Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the fifth Formula 2 Feature and Sprint of 2020. Together; we discussed the downfall of our predictions, our race highlights and summarised the race as a whole.
Race Weekend Predictions
On course for a potential double podium
For pole position, I put my trust in to the Virtuosi boys to bring it home and Ilott did just that. He had a rough weekend prior and I predicted that he’d make his come back by finding the podium once more and he did just that, winning the feature race. Zhou managed to bring home points in both races but sadly, we didn’t get a double UNI podium for the Norfolk based teams home race. I predicted Ticktum, Deletraz and Lundgaard to have good races this weekend. Christian took the second place podium for the feature race while Louis found himself just short of the podium with 4th for the Sprint race. Ticktum had a rough weekend with a lot of race complications that found him finishing the feature in 15th. He built up during the sprint race to secure some points by finishing 7th.
After Tsunoda’s incredible first weekend at the British GP, I predicted that he’d continue his streak to take some points and a podium and the Carlin driver found himself on top of the sprint race. After the previous weekend where Schumacher, Shwartzman and Armstrong had a rough time, I predicted they’d fight back; although I couldn’t have predicted that the fight would occur between the two Prema drivers. Schumacher and Shwartzman found themselves in seventh and eighth at the end of the feature race and were on to a Prema podium during the sprint but a collision between both drivers found Shwartzman out of the points and Schumacher on the podium in second. I put my trust in Virtusoi to take the most points and to no surprise, they did just that.
I couldn’t have predicted that the fight would occur between the two
I predicted that Ilott, Zhou, Lundgaard or Armstrong would be one of the few to take the pole position for Round 5. The British driver from Cambridge ended up pulling a fight with the Danish driver for pole position, but a final push meant the Brit set a lap quicker.
I put a lot of faith in the Virtuosi and ART drivers, plus Drugovich and Deletraz. For the Norfolk based team, Virtuosi had double points finish for both races with their drivers, plus an extra win by Ilott in the Feature Race. Marcus didn’t have a good run for the secound round of Silverstone, only finishing 14th twice. Lundgaard was on course for a potential double podium, but with tyre issues in the latter, he dropped to the back of the grid. Like Lundgaard minus the tyre issue, he only brought home one points finish in 10th for the first race and disappeared off for the other. Meanwhile, Deletraz brought home two of his best ever results this season with a 5th and 4th.
I said to look out for Ticktum and Shwartzman. Ticktum had a bit of a disaster in the Feature Race, only managing 15th, but had a turn around in the second to bring home 7th. Despite the fact he started in 15th, he managed to get to 7th and hold it off from Aitken to carry home another points finish. Shwartzman had a better run than the week prior, taking home 8th and almost a win, if not podium, before getting hit by his teammate to drop positions on the penultimate lap. He still remains in the title fight, only 2 points behind Lundgaard in 2nd.
I mentioned that Virtuosi will take the most points out of the weekend and unsuprisingly they did, with 43 points, putting them 21 points ahead of Prema. I tried to make a bold claim with ART overtaking Prema in the standings for 2nd, but they had a less fortunate weekend than usual and so, was unable to catch the Italian team in second. They sit 25 points behind them, so it’s still all to play for in the championship.
As we looked at how the audience predicted the weekend, we were reminded about the split decision for pole position between Ilott and Lundgaard. The 40% that chose Ilott predicted correctly but only 0.115 seconds shy. However, neither name was mentioned regarding the race winner which ended up being out pole sitter. 40% went on to predict Lundgaard to take runner up which he did while nobody predicted we would see Aitken standing in third. For fastest lap, it was split between Ilott, Armstrong, Shwartzman, Zhou and Ticktum but it was Daruvala that took the best time.
Nobody predicted it would be Aitken back on the podium
For the sprint race, we had a furth split decision with Ilott, Deletraz, Schumacher, Shwartzman and Matsushita each taking 20% but it was Tsunoda who took the race win. Although he was mentioned for the win, runner up Schumacher remained unpredicted for his position while his team-mate, Shwartzman, took 20%. For the final podium spot, Ticktum took 40% of the votes while Lundgaard, Drugovich and Deletraz took 20% each. This meant nobody predicted that it would be Aitken back on the podium.
With regards to most surprising driver, Drugovich took 40% of the votes. Tsunoda, Zhou and Armstrong finished the votes off with 20% each. Drugovich didn’t have his best weekend, taking 10th and 12th. Tsunoda was a surprise to many but personally, didn’t shock me. I’ve always believed he was a powerful driver and although he has his good and bad weekends, Silverstone is a circuit you can tell he feels comfortable in which is refreshing to see. Zhou was another where I felt we’ve seen much more from him in regards to points and positions but through driving ability, he pulled out an incredible job. He fought hard for his positions and involved himself in whichever battle he needed to place himself in the points. I believe there’s more to see from Zhou. Armstrong has has a rough couple of weekends and this was another to add to the books. However, with that being said, the car showed improvements. Armstrong is a talented driver and he proved that very early on. He managed to finish 14th in both races, just outside of the points, which is an improvement from previous weeks. Hopefully we will see him back in the points.
