Ferrari Formula 1 junior Ilott grabs maiden F2 pole at Monza

Ferrari Formula 1 junior Callum Ilott took a maiden Formula 2 pole position at Monza, one week after his team-mate Juan Manuel Correa was injured at Spa

Ferrari Formula 1 junior Ilott grabs maiden F2 pole at Monza

Ilott's pole came as his team-mate Correa remains stable in intensive care after being caught up the tragic Spa crash which claimed the life Anthoine Hubert one week ago.

The drivers were instantly under pressure as the already falling drizzle was forecast to increase to heavy rain 10 minutes into the session, making the first lap potentially key.

But rain abated for the first part of the session as Ferrari Academy driver Ilott starred. Championship leader Nyck de Vries and contender Luca Ghiotto ran first on the road but were constantly pushed back by those behind as the track improved.

Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott held pole by over two tenths from fellow rookie and Virtuosi Racing driver Guan Yu Zhou.

But with 20 minutes remaining, Honda junior Nobuharu Matsushita lost the rear of his Carlin-run car at Variante della Roggia chicane, which brought out a red flag as he got stuck in the gravel. Rain hit at the same time.

Just as cars began to re-emerge, Tatiana Calderon - the sole Arden runner after the loss of team-mate Hubert at Spa last weekend - lost the rear of her car and stopped at the exit of the Variante della Roggia chicane, like Matsushita.

Attempts at pole recommenced with the first laps arriving with 10 minutes to go, but no one could improve as the track remained slippery, particularly at the two Lesmo corners and Variante della Roggia.

But inside the last minute, improvements finally surfaced and it produced a nail-biting end to the session.

ART Grand Prix's de Vries looked the most likely to undo Ilott's pole time, but he snapped wide at the first Lesmo corner on his last effort and his chance of pole was over. He then pulled to a halt near the Curva Grande with an apparent mechanical issue.

That secured pole for Ilott. Ilott's reaction was muted on the radio.

Zhou, who formed part of Renault's junior programme alongside Hubert, took an emotional runner-up spot to Ilott - his second front row start of the campaign - ahead of de Vries's team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

Mazepin was also Hubert's team-mate, in GP3 last year, and scored his best F2 qualifying result with third. De Vries - Mazepin's team-mate - improved to fourth with his penultimate effort.

Flu-hit DAMS driver Sergio Sette Camara continues to battle his illness strongly with fifth, beating his title-contending team-mate Nicholas Latifi who could only manage seventh. Matsushita's time before spinning was good enough to split the DAMS drivers.

Behind Latifi, MP Motorsport's Jordan King was a late mover jumping into eighth, while another Ferrari junior, Mick Schumacher, took ninth on his team Prema Racing's home ground.

Louis Deletraz rounded out the top 10. He was set to move into the top three at least with his lap, before his Carlin team-mate Matsushita ruined his lap by bringing out the red flag.

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Dallara/Mecachrome 1m33.887s - 13
2 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi Dallara/Mecachrome 1m34.030s 0.143s 13
3 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix Dallara/Mecachrome 1m34.063s 0.176s 14
4 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS Dallara/Mecachrome 1m34.272s 0.385s 14
5 Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin Dallara/Mecachrome 1m34.419s 0.532s 5
6 Nicholas Latifi DAMS Dallara/Mecachrome 1m34.885s 0.998s 14
7 Jordan King MP Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 1m34.944s 1.057s 11
8 Mick Schumacher Prema Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 1m35.082s 1.195s 13
9 Louis Deletraz Carlin Dallara/Mecachrome 1m35.101s 1.214s 13
10 Sean Gelael Prema Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 1m35.148s 1.261s 13
11 Giuliano Alesi Trident Dallara/Mecachrome 1m35.310s 1.423s 14
12 Jack Aitken Campos Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 1m35.547s 1.660s 13
13 Luca Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi Dallara/Mecachrome 1m35.641s 1.754s 15
14 Marino Sato Campos Racing Dallara/Mecachrome 1m36.709s 2.822s 13
15 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport Dallara/Mecachrome 1m37.027s 3.140s 14
- Tatiana Calderon BWT Arden Dallara/Mecachrome 1m46.667s 12.780s 4
- Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix Dallara/Mecachrome - - 15


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