Formula 2 Hungarian Grand Prix 2020

With the first two rounds of the championship come and gone, the drivers and teams moved onto Hungary where the round will be held at the Hungaroring. Following the same schedule as last week, the drivers went out on track once more for the last time, before heading to the United Kingdom in two weeks time.

Qualifying

Before the qualifying, it rained heavily, meaning Formula 3’s qualifying was cancelled. Two hours later, the drivers were allowed back on track, though the circuit was still full of standing water. The session started with some out laps before Samaia lost it on the corner, meaning a red flag was called briefly to retrieve his car safely. The session restarted with 25 minutes to go. The drivers that were fighting for the pole position were Deletraz, Mazepin, Lundgaard, Schumacher, Ilott and Ghiotto. Daruvala lost it in the same corner as many of the Formula 3 drivers, causing the red flag to be pulled out within the last 5 minutes of the session. Because there was so little time left, qualifying wasn’t restarted meaning Ilott starts on pole, ahead of the Italian Ghiotto.

The grid is as follows:
1. Callum Ilott
2. Luca Ghiotto
3. Guanyu Zhou
4. Dan Ticktum
5. Mick Schumacher
6. Christian Lundgaard
7. Marcus Armstrong
8. Jack Aitken
9. Sean Gelael
10. Guiliano Alesi
11. Robert Shwartzman
12. Louis Delétraz
13. Pedro Piquet
14. Yuki Tsunoda
15. Jehan Daruvala
16. Nikita Mazepin
17. Artem Markelov
18. Felipe Drugovich
19. Marino Sato
20. Roy Nissany
21. Nobuharu Matsushita
22. Guilherme Samaia

Feature Race

Ilott starts on pole for the first time in 2020, last time previously being Monza 2019, with both being scored in a wet qualifying session. For the first time, it was a dry race session, this time around the Hungaroring track.

Ilott gets a good getaway from the grid, ahead of his fellow British rival, Dan Ticktum. Zhou had a poorer start compared to his teammate and started losing positions, falling to 7th. Last week’s feature race winner Shwartzman, starting from 11th, had a brilliant start, driving through the middle of the grid between all the cars and around the outside of turn 1 to take 6th. It didn’t take long for Ticktum to try and battle Ilott for the lead, already trying to go around the outside of Callum, but the opportunity was slammed shut and had to settle for second. Behind, Markelov was battling Mazepin.

The Trident duo of Nissany and Sato were fighting for track position through into turn one. With cold tyres and cold brakes, Nissany had full lock into turn one, unable to slow the car on time and hit into his teammate. Sato retired on track, which caused a safety car to be called out. The marshals got to work quickly and removed the broken car.

Racing resumed once again. Lundgaard spared no time for moves, sending it on Ghiotto. Luca wasn’t anticipating the Dane to have the straight line speed that he had, so when he moved to defend through into the braking zone, Christian hit his front right on the Italian’s car. This caused the tyre to come off the axle, dropping him back down the order. His teammate, Armstrong, tried to take avoiding action when it came to the following corner. Markelov wasn’t expecting him to move left when he did, meaning he drove into the front left wheel and suspension of the Kiwi, sending him into the barriers and ending his race. Obviously this meant the safety car was recalled to collect all the cars to safety.

When the green flag was waved for the drivers to start racing again, Ticktum enters the pits as soon as he could: to change from the softs to mediums. This meant Ilott and Schumacher were left to fight for first. Though, a lap later, he retaliates to this early pitstop by also pitting, leaving Schumacher to run longer on his tyers. Behind them, Shwartzman and Aitken battle for 6th. With everyone starting to pit for tyre changes, as per the feature race rules, Zhou now was catching on Shwartzman for 3rd.

ART were having a catastrophe after the incident. Armstrong came into the pits to retire on lap 11, which was later followed by Lundgaard having gearbox issues and also having to end his race. For Ghiotto, he was still trying to get his first race win of the year. He pitted a few laps later than Ilott and Ticktum and came out ahead of them both, but with the Brits on older and warmed up tyres, they overtake him with ease. Front runner Schumacher comes in a lap later and also comes out ahead of Ilott, but similar to Ghiotto, he had more grip than him, allowing him to sail past.