On the topic of Marcus Armstrong, we ask for further comments to allow people to give us points they’d like us to discuss and one point we got through was Can we get Marcus back were he belongs please? which, both Jess and I can fully get on board with. Armstrong is an incredibly talented driver, finishing runner up in Formula 3 in 2019 and taking some of the first podiums of the 2020 season. He puts his heart into his sport, has done since he was young, and it’s incredibly peculiar to see him finishing outside of the points repeatedly. My fingers will remained crossed that we get to see him in the points and hopefully on a podium this weekend but we can see minor improvements each week, lets hope he gets an incredible qualifying lap under his belt and finds himself amongst the drivers he battled with once before.
To finalise, we looked at the teams taking the most points with UNI and ART each taking 40% of the votes while Charouz finished off with 20%. It was the Virtuosi team that went on to take the most points however, if Lundgaard hadn’t had an unfortunate second race, they would have definitely applied pressure to the British team.
Can we get Marcus back were he belongs please?
We went on to summarise each race in three words, highlighting key moments of the race. My feature race highlight was Aitken is Back. Jack Aitken has not only been a fan favourite for years but, he’s always been one of the most talented drivers to race within Formula 2. His success rate last year was impeccable with him finishing in 5th and becoming a star favourite for the 2020 season. After his earlier races, a lot of negativity fell his way as he wasn’t placing as people had expected and the feature race proved that he is the talented driver he always has been, he just had a difficult start. It’s been great to see him back on the podium again.
Jess’ three words were Consistant and Fast. Ilott taking his second ever win in both the season and his Formula 2 career. She mentions that Callum has worked tirelessly over the years he’s been in the sport and so for it to finally pay off to start from pole and also take the win was a nice sight for her. He’s determined and she’s proud of where he’s got to since last year.
Callum takes revenge
A few of the three word reviews we got from the audience consisted of mainly the man on top, Callum Ilott. Every opinion fell minority different with Callum takes revenge, Ilott destroys everyone and Callum home win. The British driver had a very dominant weekend with an incredible qualifying lap, an equally incredible race start and power in him to fight and dominate the field to win at home. We also had a few that were race revolved rather than driver. Mainly, we saw conversations regarding the overtakes and tyre management throughout the race which made for an interesting race.
Looking at the sprint race, my three words became Comeback of Nightmares. Shwartzman was on for his redemption, picking up pace and keeping the pack behind him. His weeks prior hadn’t been the greatest so to see the Prema driver out in front, moments after losing the championship lead he held, was a sight to see. However, that was shortly defused by his collision with his teammate. The incident itself is a tricky one in the sense that people jump for who’s right and who’s wrong when in reality, it ended up as a racing incident. Mick was ahead of Shwartzman on the racing line therefore it was his right of way however, Shwartzman had no where to go thus, the collision. The sprint race was due to be his comeback of dreams but it ended so sourly.
Jess’ three words sat with Another Rookie Win. This is because, Yuki Tsunoda managed to take a surprise win after Shwartzman and Schumacher managed to come together. The tragedy of Prema led to the uprising of Tsunoda, who stuck behind the Russian and German driver and ultilised the mishaps they made to take his first win after missing out the first time in Round 2.
Similarly, the audiences three words involved the Prema crash. It was definitely the most memorable moment on the race which is why I am unsurprised by the feedback. We also had somebody, although trying to create the statement into three words, say that this is the reason why they love Formula 2. The drivers are much closer together, a constant battle between the top of the pack, the middle of the pack and the back of the pack. They experience much closer racing which keeps you on the edge of your seat.
this is the reason why (i) love formula 2
Regarding highlights, I feel like Jess summarised it quite well for the feature race. She went on to say her highlight was Lundgaard, who took his 3rd podium in Formula 2 as a rookie, with two of them being in a row. She’s noticed that he’s managed to make the step up from last year and now he’s managing to keep his momentum going into Silverstone to take two podiums and increase his championship chances.
For the sprint race, we both agreed that Aitken taking his second podium in a row was the highlight of the race. After the two Prema’s crashed, it meant that he moved up to 3rd. It was such a turn around since the start of the season, where he barely was able to make it in the points for most of them.
Personally, a sprint race highlight for me was seeing Tsunoda back up there. He is a severely underrated driver who is overlooked and deserves the recognition he doesn’t receive.
The audiences highlights for the feature race revolved around Callum’s home win, Lundgaard’s team radio and Deletraz’ move on Ghiotto. Team radios can always be a highlight of mine. Normally, I would straight up state that they are always however, this weekend proved differently. Ticktum came under a lot of heat for his radio message which I felt was undeserved. This goes back to looking at last week and how he is gradually redeeming himself yet adults have chosen to pull him back down once more. Markelov pulled a dangerous move ahead of Ticktum who had Deletraz right behind him.
