Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the tenth 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
it truly shows he deserves to be in formula 2
Last week, I said I’d love to see either Shwartzman or Mazepin on the podium for a home podium and although Shwartzman had a rough weekend, Mazepin found himself in second during the sprint race. I also said I can see Ilott doing well and retaking the championship which was half true. He wasn’t able to regain the championship after Mick’s double podium but his weekend wasn’t the worst. He finished second in the feature race and seventh in the sprint. I did say I could see Schumacher on podiums again this weekend which did happen. I believed we’d see more of the ART boys this weekend also but Lundgaard retired during his first race and finished 13th in the sprint while Marcus finished 9th in the feature and 14th in the sprint. Not their best but at least we saw some points.
Ticktum and Deletraz were my returning two that I hope do well every weekend but Sochi wasn’t their run. Ticktum did manage to take points twice with tenth in the feature and eighth in the sprint race. Deletraz only managed 18th and 17th but there’s definitely more to see from him. I gave a special shout out to Hughes as well as it was his first weekend and I’m honestly so impressed with him. It was his first weekend and he managed 12th in his feature race which was his first race in the Formula 2 car. Although he retired on the Sunday, I’m still incredibly proud of how far he’s come and it truly shows he deserves to be in Formula 2.
To regard fastest laps, I said Lundgaard and Shwartzman which was terribly wrong but I noted that that would be the case. It was actually Deletraz and Mazepin that went quickest this weekend. For teams, Prema was carried by Schumacher to take the most points which I did predict.
THEY HAD A MASSIVE TURNAROUND
Callum Ilott in first? Sadly not, as instead, Schumacher had an amazing weekend, taking home a win and a podium, extending his lead to the British driver in 2nd. Deletraz was caught up in a first lap incident in the feature race, merely ending what could of been a hopeful race in seconds, meaning he stayed at the back of the grid in both races. Shwartzman started his weekend decently, sitting in 7th for qualifying, before dropping to 11th in the final laps of the feature and staying there in the sprint race. Zhou on the other hand, finally got his maiden win in Formula 2, perhaps not the way he would of liked to, but still managed to claim one.
Ticktum struggled within the opening stages of the weekend, only qualifying in 17th, 6 places behind his teammate in 11th. He did manage to make up positions to 10th to claim a single point and then classify in 8th for the sprint after Daruvala was given a penalty. I’m happy he managed to turn around an unfortunate start to the week to claim a double points finish at least. Drugovich was the same, qualifying in 16th, just ahead of Ticktum. Like Deletraz, he was caught in the first lap incident with a fair amount of drivers, putting him to the back of the grid and compromising his second race. The Brazilian didn’t make up any positions in the first eight laps, thus consequently, finishing in 20th in the standings.
Per se if the sprint race continued, Virtuosi would of taken 36 points home which would of meant they had taken just one more point home than Prema, but since it was red flagged after a serious incident, they only could take half of the sprint race. Regardless, they had a massive turnaround since last weekend, which I’m glad to see. Carlin had a mega weekend, almost claiming 4 points finishes if Daruvala didn’t get a penalty, which for sure would of been difficult to beat by Charouz.
As we looked at how the audience predicted the weekend, Tsunoda took 20% of the votes for pole position and he was in fact the driver who started first. Ilott was the favourite for race winner with 80% but it was Schumacher, which nobody predicted, that took the win. From there, runner up saw Lundgaard as most popular but it was the 20% that said Tsunoda that predicted correctly. To finalise the podium, nobody predicted Ilott would finish third after receiving a multitude of votes across first and second. For the fastest lap, nobody predicted it would be Deletraz.
I do disagree with his sprint race placing
For the sprint race, first place went to Guanyu Zhou which nobody predicted once again. Second place was awarded to Mazepin which, once again, nobody predicted. To finalise the sprint race podium, we saw third place which was won by Schumacher 20% predicted correctly. For fastest lap, 20% predicted Mazepin.
