Lets Talk About The Formula 2 Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the sixth 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

Hopeful that this would be the return of Armstrong

Alice

I decided to switch things up this week in regards to predictions and went with Lundgaard on pole and as a race winner. Ilott found himself on pole once again and it was Matsushita and Drugovich who too the race wins. Lundgaard found himself just outside of the points this weekend as he went on to take eleventh in both races. Ilott was another name I could see on the podium but he also fell short. Luck wasn’t on his side and multiple safety cars managed to screw his race over. I was also hopeful that this would be the return of Armstrong but that also didn’t go to plan. He retired during the first lap of the first race but battled his way up to 15th in the second race.

Deletraz and Ticktum were two names I mentioned once again but neither had the best weekend. They each took a 9th and a 10th to finish off their weekend. After Aitken’s brilliant weekend in Silverstone I has also predicted he would pull a repeat but the Campos driver only managed 18th in both races. The return of Prema and Shwartzman was one of the only things I predicted correctly this weekend. Shwartzman took second in his first race while Schumacher took third in his second race. I predicted that Tsunoda would be on the bite and he was, taking fourth in both races.

I felt as if UNI-Virtuosi would still be taking the most points this weekend but with the return of the dominant Prema, they managed to take 8 points less. I also thought that Daruvala and Zhou would take fastest laps but it was Matsushita and Ticktum that took the points.

The British team weren’t as successful as prior

Jess

I didn’t predict anyone for the pole position, but for Ilott to take it again, twice in a row and third of the season, he is doing undeniably well for his second full season. In terms of the podium and wins, I mentioned both of the Virtuosi drivers. Ilott was undeniably close in the Feature Race, for him to lose out with the tyre degradation which no one was entirely expecting. If the safety car didn’t come out in the last few laps during the race, he definitely would have won it, but unfortunately, it wasn’t the case and dropped to 5th. However, his teammate managed to overtake Tsunoda when Mazepin made a move on the final lap to take the final podium spot. Maybe the British team weren’t as successful as prior weekends, but still bagged a lot of points for the team. For the Prema team, they got both of their drivers on the podium each, with Shwartzman taking 2nd in the feature race and Schumacher taking 3rd in the sprint race. I put a lot of faith into Ticktum and he was very close to delivering. Similar to Ilott, he missed out due to the safety car and then the high tyre degradation in the second race kept him just out of the points. Of course, the same happens with Deletraz, only managing a point in the first race after being pushed out on the first lap and then 9th in the second.

For Aitken, it wasn’t his weekend, finishing 18th in both races. With drivers having to tyre save for the entire weekend, he struggled with them, pitting not under the safety car and missing out with a pitstop gamble in the second. Meanwhile, Lundgaard had a bad start to his weekend, qualifying in 14th to end up 11th in the feature race and remaining there for the second.

Virtuosi keep their lead in the championship by 15 points to Prema. They lost out to them by 6 points across the three days, but they still maintain in the lead. Carlin ended up dropping to 6th, losing out by 99 points to MP Motorsport who had a double weekend win. I wasn’t expecting them to take two wins, so understandably, I severely underrated them.

Audience

As we looked at how the audience predicted the weekend, Ilott held 60% of the votes for pole position and the majority predicted correctly. The majority was mirrored for race winner with Ilott but it was Matsushita who took the position on the podium which nobody predicted. Shwartzman took 20% of the votes for the race winner and 40% of the votes for third place but nobody predicted he would place second on the podium. The final podium position for the feature race was held by Guanyu Zhou after Mazepin took a penalty which nobody predicted. Zhou did take 20% for the race win and 40% for runner up. Deletraz was the popular contender for fastest lap but it was Matsushita who nobody predicted that took the points.

lundgaard was the most popular

For the sprint race, we saw a split decision regarding first place with 20% predicting correctly with Drugovich. From there, a further 20% predicted Ghiotto finishing as runner up however, nobody predicted Schumacher to place third on the podium. For fastest lap, nobody predicted that it would be Ticktum.

With regards to most surprising driver, Lundgaard was the most popular. I will admit, for me, Lundgaard was one of the more surprising drivers but in a negative rather than a positive. We’re so used to seeing him pushing for podiums and coming home with trophies that seeing him outside of the points is a shock. Hopefully when we return in a week, things will be different because Lundgaard is definitely one of the most talented drivers on the grid. Schumacher also was noted as most surprising which personally, nothing he did wow’d me this weekend. Piquet was the third name mentioned and I can positively say that the Brazilian driver surprised me this weekend. He managed to take his first points this weekend in the sprint race where he took 7th and placed higher than his team mate for the second time this season. I hope we see this dominant side of Piquet more often. The last driver mentioned was Aitken and I was torn between whether his result came as a shock or not. Part of me hoped that after last week, this week would be much more positive but it felt as if the car fell back to the same old pattern.

