Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the seventh 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
I made a pretty bold statement
I made a pretty bold statement this weekend which, in my defence, could have come true. I predicted a DAMS 1-2 which obviously, did not happen. Juri Vips had an insane first weekend taking eleventh in both races. I could see him fighting for the podium if his car didn’t have faults. He had to start from the pit lane for both races due to the car not making it off of the start. He battled from pit to 11th both races which I think is insane. Ticktum was on for a podium during the sprint race however, a collision stopped that from happening.
I also mentioned Zhou and Ilott with Ilott taking pole but it was Tsunoda on pole. Ilott finished 10th and retired this weekend while Zhou took seventh and third, making it another podium for him. I was also hoping for a Marcus redemption which is gradually getting there. The ART isn’t where it needs to be right now which is proof in both drivers. Armstrong took 15th in the first race and was battling for higher in the sprint race but retired after a car failure. I mentioned the Prema boys closing the gap with Ilott which Rob did just that after a win while Schumacher took a third and a second.
Another driver I thought would be doing good in Spa was Louis. He was on for a podium at times but managed 4th and 6th. For teams and fastest laps, I said Virtuosi on top for points but it was Prema. I said Ilott and Vips for fastest lap and it was Shwartzman and Aitken but Shwartzman took both points.
If that doesn’t prove how good he is, I’m not sure what will.
For the race winners, I said the UNI-Virtuosi boys to take at least one of them, if not a podium. Zhou had more of an average weekend, finishing 7th to then start 2nd for the sprint to end up 3rd by the end. Unfortunately for Callum, it was not his weekend, finishing 10th in the feature and then being spun out for the sprint race, thus consequently losing the lead of the championship. On the other hand, for Ilott’s title rival, Shwartzman, he finished 5th in the feature, allowing him to fight for the lead in the sprint. As soon as the crash happened with Nissany and Ticktum, he inherited the lead and kept it, pushing his title lead to 10 points. Deletraz had an all around good weekend, coming 4th in the first and ending up 6th in the latter, bringing home 12 points and now 8th in the standings.
I accidentally mentioned Drugovich twice, though regardless, I was definitely expecting some good results from him. Unfortunately the contact in the first race and then the disqualification meant he ended up at the back of the grid for the second. Despite this, he tried his best and ended up 13th by the end of the race, which I’m happy for him. For Ticktum, what was a good start to his weekend in 6th ended in catastrophe. With contact for the race lead against Nissany, it would only go downhill. After defending for laps on end in 2nd, he started to lose positions to 10th. If this wasn’t the case, for sure he would of taken the race win, if not a podium. Vips was another one that I talked about. Considering the fact that it was his first weekend in Formula 2 machinery, whilst starting at the back both races because of issues to take 11th in both was incredible. I’m happy he deserved a chance in the Dallara cars and if that doesn’t prove how good he is, I’m not sure what will.
In terms of the teams and who took the most points home, I was somewhat wrong. Prema took the most of course, taking a 1-2-3 result the entire weekend. Hitech and Carlin took more than UNI-Virtuosi, with Virtuosi only claiming 17 points, thus consequently losing the championship lead to the Italian team.
As we looked at how the audience predicted the weekend, people believed it would be Ilott, Lundgaard or Armstrong on pole but it was Tsunoda. For first place, it was Ilott again who people predicted but it was Tsunoda again who took to the podium which nobody predicted. For second place, it was Ilott on top again but it was Mazepin who took the position which nobody predicted. For the final podium, Schumacher took third which 20% of the audience predicted. With fastest lap, 20% predicted Shwartzman who took the point.
behind the wheel for the first time
For the sprint race, Lundgaard was the most popular choice for the winner but it was Shwartzman who took no votes that went on to win. For second place, Schumacher took to the podium which nobody predicted. With third place, we saw Guanyu Zhou which once again, nobody predicted. For fastest lap, Drugovich, Deletraz, Ilott and Tsunoda were the names in question but it was Aitken that went quickest.
With regards to most surprising driver, Vips took 80% of the votes. I can agree with this completely. We knew that he was going to be good but he out proved everybody. Pit to 11th both races is insane, especially behind the wheel for the first time. This is just the beginning of what we’re going to see of Vips. The other 20% was for Aitken. Aitken didn’t wow me this weekend and was very much chilling in the back.
To finalise, 20% said DAMS would take the most points and 80% for Virtuosi but it was Prema who took the points.
Poor Ole MP
We went on to summarise each race in three words, highlighting key moments of the race. My feature race highlight was Poor Ole MP. MP had a blinder last weekend, taking win after win but this weekend, we watched the two cars collide. This, in turn, meant that Matsushita couldn’t race the following day.
Jess’ three words were Dramatic Final Finish. This was in reference to the battle between Tsunoda and Mazepin that lasted for ages, leading to the final laps. Unfortunately the race was decided by a penalty, but either way, it provided an interesting ending to a race.
Dramatic Final Finish
A few of the three word reviews we got from the audience were Dramatic MP Race. As said previously, the race for MP didn’t go to plan. They took home no points that weekend, including a disqualification for Drugovich.
Looking at the sprint race, my three words became Somebody say Retirement? This sprint race saw the return of four retirements and a driver that couldn’t start which meant five drivers couldn’t finish the race: the most we’ve seen all season. Ilott, Armstrong, Sato and Nissany missed out on points this weekend from it.
Jess’ three words was Ticktum was Unlucky. Dan was on course for a win, fighting against Nissany for the race lead already within the first laps, but because of the incident, his tyres were losing grip significantly quicker than the rest of the grid. He’s been working hard with the team and has managed to receive a load of good results this year already, so it was very unfortunate to see him collide with Nissany.
Similarly, the audiences three words revolved around the crashes and smashes of the race. The most talked about incident was regarding Ticktum and Nissany. We saw the two battling through for first place, Nissany running off track and hitting a kerb. He joined the track, clipping Ticktum which sent him into a kerb. Ticktum’s car went airborne and as it landed on the track, he hit Nissany which sent him flying into the barrier. Nissany walked away with no injuries and Ticktum’s car limped him to tenth.
Prema have considerably improved
Regarding highlights, my highlight this weekend was how beautiful the remembrance of Anthoine Hubert was. It wasn’t an easy weekend, for Hubert’s family and friends, the drivers on the grid and everybody in the motorsport industry. The weekend held a heavy heart and the tributes held were beyond beautiful. It would have been what Anthoine would have wanted. His memory will live on in the paddock forever and the retirement of number 19 in Formula 2 will forever be a remembrance of Hubert.
Aside from Jess’ other highlight being like mine, her’s was in reference to Prema. They managed to claim a win from Shwartzman and then a double podium from Schumacher. In comparison to last year, Prema have considerably improved, which she’s happy for them since they definitely lacked the consistency for the previous year.
The audiences highlights for the feature race was Matsushita and Drugovich getting out of the crash harm free. They both walked away without injuries, thankfully. For the sprint race, Vips journey from pit to 11th was the most talked about moment. Vips is an incredibly talented driver and I hope we get to see him next season.
incredibly talented driver
Overall, this weekend was sad for everybody in the grid. Every driver raced for their friend, hearts hopeful that the world will never forget his name. We saw mixed emotions, tight racing and too many crashes for our liking.
Join us across these next couple of weekends in Italy with a weekend in Monza and a weekend in Mugello. Keep an eye on our social medias if you want a say in what you think will happen during the Italian Grand Prix’s.