For Ilott’s teammate Zhou, he was fighting Delétraz and Piquet for 12th. He overtook the Swiss driver, whilst he dropped back, allowing his teammate to drive ahead. With Ticktum on almost 10 laps old tyres, the performance was starting to drop off, losing the advantage of softer and warmer tyres compared to those around him. Ghiotto overtakes him easily for 8th position. Same with Zhou a lap later, also taking 8th since one of the front runners on the longer strategy pitted. For Ilott, it was going downhill, losing 5th to Schumacher, now that his tyres was starting to degrade massively. In 10th, Delétraz’s tyres were losing grip, having streaks on the tyres, but this didn’t stop him from overtaking Ticktum to move up a position. Behind, Tsunoda was fighting fellow Japanese driver Matsushita, but lost his front wing, meaning he had to pit.

Schumacher led Ilott by 3 seconds, whilst Drugovich pits from 4th on lap 27. Shwartzman follows a lap later from first and comes out 4th ahead of Ghiotto, though it didn’t last long. A large lockup and Ghiotto with older and more malleable tyres, he lost the position to the Italian. 2 laps later and the Russian already was second, overtaking Ghiotto with now tyres that were working at the optimum temperature. It didn’t take long for the Prema rookie to overtake Ilott either, with already 24 laps old tyres.

Drugovich, Daruvala and Mazepin all also adopted the alternative strategy, going for the longer stint first. This meant with the rest of the grid on old tyres that have already dropped off massively, it would be a breeze to overtake. Mazepin pitted and came out 9th, but was flying up the order and was 4th within a few laps of coming out. With Ilott up the road, he went for the move, which was then followed by with Schumacher, meaning he sat in 2nd.

Shwartzman already pulled a 15 second gap to Mazepin in second. Drugovich pipped Daruvala to the line, earning 5th while the latter took 6th.

The feature race results are:
1. Robert Shwartzman
2. Nikita Mazepin
3. Mick Schumacher
4. Luca Ghiotto
5. Felipe Drugovich
6. Jehan Daruvala
7. Louis Delétraz
8. Callum Ilott
9. Dan Ticktum
10. Guanyu Zhou
11. Giuliano Alesi
12. Nobuharu Matsushita
13. Jack Aitken
14. Pedro Piquet
15. Guilherme Samaia
16. Yuki Tsunoda
17. Sean Gelael
18. DNF Christian Lundgaard
19. DNF Marcus Armstrong
20. DNF Artem Markelov
21. DNF Marino Sato
22. DNF Roy Nissany

Sprint Race

The sprint race grid is:
1. Callum Ilott
2. Louis Delétraz
3. Jehan Daruvala
4. Felipe Drugovich
5. Luca Ghiotto
6. Mick Schumacher
7. Nikita Mazepin
8. Robert Shwartzman
9. Dan Ticktum
10. Guanyu Zhou
11. Giuliano Alesi
12. Nobuharu Matsushita
13. Jack Aitken
14. Pedro Piquet
15. Guilherme Samaia
16. Yuki Tsunoda
17. Sean Gelael
18. Christian Lundgaard
19. Marcus Armstrong
20. Artem Markelov
21. Marino Sato
22. Roy Nissany

Ilott finished 8th in the feature race, meaning he starts on pole for the second race in a row. Delétraz is aiming for his first Formula 2 win, starting 2nd from the grid.

The Brit had a good start off the grid, ahead of Delétraz and maintaining the lead. The Swiss driver had a less eventful start, already losing a position to Ghiotto, who started 5th. Shwartzman had a similar start as yesterday, going through the cars on the grid. For Drugovich, the start from 4th ended in disaster as he crawled off the line slowly, meaning he already dropped to 20th. Zhou dropped back a few positions after making a mistake near the end of the first lap and is now battling Samaia for 12th. Ticktum, like the day before, had a decent start to 5th from 9th on the grid. It ended abruptly though when he lost power when battling with Shwartzman to be overtaken. He was able to drive back into the pits for repairs. Both ART’s of Lundgaard and Armstrong were trying to make positions back up after the catastrophic incident yesterday, where both retired. The Dane was battling with Markelov for 17th, though the positions kept switching for the next few laps. Samaia also joined in on the action, but Markelov took 16th from the Brazilian rookie.

