ROAD TO F1: Tsunoda takes F2 pole as Zendeli beats the rain to seal top spot on F3 grid at Spa
Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda beat Nikita Mazepin by a tenth of a second in a fierce battle for pole position in Formula 2 at Spa Francorchamps – Tsunoda’s second of the season. While in F3, Lirim Zendeli claimed his first P1 start of 2020, taking pole by 0.2s, ahead of Theo Pourchaire in a rain-hit session.
Tsunoda was sublime from the off, taking provisional pole after the first set of flying runs. Mazepin pulled off a powerful lap himself, with a fastest middle sector to briefly steal it from the Carlin driver, but Tsunoda upped his game to reclaim top spot with time to spare.
Championship leader Callum Ilott endured a woeful afternoon, finishing outside of the top three for the first time this season. The Ferrari junior will start all the way back in P12 when the Feature Race gets under on Saturday at 1645 local time, after qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Red Bull junior Juri Vips’ F2 debut couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. The Estonian’s DAMS car suffered from an issue on his installation lap and he wasn’t even able to get a time on the board.
In F3, Trident’s Lirim Zendeli got his fast lap in early doors and was fortunate to have done so. The German driver was the first out on track and set the benchmark at 2m05.393s, before rain hit the session.
Theo Pourchaire came closest to his time, but fell two-tenths short. Alex Smolyar managed third, ahead of championship leader Logan Sargeant. The American’s title rival, Oscar Piastri, was all the way back in eighth.
The track didn’t dry up in time for the field to get back out there again and the order remained unchanged, giving Zendeli a shot at his first F3 victory, from pole, in the race at 1025 local time on Saturday.