Luca Ghiotto is as honest as they come on the Formula 2 grid, and the Italian racer was his usual reflective self after qualifying fourth for tomorrow’s Feature Race, saying that while he’s pleased with the improvement, he felt they had the pace for pole.

The Italian was in and around the top five for the entirety of the session and knew that the package Hitech Grand Prix had given him was strong enough to compete for first, but suffered with a lack of grip on the second set of super soft Pirellis that left him unable to better his time on the final run of push laps.

“Let’s say that it was like a 15-minute qualifying,” the Italian laughed. “I did my best lap on the first attempt and on the second one we don’t know exactly what happened, but we couldn’t improve. We felt less grip overall, so we are looking into it now.

“I am a bit frustrated because of that, as I think that we had the pace to be on pole today, had we put everything together. I was quite confident for the second run, but something didn’t work properly.”

Hitech were a late entry onto the grid for the 2020 season, entering the Championship as the 11th team last December and worked tirelessly to prepare their car for the season.

Ghiotto endured a torrid first round of the season though, when he mistakenly activated a safety feature on his car on the way to the starting grid, which ended his Feature Race before it even began. He was then tagged by Jehan Daruvala in the Sprint, which again forced him into retirement.

Neither result takes anything away from the pace they have shown in the early stages, and Ghiotto says he is proud of the advancements that the team have made.

“It was one of those weekends,” he admitted. “For anyone who watches F2, they will know that I always have those weekends in my life!

“We have improved from last weekend and it is still only our second Qualifying in F2 as a team, so the goal is to keep moving forward and that is exactly what we are doing now. We can be proud of ourselves and the job that we done.”

There was some positive news for the Italian driver on Friday morning, as a second event in his home country was announced, with Round 9 set to be held in Mugello.

That’s not to say it won’t be without its challenges. He explained: “I was hoping that we would get Mugello or Imola in the calendar, so I was really happy when I saw the news. It has been around seven years since I raced in Mugello, but I love the track. I think that it’s my favourite track, so I am super happy to be there.

“At the same time though, I am a little worried because I think that it will be a tough one physically, especially for us in F2 because we don’t have the power steering. So, with all of those fast corners, it will be tough in an hour-long race. I am already thinking about how to train myself to be 100% ready.”