Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the ninth 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
he was on for one of his worst weekends
My predictions went fairly south this weekend. With Schumacher and Ilott fighting for the championship, I thought they’d do really good this weekend where they’d be taking podiums and wins but neither of them managed it. Schumacher managed a 5th and a 4th which boosted him to the top of the championship while Ilott finished 12th and 6th. I said that both drivers teammates would be on the chase which Shwartzman and Zhou both DNF’d in their feature race. The sprint race was all but positive for Shwartzman as he just missed out on points where he finished 9th and was demoted to 4th in the championship while Zhou fought through the grid for 5th place.
Ticktum was my next bet to do great this weekend and sadly, he was on for one of his worst weekends. Much to his dismay, he took 17th in both races after starting second for his feature race. Sadly, due to no fault of his own, he managed to fall through the standings. I always have faith in Deletraz to do well and every time I say he’ll make the podium, he always falls short so this week, I held back and said he’d be on to good points and he proved just that by taking third and second. Seeing him up on the podium, where he belongs, was such a positive of the weekend.
For the fastest lap, I said Schumacher and Tsunoda but it was Guanyu Zhou and Dan Ticktum who took the quickest time. I had faith in Prema to do well this weekend again but they didn’t pull through and it was Hitech who took the most points this weekend.
i could genuinely have never been much more happier
Like all my predictions, I said that one of the Virtuosi pair will take the win, but with a compromised start of the weekend for Zhou and Callum retaining damage in the closing laps of the feature race, it was difficult for them both. Yet, they managed to climb up to 5th and 6th in the sprint despite starting 12th and 20th. Maybe not a win perhaps, but a strong effort from the drivers nevertheless. I also mentioned Shwartzman, who unfortunately had an issue in the first race to then battle Armstrong for the second and lose out onto the gravel. It was an exciting sprint race for the Russian, but it was not meant to be as he finished in 9th, just one position out of the points. For Ticktum, it was generally just a weekend to forget: contact in the final 6 laps with Tsunoda ruined his run in the feature from 3rd to drop to 17th and then have contact with Shwartzman in the second lap to have to pit in and repair the car.
Deletraz could not have a better weekend in that Charouz car. He’s got his best weekend results since he’s joined Formula 2 with a 2nd and 3rd. It’s massively deserved as he’s been trying his hardest, but never seemed to have the race pace to stay at the front. I could genuinely have never been much more happier for him than I was when I watched it. Drugovich had a good start to the weekend, finishing in 4th, but when it came to the end of the race in the sprint, he lost a lot of pace to those around him, dropping from around 5th to 15th, which I thought was really unfortunate for the Brazilian driver as he’s doing incredibly well for a rookie driver.
Because of the non-points finish and less points on offer for the sprint race, Virtuosi lost out to Prema by 8 points, which means the Italian team extended their lead. I’m hoping Virtuosi can bounce back in Sochi, because I’d like to see a title fight at the front. My other half of the prediction was also correct with ART keeping ahead of Carlin by a considerable amount of points. The win plus triple points finish for both drivers meant they took home 31 points, which puts them 32 points clear of Carlin.
As we looked at how the audience predicted the weekend, we found that nobody predicted it would be Lundgaard on pole, the majority believing it would be Ilott or Schumacher. For first place, Mazepin was the driver to cross the line to win the race which nobody predicted once again. Continuing the theme, nobody predicted that Ghiotto would finish second to give Hitech their first 1-2. To no surprise, nobody predicted that Deletraz would be on the podium in third place with the audience predicting Tsunoda and Shwartzman. Fastest lap was split between Schumacher, Tsunoda and Ilott but it was the Brit’s teammate, Zhou, who went quickest.
nobody predicted it
For the sprint race, 33.3% of the people predicted Lundgaard to win and the Danish driver was the man on the podium. Second place saw Lundgaard again but alongside Ilott and Deletraz. It was in fact Deletraz who crossed the line in second to stand on the podium. To finalise the podium, nobody predicted that new comer Juri Vips would be clutching the third place trophy. He drove an incredible race and deserved that spot. For the fastest lap, 33.3% predicted Ticktum who went quickest out of the grid.
With regards to most surprising driver, Armstrong took 33.3%. Although his results weren’t perfect, we saw a change of pace for the Kiwi and it came a shock. Nobody expected him to qualify as high up as he did and he managed to take his first set of points since his third place podium in Austria. He’s progressed a lot this week and hopefully, without any mishaps, we’ll see the driver we saw at the beginning of the season. The remaining 66.7% was awarded to Deletraz who really was the most surprising driver. He is undoubtably one of the most talented drivers on the grid but we don’t get to see much of him. This weekend was different and he seriously surprised everyone with the amount of pace he was able to pull from the Charouz.
