UNI-Virtuosi was founded in 2012 in Norfolk, where they created the team to compete in Auto GP up to 2015. Since then, they made their first debut in the Formula 2 category in 2019, taking over Russian Time’s assets as a brand new entry to the sport. Since then, they’ve had Luca Ghiotto, Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott and are currently in 2nd for the 2020 campaign (prior Bahrain rounds).
Since Virtuosi took over Russian Time’s assets, the results are linked. Russian Time made their debut in the second tier of Formula sports in 2013, taking Sam Bird and Tom Dilmann under their wing. It didn’t take long for the team to secure their first win, claiming it in the sprint race of the second round. From then, Bird managed to take a further 4 wins and another podium, thus earning 2nd with 181 points. His teammate finished 10th with 92 points, earning Russian Time their first team’s championship on their debut season. They switched out their drivers for Mitch Evans and Artem Markelov for the following season. This time, it was only enough for 5th despite Evans taking two wins to sit 4th, whilst Markelov only ended up 24th. Virtuosi take over the management side of Russian Time for 2015, replacing iSport International. The team keep their two drivers from the year before. Once again, Mitch Evans took two wins to give him 135 points for 5th whilst Markelov earned 48 points (with him having 6 last year) for an improvement to 13th. For the final year of the GP2 series, the British-owned team switched out Evans to Raffaele Marciello and kept Artem Markelov. Markelov took his first win after three years, though his teammate earned more points over the season. Regardless, the team finished in 3rd, their best result since entering in 2013.
For the 2017 season, the championship switched names to FIA Formula 2 Championship, where we saw Artem Markelov and Luca Ghiotto as the competitors. The inaugural season for the team went significantly better than previous years, where Markelov took 5 wins to earn 210 points earning 2nd and Ghiotto earned 185 points with a win included finishing 4th. Together, they gave Russian Time their first team’s championship since 2013, only four years later. Before switching to Virtuosi, they had Markelov once again, this time joined by Tadasuke Makino. The team had a total of four wins that season, classifying in 4th. Artem ended up in 5th whilst Tadasuke finished in 13th. For Virtuosi’s debut season, they had Luca Ghiotto rejoin the team, but this time had a new Renault junior arrive by the name of Guanyu Zhou. Luca ended up third, collecting two pole positions, two fastest laps and four wins, whilst Zhou ended up with five podiums, one pole and two fastest laps. Zhou was also awarded the Anthoine Hubert award, in rememberence of the French driver, given to the best rookie of that season. Virtuosi finished the season in 2nd with 347 points.
Virtuosi retained their Chinese superstar, but this time picked up Callum Ilott, who came from Charouz. So far, they’ve had a very successful season, competing against Prema Racing, Hitech and ART Grand Prix all season long. The season is far from over, but up to before the Bahrain rounds, Ilott has 6 podiums, where 3 were wins and Zhou has 5 podiums with one being a win. The British driver sits in 2nd behind Schumacher, whilst the other is in 8th behind Deletraz. The team are 43 points behind Prema with only four races left on the calendar.
For a more detailed team profile, check out UNI-Virtuosi.