Ticktum went on to the radio to state that he would never respect him, Markelov, as a driver ever again after the move. He also went on to state that if he keeps it up, he’s going to crash into him. Personally, there was nothing wrong with his radio message aside from the tone it was portrayed and I didn’t think further of the comment until the presenter placed there two cents. People went to twitter after the presenter placed false information into the brains of influential individuals and began a hate train which swarmed twitter. Ticktum later came forward to express that his comment wasn’t meant to be portrayed as how the commentator had explained it and that the information had been mislead. If you managed to miss the drama, the guest presenter stated that Ticktum had threatened to purposely crash into Markelov which was false and aggressive, used to diminish a driver due to his own distaste. Ticktum’s statement was due to the fact that if Markelov continued to race how he was, Ticktum’s reactions might not be quick enough to stop a collision.
Team radios can always be a highlight of mine
As requested, we were asked to do a comparison for best driver across both British Grand Prix weekends. I’ve been trying to figure out how this would be best displayed and felt that by using the most talked about names of the season would be the best way. So, with that being said, we will be looking at the top six in the standings.
Starting with the the Championship leader, Callum Ilott, weekend one wasn’t his greatest. He started off with fifth during race one before taking first in weekend two. For his sprint race, his first weekend saw his first out of points finish which ended with a retirement. He brought this back in his second sprint race where he took 6th. Across the Silverstone weekend, Ilott has accumulated 43 points with 10 in the first weekend and 33 in the following. He made an improvement between the two weekends. Christian Lundgaard currently sits at second in the standings with an incredible weekend. For the feature race, Lundgaard fourth during weekend one and second during weekend two. His sprint race was less successful for weekend two however he took second during his first weekend. Lundgaard accumulated 44 points across both weekends, a single point higher than the man ahead. Although a complication occurred that left Lundgaard finishing 21st, he took two podiums across the weekend and racked in the points as opposed to Ilott who took a win and two point finishes.
The man demoted across the Silverstone weekend returned to the points in his second weekend. He left Hungary with a win and fourth and debuted in England with 14th and 13th. He took some points as he finished 8th in the feature race and almost took a further 15 as he ran his first for the majority of the sprint race. He left the weekend four points but his points do not prove his ability across his British GP weekends. Beneath Shwartzman is fellow Russian driver Nikita Mazepin. He found himself in the points every race, taking first in his feature race during weekend one before taking a fifth, fourth and eighth. He battled his way through the grid and qualified well. He accumulated 44 points across both weekends, the same as Lundgaard however, overall, I found Lundgaard’s drive during Silverstone to be stronger.
Deletraz sits at 5th in the standings, keeping consecutively in the points all weekend. He took his British GP podium during the sprint race on weekend one, accumulating 36 points. Tsunoda was another driver to DNF during Silverstone and was one of three drivers to sit on the podium across the four races. With a 3rd and 1st, he finished the British GP with 38 points, only two behind the Swiss. The other Prema, Schumacher, also found himself in shallow water. Although pushing, he managed to find himself out of the points in the first sprint race but returned to the podium across the second weekend. He only managed 22 points after some great racing.
Points don’t always equal good racing
Points don’t always equal good racing and good racing doesn’t always mean you’ll get the points you deserve. Shwartzman’s a great example of this. He received no points during his first weekend in Silverstone and didn’t race to the best of his ability. He placed a statement explaining that the car didn’t feel comfortable and tyres weren’t great but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad driver. His second weekend, although unable to make the podium, was great in terms of driving for him. Shwartzman didn’t manage the points the past fortnight however, he was definitely up there as one of the greatest drives in Silverstone.
Personally, for me, Lundgaard was the best driver out in Silverstone, closely followed by Ilott. Lundgaard pulled out lap after lap, applying pressure where pressure was needed and reserving his tyres. The same goes for Ilott. People would overlook and ask why Lundgaard and Ilott? They found themselves with a race that they received no points for? And that’s where my statement comes into play. Just because they managed to walk from the race with nothing for the championship, they pulled out incredible drives time and time again. Deletraz and Aitken were also very close to being viewed as the drivers of the weekend. Both of them pulled out incredible laps, went for the line and held their own. They may have had bad rides but after the Silverstone weekends, people will look at both drivers with a different heart and a different opinion; one that could only be positive.
Overall, this weekend has been one to remember. We witnessed some hard racing, beautiful overtakes and a British driver winning the British GP. I hope you enjoyed the discussion and comparison of the drivers across the British Grand Prix’s and if you’d like to see more of that or anything else, then please let us know!
This weekend we will be heading to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. Catch our predictions tomorrow at 5pm BST.