To finalise, we looked at the teams with 100% believing Virtusoi would walk away with the most votes but it was the boys from Italy with Prema taking the most points.

safety car masterclass

We went on to summarise each race in three words, highlighting key moments of the race. My feature race highlight was Safety Car Masterclass. Pretty self explanatory however, I felt the amount of safety cars really did ruin the race. Every time the racing got close, a safety car deployed and resulted in a very boring race, personally. The only excitement came from the last lap and even that couldn’t salvage the race.

Jess’ three words were Double Pit Stops. Usually for races, drivers race with a one stop, coming in for the second set of tyres either early on the race or going for the longer stint. But for those who came in early, a few opted for the double pit stop after another safety car was called within the final 6 laps. It was highly unexpected from not only hers but a lot of viewers’ perspective.

double pit stops

A few of the three word reviews we got from the audience were regarding the chaos that came of the feature race. We saw dominant drivers drop through the results, drivers managing to award themselves with positions they didn’t fight for and the most unexpected podium of the season. Matsushita took his first podium of the season and Guanyu Zhou fitted himself back on the podium after crossing the line in fourth. Last Lap Madness was definitely a smart way to word the race.

Looking at the sprint race, my three words became Spain means Pain. After an uneventful Saturday, I was expecting more from the sprint race but we were rewarded with a mediocre race. Admittedly, some tracks will never deliver a world class race however, I expected more from Spain. With that being said, Drugovich pulled a brilliant race and pushed his hardest to hold that position. We also saw only 21 drivers step to the grid after it was announced the Gelael had fractured his spin during the feature race.

Jess’ three words sat with Very Uneventful Race. It seemed weird for a feeder series race to be super uneventful as they’re usually known for being unpredictable and definitely a more exciting prospect than the main series, Formula 1. However, it seemed more of a drag than usual with the high tyre degradation often making drivers more reserved during the race and unable to push for positions. But with the cars racing here in the summer rather than in the early months of the year, it was undeniable that this was obviously a contributor factor to a slower weekend, especially when drivers had to tyre save for majority of the race, leading to drivers sitting behind each other with two second gaps everywhere.

Similarly, the audiences three words involved Drugovich’s performance. He was miles above the rest on Sunday and knew what he needed to do to find that podium. He managed to maintain his tyres from the start through until the end and deserved his podium.

Spain means pain

Regarding highlights, I found it quite difficult to find one. For me, the race weekend was reasonably average with little to no enjoyment but that’s just racing. Seeing new people on the podium would be a highlight for me. It’s always great to see different faces and that’s what makes Formula 2 what it is. The unpredictable is always bound to happen and you never know who will find themselves where.

Jess’ highlight would be Matsushita’s sensational drive. Nobuharu came from Carlin to MP Motorsport for the 2020 season and he had been struggling with the new team, but to start from 18th to take the win due to very unexpected events during the race was definitely a masterclass of a drive. She’s happy for a well-deserved driver to find his form once more and take a win.

Pedro Piquet almost got points in the feature race, finishing 10th, but lost it due to a penalty post-race putting him into 14th. In the sprint race, he managed to finish in 7th. As someone like herself who often likes to point out those away from the top, it was definitely her highlight. He came from Brazilian Formula 3 as champion and had been struggling in Formula 2, so seeing him with points to his name is a nice turnaround in her views.

The audiences highlights for the feature race was the arrival of the final lap. With the safety car deployment, nobody was sure of whether we would get any more racing for the day. The last lap was intense, every place counted and we saw some hard racing to the finish line. Another highlight for the audience was Nobu’s first podium of the season. Regarding the sprint race, we saw that the audiences highlights fell into Ilott still taking points even during his bad races. He proved that even if he wasn’t on the podium, he was remaining consistent and taking points to hold his championship position.

We saw some hard racing to the finish line

Overall, this weekend hasn’t been anything more than your average weekend. We saw new faces and old faces, disappointed drivers and a championship at stake.

This weekend we will be having a weekend off for the first time in three weeks but don’t worry! We will continue to bring you a lot of content through out the next week. Keep an eye out for our Formula E Season Review tomorrow and join us next week as we prepare for another back to back weekend.

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