To finalise, 66.7% said Prema would walk away with the most points while 33.3% said Virtuosi but it was Hitech and their unpredictable 1-2 that took the most points this weekend.
he is undoubtably one of the most talented drivers on the grid
We went on to summarise each race in three words, my feature review being The Swiss Returns. Louis’ drive this weekend was beautiful in both races but his feature race was something else. He’d come out of a string of reasonable points, just missing out on podiums, so to finally stand up there for the first time since Silverstone really delivered a positive energy.
Jess’ three words were Hitech’s First One-Two. Hitech came into Formula 2 as a new entry for this year, with their first drivers in the team being Luca Ghiotto and Nikita Mazepin. They managed to sit at the front quite a lot despite being new. Taking advantage of Lundgaard on the safety car restart allowed them to gain the lead of the race and finish 1-2 for the first time. Jess couldn’t believe that they managed to pull this because new entries for teams often have a bit of downtime where they learn and develop the car, but Hitech just stuck it and pulled the unexpected.
Hitech’s first 1-2
A majority of the three word reviews revolved around the insane amount of crashes we saw along with the restarts and the experience. The feature race was a drive that nobody could predict where the top four dropped out and the Hitech’s outshined.
Looking at the sprint race, my three words Juri Vips Hive. Vips is a very talented driver and has always proved himself to be so. It was a shock to everyone, especially with his Macau win, that he wasn’t given a Formula 2 seat and was demoted to Formula Regional and Super Formula. It’s been great to see him in the car, especially a car that people had deemed to be useless, and take a podium in his sixth race of the season.
Jess’ three words were Virtuosi’s Race Redemption. With both drivers ended up out of the points, with Zhou having to retire, Virtuosi started 12th and 20th. Despite this, they gave it their all to finish 5th and 6th, which Jess thought was incredible and shows not only how talented the drivers are but also how hardworking the team are to provide a car that is capable of doing this.
The audiences three words were all different to one another. We saw reflections on the podiums with a few people saying that it was their favourite to date while others highlighted the dominance, overtaking and comebacks that we saw. This podium was definitely one to remember. The race was highly dominated by Lundgaard who managed to cross the line well over ten seconds before Deletraz in second place.
juri vips hive
Regarding highlights, my highlight this weekend was the unpredictability we had. It was a new track so we already knew that whatever would happen, wouldn’t be as predicted. Armstrong starting fourth in the feature race after barely breaking the top fifteen was the first unpredictability. From there, Mazepin and Ghiotto going forward to take a one-two when they started further back and had the odds stacked against them. Deletraz’ double podium was very unpredictable, almost as unpredictable as Vips taking his first podium while him teammate, who won the week prior, was no where in sight.
Jess decided that her highlight was one that couldn’t be split into two categories, but rather the whole weekend. She believed that Deletraz deserved an honourable mention to take two podiums that weekend, which was the first podium since Silverstone round one. Deletraz is known for pushing his hardest whilst working hard with the team so for him to take two podiums was a sight to see.
The audiences highlights were mainly podium related with all of the feature race being about Deletraz and the sprint race being about the podium overall. One person went on to say that Deletraz finishing 3rd was their only redeeming moment of the race. Another went on to say that Mazepin showing his true colours was a moment that stood out to them after his crash with his teammate. We also saw Christian’s domination as somebodies highlight.
deletraz is known for pushing his hardest
We always ask if anyone has any further comments they’d like to make on the Grand Prix to give people the opportunity to speak out on how they feel about the race. It’s never normally used but on the odd occasion we do get some comments. This one itself is pretty self explanatory: Vips should have been in that seat from the beginning, Dams is behind MP and Charouz in the constructor championship. And that Louis is still overlooked despite him having his best season in arguably the strongest field in F2 in years. Even Ghiotto gets more attention despite being behind him in an better car. Micks season reminds me of his F3 winning year, he is turning very consistent in the last half. Marcus is finally showing some pace but is still behind Christian. And I really hope Christian doesn’t win this year, he has nowhere to go.
Overall, the Formula 2 weekend in Mugello was an interesting one to say the least and I’d love to head back there again next year to experience some more exciting and entertaining racing. We saw our beloved Swiss return to the podium, the Estonian rookie take his first trophy in Formula 2 and the British team take their first one-two during their maiden year.
There is no racing this weekend as we take the time off before heading to Sochi in Russia next week. Enjoy your weekend off and if you’re missing the racing that little bit more this weekend, head on over to our YouTube channel where you’ll find our newest podcast on Sunday at 5pm.