugovich rounded out the top five for tomorrow’s Feature Race grid.
Dan Ticktum meanwhile managed to qualify 14th and only 0.798s off Tsunoda’s pace despite missing Practice whilst he awaited the results of a second Coronavirus test, which came back negative.
|1||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||1m 58.233|
|2||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||+ 0.211|
|3||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||+ 0.232|
|4||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.277|
|5||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||+ 0.401|
|6||Jack Aitken||Campos||+ 0.516|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema||+ 0.615|
|8||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||+ 0.712|
|9||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||+ 0.748|
|10||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.832|
|11||Marino Sato||Trident||+ 0.842|
|12||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||+ 0.849|
|13||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 1.071|
|14||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+ 1.135|
|15||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||+ 1.196|
|16||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||+ 1.243|
|17||Juri Vips||DAMS||+ 1.364|
|18||Roy Nissany||Trident||+ 1.556|
|19||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||+ 1.762|
|20||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||+ 4.349|
|21||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||No Time Set|
|22||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||No Time Set|
|1||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||1m 57.593|
|2||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||+ 0.128|
|3||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||+ 0.251|
|4||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||+ 0.268|
|5||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.421|
|6||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.429|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema||+ 0.483|
|8||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||+ 0.487|
|9||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||+ 0.544|
|10||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||+ 0.575|
|11||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||+ 0.601|
|12||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.666|
|13||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||+ 0.725|
|14||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||+ 0.798|
|15||Roy Nissany||Trident||+ 0.985|
|16||Marino Sato||Trident||+ 1.366|
|17||Jack Aitken||Campos||+ 1.414|
|18||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+ 1.486|
|19||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||+ 1.614|
|20||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||+ 5.398|
|21||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||No Time Set|
|22||Juri Vips||DAMS||No Time Set|