Red Bull Ring F2: Honda junior Tsunoda claims maiden pole

Carlin-run series rookie Yuki Tsunoda took a stunning pole position on just his second Formula 2 outing in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

Red Bull Ring F2: Honda junior Tsunoda claims maiden pole

The Japanese, a Red Bull and Honda junior who took a solitary win in his FIA Formula 3 Championship season last year, set a lap on his first of two sets of super-soft Pirelli tyres that could not be beaten.

Tsunoda, who also topped practice earlier in the day, was 0.094 seconds ahead of championship leader Callum Ilott as the field returned to the pits following their first runs.

Ilott shaved 0.009s off his previous best once he got onto his second set of tyres, but that wasn’t enough to prevent him being leapfrogged by Virtuosi Racing teammate Guanyu Zhou.

The Chinese Renault F1 Junior fell just 0.038s short of the time of Tsunoda, who had his slower time on his second set deleted due to running too wide at Turn 9.

F2 veteran Luca Ghiotto sat behind Tsunoda and the Virtuosi drivers in fourth place after the first runs, and the Hitech GP man was another who could not improve – even so, nobody was able to bump him down the order.

Jack Aitken came close to doing that with a last-lap effort – after starting the day driving for Williams in FP1 for the Styrian Grand Prix, Aitken finished up fifth with his Campos Racing F2 machine, a big improvement on his position last weekend.

Prema Racing tried a different strategy for its Ferrari proteges of going out late on their first set of tyres and running in the middle of the session.

That was Mick Schumacher’s first time on track since he spun off at the Turn 7 left-hander in free practice and hit the tyre wall, and he was only able to make it into ninth place in qualifying.

Teammate Robert Shwartzman fared better, and he will start Saturday’s race from sixth on the grid.

Carlin’s other Red Bull Junior, Jehan Daruvala, had looked quick all day but ended up getting overshadowed by Tsunoda on his way to seventh, and he will share the fourth row with ART Grand Prix-run Renault F1 prospect Christian Lundgaard.

Behind Schumacher, last weekend’s reversed-grid race winner Felipe Drugovich completed the top 10 with his MP Motorsport car.

Two of the expected frontrunners finished up in the midfield, with ART’s Ferrari protege Marcus Armstrong 12th and DAMS-run Williams junior Dan Ticktum 15th.

Charouz Racing System pair Pedro Piquet and Louis Deletraz were 17th and 18th respectively, and each will face a one-place grid penalty for driving round from the paddock to the pitlane on wet-weather tyres, which is apparently illegal.

Full qualifying results:

shares
comments
DAMS hails "mature" Ticktum after Austria podium
Previous article

DAMS hails "mature" Ticktum after Austria podium

Next article

Red Bull Ring F2: Shwartzman holds off Tsunoda for victory

Red Bull Ring F2: Shwartzman holds off Tsunoda for victory
Load comments
What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum? Prime

What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum?

Having by his own admission "blown my chances" of reaching Formula 1, Dan Ticktum is facing an uncertain future. A driver of unquestioned ability who has at times been his own worst enemy, can he apply his lessons and rebuild his career hopes?

FIA F2
Sep 30, 2021
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