Virtual GP | Round 2 – Spain

On the 10th of May 2020, the second round of the online grand prix for Formula 2 was held. The grid had 19 contestants, ranging from former drivers to current Formula 2 and Formula 3 and even Formula 4. Car #19 was reserved in honour of Anthoine Hubert so HWA ran once.

Qualifying

The session started with a one-shot qualifying on the track, where each driver has one chance to set a lap. The grid was:
1. Arthur Leclerc
2. Guanyu Zhou
3. Norman Nato
4. Jack Aitken
5. Lirim Zendeli
6. Nobuharu Matsushita
7. Louis Delétraz
8. Oliver Rowland
9. Felipe Drugovich
10. Olli Caldwell
11. Théo Pourchaire
12. Callum Ilott
13. Jack Doohan
14. Juan Manuel Correa
15. Sophia Flörsch
16. Davide Valsecchi
17. Sean Gelael
18. Sebastian Montoya
19. [Disconnected Before Race] Artem Markelov

Feature Race – 19 Laps

Leclerc had a good start ahead of Zhou who started in second place. The start, however, mostly remained clean both at the front and the back of the grid, with a few position changes mid-pack with Rowland gaining 3 positions and Ilott in 8th from 12th. At turn 3, Correa gets tapped by Gelael and then hit by Valsecchi so he slides out and hits the wall. Then at turn 4, Aitken, Pourchaire and Caldwell all collided with each other, dropping them down the order.

Louis Delétraz attempted an overtake on Lirim Zendeli into turn 2, but was spun into the grass. When he rejoined the track, Montoya and Ilott overtook him, putting him into P9.

By lap 6, Zhou caught up to Leclerc and attempted a move into turn 5, going down the inside. They battled it out until the exit of turn 10 where Zhou hit the back of Leclerc, spinning him round. A few corners later, Zhou earned a 3 second penalty for multiple warnings.

Lap 7 was the start of pitstops. 12 drivers went in for stops including Arthur Leclerc, who is battling for the lead. Following lap, Zhou and Pourchaire went in for the mandatory stop and then Nato and Valsecchi the following lap. Ilott, Aitken and Caldwell were all on the alternate strategy, going longer on the first stint.

With Zhou on the softs, he overtook Ilott into turn 1, putting him into P3, ahead of his teammate who was yet to make his stop being on the alternate strategy. On Lap 11, Norman Nato was given a penalty and on lap 14, Aitken made his stop onto soft compound. This meant Zhou was back into first, following the cascade of pitstops.

Zhou’s teammate, Callum Ilott, had a spin on lap 15, going through the chicanes, losing his 4th position to Leclerc, Zendeli and Drugovich.

Arthur makes his way back up from the crash, from the earlier spin by undercutting Zhou. By lap 15, he takes P3 from Rowland with a late dive into turn 1. Nato had a technical issue so he dropped from P2 to P5. This promoted Arthur from P3 to P2, putting him behind Zhou.

On the penultimate lap, Callum Ilott was battling it out with Montoya and Caldwell until he spun. Montoya and Caldwell continued, so Ilott ended up losing a position or two due to this. He rejoined the track in P12 behind Montoya.

On the final lap, Leclerc believed to have a technical issue, causinghim to disconnect from the session in P2, meaning Rowland was promoted to P2 and Zendeli into P3. They finished in this standing but Rowland had a 3 second penalty meaning Zendeli was promoted into second. Théo Pourchaire ended up being P8 meaning he took sprint race pole.

Sprint Race – 5 Laps

The grid for the sprint race was:
1. Théo Pourchaire
2. Louis Delétraz
3. Jack Aitken
4. Felipe Drugovich
5. Norman Nato
6. Oliver Rowland
7. Lirim Zendeli
8. Guanyu Zhou
9. Olli Caldwell
10. Sebastian Montoya
11. Callum Ilott
12. Sean Gelael
13. Jack Doohan
14. Nobuharu Matsushita
15. Davide Valsecchi
16. Juan Manuel Correa
17. Arthur Leclerc
18. Sophia Flörsch
19. Artem Markelov

Delétraz got a good start ahead of Pourchaire, meaning he claimed P1 into turn 1. There was a bit of carnage into the first corner: Drugovich slid onto the grass, Pourchaire went wide and Jack Doohan spun. A few corners later, Delétraz was leading, with Nato, Aitken, Pourchaire, Drugovich, Zhou, Rowland and Zendeli followed. Arthur climbed to P8 after starting in 17th place.

Louis had an advantage over Nato with 0.5 seconds, which Nato was hunting him down for many laps. With DRS activated, Norman was gaining on him every lap. Meanwhile, Zhou moved up to P4, overtaking Pourchaire and Drugovich. Leclerc was doing similar overtakes, getting to P9. Zendeli and Pourchaire gained penalties. Then Pourchaire spun on lap 2, putting him from P4 to P12.

Leclerc overtook Drugovich going towards the first corner of the circuit. Then he did an overtake on Oliver Rowland for P5, meaning he is behind Zhou.

Starting lap 4, Nato was gaining on Delétraz even on the final lap. Louis was pushed into the gravel, meaning Nato went into first position. The latter kept it in second place. Nato, Delétraz and Aitken crossed the line, meaning Delétraz had his second podium in the virtual grand prix series.

The final standings were:
1. Norman Nato
2. Louis Delétraz
3. Jack Aitken
4. Guanyu Zhou
5. Arthur Leclerc
6. Oliver Rowland
7. Felipe Drugovich
8. Sebastian Montoya
9. Callum Ilott
10. Nobuharu Matsushita
11. Olli Caldwell
12. Juan Manuel Correa
13. Théo Pourchaire
14. Sean Gelael
15. Lirim Zendeli
16. Davide Valsecchi
17. Artem Markelov
18. Jack Doohan
19. [Disconnected] Sophia Flörsch

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