Lundgaard seals first F2 pole in Mugello, ahead of Ticktum and Ilott

ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard snatched his first ever pole position in FIA Formula 2, beating out DAMS’ Dan Ticktum by the narrowest of margins – just 0.005s. Callum Ilott recovered from a tough start to the session to take third place, less than a tenth off pole himself.

After a cautious Free Practice session which saw a heavy focus on long-runs and data gathering, the cars fed out onto the Mugello circuit for the second time and instantly set about testing the limits of the track.

Mick Schumacher and Luca Ghiotto pushed them a tad too far early on and both drivers skidded wide into the gravel trap.

The ART pairing of Marcus Armstrong and Lundgaard got the limits just right, taking first and second after the first set of flyers. The Kiwi led the way, setting the benchmark at 1:30.857, less than a tenth quicker than his teammate.

Lundgaard swapped positions with Armstrong at the end of the second set of fast laps, beating his teammate by 0.6s. Armstrong couldn’t improve enough and started to tumble down the order, as Ticktum stole the second spot on the front row.

Christian Lundgaard of Denmark and ART Grand Prix (6) (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The field dived into the pits for a fresh set of boots and returned in unison. Lundgaard picked up from where he left off and strengthened his grip at the top of the leader board thanks to personal best first and second sectors, lapping at 1:30.133.

Ilott had been lingering outside the top ten during the first half of Qualifying, but punched in a purple middle sector to leap up to third, only losing time in Sector 3.

There remained just enough time for one final set of laps, but the soft Pirellis were looking worse for wear. Lundgaard opted to return straight to the pits, confident the job was done.

Ticktum had one final shot at pole but struggled to find pace in either the first or final sectors. However, the DAMS driver looked to have already done enough on the previous run to retain P2.

Dan Ticktum.  (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

No one else could improve and Lundgaard retained pole, ahead of Ticktum and Ilott. Armstrong held on to fourth, ahead of Felipe Drugovich and Jehan Daruvala. Juri Vips wobbled on his final push lap, which meant that he could only manage P7, ahead of Luca Ghiotto.

Title contender Robert Shwartzman made a late improvement to sneak into the top ten, taking P9, whilst Jack Aitken completed the top ten. Fellow Championship contenders Yuki Tsunoda and Schumacher could only manage 11th and 15th.

Lundgaard looks to have carried over his form from Monza, where he scored a double podium finish. The Dane will hope to claim his second win of the campaign in the Feature Race on Saturday, at 4.45pm.

Mugello F2 Qualifying Results

1 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 0.000s
2 Dan Ticktum DAMS 0.005s
3 Callum Ilott UNI-Virtuosi 0.071s
4 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 0.184s
5 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 0.206s
6 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 0.304s
7 Juri Vips DAMS 0.353s
8 Luca Ghiotto Hitech Grand Prix 0.375s
9 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 0.394s
10 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 0.400s
11 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 0.409s
12 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 0.419s
13 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 0.453s
14 Nikita Mazepin Hitech Grand Prix 0.459s
15 Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 0.791s
16 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 0.841s
17 Marino Sato Trident 0.998s
18 Roy Nissany Trident 1.026s
19 Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB 1.198s
20 Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA RACELAB 1.212s
21 Nobuharu Matsushita MP Motorsport 1.828s
22 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 2.226s