Red Bull Ring F2: Tsunoda tops first practice of 2020

Red Bull and Honda junior Yuki Tsunoda sprung a surprise to go quickest in the Formula 2 free practice session at the Red Bull Ring on his competition debut in the category.

Red Bull Ring F2: Tsunoda tops first practice of 2020

The promising Japanese driver, a race winner in the FIA Formula 3 Championship last season, joined the session late as the Carlin team rushed to rectify an engine problem.

Tsunoda had just jumped to the top of the times, just before half an hour of the 45 minutes had elapsed, when the session was red-flagged because Marino Sato had spun into the gravel trap at the Turn 6 left-hander.

At that point Tsunoda was 0.054 seconds faster than F2 veteran Luca Ghiotto, who was giving the Hitech GP squad its debut in F2.

After the restart, with 13 minutes remaining on the clock, none of the top six times changed as everyone remained on the hard-compound Pirellis throughout the whole of the session.

Tsunoda therefore headed the order from Ghiotto, with another F2 debutant, 2019 FIA F3 runner-up and Ferrari protege Marcus Armstrong, rounding out the top three for ART Grand Prix.

A brace of Renault F1 juniors was next, with Guan Yu Zhou fourth as he continues for another season with Virtuosi, and F2 rookie Christian Lundgaard fifth for ART, while yet another F2 newcomer – Felipe Drugovich – was a strong sixth with MP Motorsport.

Reigning FIA F3 champion Robert Shwartzman was the highest-placed driver to set his time after the red flag, the Russian Ferrari-backed prospect lapping seventh quickest with Prema Racing.

Another Carlin Red Bull Junior, Jehan Daruvala, was at the top of the times early on, and he went eighth fastest as he makes his F2 debut.

Rounding out the top 10 were a couple of F2 old hands, with Sean Gelael ninth quickest in his DAMS machine and Louis Deletraz 10th with Charouz Racing System.

Two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Dan Ticktum was 11th for DAMS.

Prema’s Mick Schumacher looked good early on in the session, and had just jumped to the top of the times when a technical problem forced him into the pits, where he stayed for the remainder – he fell to 19th in the times.

Hitech may have seen Ghiotto go second, but its session began disastrously when Nikita Mazepin’s sister car was wheeled back into the paddock, from where it never emerged.

Red Bull Ring practice results:

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
United Kingdom Carlin 1'15.249
2 Italy Luca Ghiotto
Hitech Grand Prix 1'15.303 0.054
3 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong
France ART Grand Prix 1'15.405 0.156
4 China Guanyu Zhou
United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 1'15.468 0.219
5 Denmark Christian Lundgaard
France ART Grand Prix 1'15.509 0.260
6 Brazil Felipe Drugovich
Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'15.598 0.349
7 Russian Federation Robert Shwartzman
Italy Prema Powerteam 1'15.702 0.453
8 India Jehan Daruvala
United Kingdom Carlin 1'15.718 0.469
9 Indonesia Sean Gelael
France DAMS 1'15.928 0.679
10 Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'15.940 0.691
11 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum
France DAMS 1'16.015 0.766
12 Russian Federation Artem Markelov
BWT HWA Racelab 1'16.028 0.779
13 France Giuliano Alesi
BWT HWA Racelab 1'16.174 0.925
14 United Kingdom Callum Ilott
United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 1'16.268 1.019
15 Japan Nobuharu Matsushita
Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'16.334 1.085
16 Brazil Pedro Piquet
Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'16.379 1.130
17 Israel Roy Nissany
Italy Trident 1'16.514 1.265
18 United Kingdom Jack Aitken
Spain Campos Racing 1'16.544 1.295
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
Italy Prema Powerteam 1'16.597 1.348
20 Brazil Guilherme Samaia
Spain Campos Racing 1'16.894 1.645
21 Japan Marino Sato
Italy Trident 1'16.905 1.656
22 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Hitech Grand Prix
shares
comments
The future of F2 and F3: The Bruno Michel interview

Previous article

The future of F2 and F3: The Bruno Michel interview

Next article

Red Bull Ring F2: Renault protege Zhou takes dominant pole

Red Bull Ring F2: Renault protege Zhou takes dominant pole
Load comments
How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench Prime

How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench

Tipped as the next big thing after winning the FIA Formula 3 championship in his rookie season, Oscar Piastri has taken Formula 2 by storm and looks set to clinch that title too. But with no Formula 1 seat available to him for next year, the Alpine junior may have to wait for his time in the spotlight…

FIA F2
Sep 24, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Prime

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place on the F1 grid

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Prime

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books Prime

How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype.

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Prime

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends.

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Prime

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come.

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021