Tsunoda snatches Sochi F2 pole

Yuki Tsunoda left it late to claim his third pole position of the season, after Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala had led nearly the entirety of Formula 2 Qualifying in Sochi. Tsunoda snatched pole in the dying stages, while the Indian driver missed out by just 0.006s, as Carlin secured the first front-row lockout in F2 Qualifying since UNI-Virtuosi in July 2019.

Championship leader Mick Schumacher was first out of the blocks around Sochi, but it was his teammate Robert Shwartzman who set the quicker lap of the two, briefly taking first place with a benchmark time of 1:49.634.

Beating them both, Daruvala flung his Carlin around for first at the end of his maiden run. Nikita Mazepin managed to find time in the first and second sectors to briefly go top, but the Carlin driver found a further four tenths of a second to retake provisional pole.

The Carlins were clearly fast around the Sochi Autodrom, as Tsunoda nipped ahead of Mazepin and into second place. Meanwhile, Jake Hughes was sat in ninth on his F2 Qualifying debut as the cars headed back to the pits for fresh rubber.

Jehan Daruvala

Daruvala picked up from where he left off when they returned for a second stint, finding a further tenth to try and solidify first place ahead of Tsunoda. Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott managed to fight up to third and fourth, but neither of them could match the Carlins for pace.

The Pirelli rubber had held up well around Sochi and Tsunoda put it to good use. The Red Bull junior set a stunning final lap to steal first from his teammate.

Daruvala attempted a reaction, but fell agonizingly short, by just six thousandths of a second.

Mick Schumacher 3rd quick

Shwartzman briefly claimed third, but ended up down in seventh after the final set of push laps. Schumacher found further pace from his PREMA to take P3 behind the Carlin duo.

Ilott, Schumacher’s title rival, managed to improve to fourth on the final run, but his teammate Zhou dropped to P9.

The morning’s fastest man, Luca Ghiotto, found the speed for fifth, ahead of Christian Lundgaard. Jack Aitken finished in eighth, with Mazepin taking 10th.

Qualifying Results

1 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 1m48.688s
2 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 0.006s
3 Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 0.195s
4 Callum Ilott UNI-Virtuosi 0.359s
5 Luca Ghiotto Hitech Grand Prix 0.542s
6 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 0.564s
7 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 0.596s
8 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 0.618s
9 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 0.623s
10 Nikita Mazepin Hitech Grand Prix 0.786s
11 Juri Vips DAMS 0.951s
12 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 0.992s
13 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 1.011s
14 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 1.181s
15 Jake Hughes BWT HWA RACELAB 1.274s
16 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1.288s
17 Dan Ticktum DAMS 1.526s
18 Marino Sato Trident 1.661s
19 Roy Nissany Trident 1.768s
20 Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB 1.800s
21 Giuliano Alesi MP Motorsport 2.255s
22 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 2.687s