Ilott was on a more successful hunt for 1st with a 3.4 second gap to Ghiotto in second. Behind these two, Schumacher overtook the Russian driver Mazepin for 3rd, taking a provisional podium spot. Tsunoda had a fight with another driver, meaning part of his front wing broke. He was waved a black and orange flag meaning he had to pit within the next few laps.

Delétraz was being fought by the German Prema driver, with him lasting another lap before being overtaken. By the following lap, Mazepin overtakes the Swiss driver as well. Zhou tried to get further up the order, first by overtaking Gelael. There was a slight bit of contact due to Gelael closing the door, but they managed to keep it on track. Zhou tries again the next lap and manages to get ahead. Armstrong also wanted in on the action and was trying to compete with him. Ahead of them, Shwartzman gets ahead of Louis Delétraz.

Drivers were complaining that tyre degradation was high and that the tyres weren’t lasting as long. Aitken was the first to start the pitstop chain, with Daruvala, Gelael and Samaia following a lap after. Delétraz continued, whilst Ilott stayed 3.7 seconds ahead of Ghiotto out front. Schumacher pits four laps later than Aitken did. Unfortunately, he had an issue with the front right tyre going on, which meant he was pushed back. Ilott responds to everyone else pitting by also going in with Shwartzman. Ghiotto went with the alternative strategy, so he held out in front. Mazepin pits a lap later than Ilott and Schumacher. With Shwartzman’s tyres already being up to temperature, the Russian passes with a breeze whilst Mazepin goes wide.

Alesi and Ghiotto stayed out, nursing the tyres on the alternate strategy, running 2nd and 1st respectively. Ilott, with newer and up to temperature tyres, was on a move, bringing down the gap between the front two, with the gap between Ghiotto and himself being over 30 seconds. He overtakes the Frenchman with ease and began his hunt for his second win ever. Behind, Shwartzman overtakes Daruvala, with the situation being similar to Ilott on newer tyres.

Like Ilott, Schumacher was on a mission with better grip on his softs. Alesi and Delétraz were unable to defend from the charging German meaning he was now 3rd. Delétraz managed to take 4th and Shwartzman took 5th from the French driver. Mazepin did not hesistate when it came to an opportunity to overtake Louis and went for it, pushing the Swiss driver in 6th.

Ilott was reducing the 30 second gap every lap by 3 to 4 seconds. By the final 2 laps, he was 10 seconds behind, and then 7.4 the next, until he was 3 seconds behind. Ghiotto had a lockup into turn one on the final lap, meaning Ilott was able to gain time on the Italian. One corner too little and Ghiotto held on to the win. Callum trailed by 0.6 across the line to take second. Schumacher took 3rd for the second time during the weekend, increasing his championship points.

The sprint race results are:
1. Luca Ghiotto
2. Callum Ilott
3. Mick Schumacher
4. Robert Shwartzman
5. Nikita Mazepin
6. Louis Delétraz
7. Jehan Daruvala
8. Guanyu Zhou
9. Marcus Armstrong
10. Guiliano Alesi
11. Nobuharu Matsushita
12. Sean Gelael
13. Christian Lundgaard
14. Artem Markelov
15. Pedro Piquet
16. Felipe Drugovich
17. Roy Nissany
18. Yuki Tsunoda
19. Jack Aitken
20. Marino Sato
21. Guilherme Samaia
22. DNF Dan Ticktum

Come back to the website on Friday to see what what we thought of the races, and maybe you’ll see your opinions featured! Following this week, we’ll be having a break from the racing schedule. We have a post lined up on Sunday, so check back then to see what it is!