With a fierce title fight brewing with more twists and turns than anticipated, Mugello would be the ninth stop for Formula Two as drivers got to grips with a new track in Practice and Qualifying.
Whilst the three title contenders of Callum Ilott, Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman all encountered a rough day, it provided an opportunity for those further down the pack to show their mettle as they adapted to the physical demands of Mugello, of which Christian Lundgaard would emerge fastest to claim pole for the Feature Race.
Here is a roundup of Practice and Qualifying action.
Marino Sato was first driver out to explore Mugello but it would be Juri Vips setting the initial pace with a 1m 32.762, only to be immediately displaced by Felipe Drugovich who went 1.057 seconds quicker, with Sato, Jack Aitken then Schumacher bumping the Estonian further down the timesheet.
Vips however found time on his next lap to post a session topping 1m 31.474 with Hitech GP’s Luca Ghiotto the only driver to eventually get within a tenth of the DAMS driver, finishing 0.089s slower but ahead of Drugovich, Yuki Tsunoda, Dan Ticktum, Sato, Aitken, Nikita Mazepin, Christian Lundgaard and Roy Nissany.
The three title contenders meanwhile found themselves occupying the 12, 13 and 14th quickest times with Schumacher ahead of Shwartzman and Ilott by just 0.088s as everyone switched focus to race simulations, which indicated that high degradation could be possible with a potential need for a stop in the Sprint Race if the opportunities become available to make a cheap pit stop.
Aitken caused a five minute virtual safety car when he locked up on entry at Bucine and went straight on before grinding to a halt in the gravel trap with ten minutes left of the session, although that was the only notable incident in this Practice session.
Trident’s Roy Nissany was first out on track but it would be Schumacher causing the first big moment of the session when he spun on exit of Palagio to ruin his first flier whilst his second effort only put him 21st after the initial runs were completed.
Marcus Armstrong led after the initial fliers from Lundgaard and Vips but come the end of the first runs, it was Lundgaard on provisional pole from Ticktum, Drugovich, Vips and Louis Deletraz, as Shwartzman and Ilott found themselves set to start outside the top ten on a track which is difficult to overtake.
Lundgaard eventually took his maiden F2 pole after improving to 1m 30.133 on the first lap of his second run with Ticktum joining him on the front row after failing 0.005s short of the Dane’s pole time, whilst Ilott managed to produce a 1m 30.204 to lift himself up to third ahead of Armstrong, Drugovich and Jehan Daruvala who round out the top six.
Practice pace setter, Vips could only manage seventh after running wide on his final lap as he outqualified Ghiotto with Shwartzman and Aitken rounding out the top ten. Vips however received a three-place grid penalty post Qualifying after he was found to had impeded Louis Deletraz and will therefore start the Feature Race from tenth on the grid.
Schumacher meanwhile could only improve six positions and will start the Feature Race from 15th on the grid as the top 17 drivers were split by less than a single second in qualifying.
In terms of the championship, Ilott continues to lead Schumacher and Shwartzman whilst Lundgaard benefitted from the four points for pole as he cut a seven point gap to fourth-placed Tsunoda down to three points.
|1||Juri Vips||DAMS||1m 31.474|
|2||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||+ 0.089|
|3||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.231|
|4||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||+ 0.283|
|5||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||+ 0.408|
|6||Marino Sato||Trident||+ 0.494|
|7||Jack Aitken||Campos||+ 0.587|
|8||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||+ 0.623|
|9||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+ 0.627|
|10||Roy Nissany||Trident||+ 0.743|
|11||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||+ 0.822|
|12||Mick Schumacher||Prema||+ 0.857|
|13||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||+ 0.934|
|14||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.945|
|15||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||+ 0.977|
|16||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||+ 1.134|
|17||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 1.208|
|18||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||+ 1.536|
|19||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||+ 1.542|
|20||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||+ 1.669|
|21||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||+ 2.221|
|22||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||+ 2.547|
|1||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||1m 30.133|
|2||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||+ 0.005|
|3||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.071|
|4||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||+ 0.184|
|5||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.206|
|6||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||+ 0.304|
|7||Juri Vips||DAMS||+ 0.353|
|8||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||+ 0.375|
|9||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||+ 0.394|
|10||Jack Aitken||Campos||+ 0.400|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||+ 0.409|
|12||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||+ 0.419|
|13||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||+ 0.453|
|14||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||+ 0.459|
|15||Mick Schumacher||Prema||+ 0.791|
|16||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||+ 0.841|
|17||Marino Sato||Trident||+ 0.998|
|18||Roy Nissany||Trident||+ 1.026|
|19||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||+ 1.198|
|20||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||+ 1.212|
|21||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||+ 1.828|
|22||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||+ 2.226|