With regards to most surprising driver, Vips was most popular with 40%. This week I expected more from him after last week but I’m not surprised to see that the consistency isn’t there as DAMS haven’t held a consistent car all season. Vips retired from the first race and finished 18th in the other. I feel his sprint results would have been better if he’d had the chance to prove it. Aitken, Daruvala and Lundgaard were the last to take votes for most surprising. Aitken surprised me this weekend, although I do disagree with his sprint race placing, but nonetheless, he did a great job. He fought to sixth in the feature race and finished fourth in the sprint. After his collision with Ghiotto that sent both drivers to the barriers in lap eight, the results were pulled from lap five which awarded Aitken the points. Daruvala really surprised me this weekend. His qualifying was out of this world and we really got to see a lot of him. He finished fifth in the feature race and only managed eleventh in the sprint but he had a great weekend and his qualifying surprised me. Lundgaard didn’t surprise me at all. We’re very aware the ART is very hit or miss so I wasn’t shocked to see it not compete this weekend.
To finalise, we looked at the teams. Prema left with the most points once again after Mick’s win and third place. This was predicted by 20% while the majority said Virtuosi.
ilott of stress
We went on to summarise each race in three words, my feature review being Ilott of stress. The most memorable part of the feature race was the drag to the finish line between Ilott and Ghiotto. It was Ilott who crossed the line ahead but the stress levels for the final few laps were through the roof. The title is close and Ilott is able to take it at any moment, reliant on Schumacher’s potential downfall, and to watch the Brit drop through the standings and nearly lose his podium sent stress levels through the roof. I love a close battle but it definitely stresses a person out.
Jess’ three words were Hughes is Delivering. The British driver was only announced a few days prior the Sochi weekend, so he didn’t have long to prepare. He stated that he didn’t do simulator practice either, so to go into a brand new machinery and drive at a track that he’s never drove at is a feat in itself. She says that, “to go from 15th to 12th, maybe not a massive feat in itself but with Formula 2 being a competitive category, is mightily impressive from him.”
Mick’s nearly there
One of the three words from the audience falls opposite to mine. While I spent my feature race stressed for Callum’s championship potential, somebody put forward Mick’s nearly there. He closed down his championship lead and extended his gap. Schumacher was the driver of the weekend and there’s no denying that. He has great potential and I can see him winning this championship, Sochi being his one step closer. We also received someone discuss a couple of things like the start, slipstream (and) tyrewear. The start was definitely one that had people on the edge of their seats and really proved that Schumacher is the king of starts. He managed to move his way through the standings before the first corner to find himself on a podium. The tyre wear we saw during the race was also on another level. Every drivers tyres were on their last legs.
Looking at the sprint race, my three words were What Sprint Race? Everytime somebody asks me about the race on Sunday; I can’t tell them a single word about the racing itself. The most I can remember is the crash itself but apart from that, nothing. The main moment I remember was Mick’s start that gave him the push he needed to get on the podium but after that to the crash, nothing comes to mind. Eight laps really didn’t feel like a race and the results didn’t reflect the work a lot of the drivers put in. I am incredibly glad that Aitken and Ghiotto walked away unharmed after the crash and that the FIA made the correct decision in suspending the session.
Jess’ three words were Zhou’s Maiden Win. She believes there was a lot to take from the sprint race, but Zhou’s first win was a sight to see. Zhou is a hardworking driver, working well with Virtuosi to provide good results for the two years he’s been with them. So, for him to finally take it was definitely a nice view. She wished it was a full race rather than just eight laps, but both him and Mazepin definitely provided a spectacle of racing to enjoy.
The audiences three words were all to do with the crash. We had a couple of people discuss the restart while others discussed the overall red flagging of the situation, the chaos and the crash itself. Alongside that, we had people mention that they’re glad the drivers walked away from a very horrifying crash. It’s definitely one that sent your heart to your stomach.
Zhou’s Maiden Win
Regarding highlights, my highlight this weekend was a tough one. Sochi is one of my least favourite tracks and I feel like the racing is never that exciting at Sochi. I feel like my highlight has to be some of the drivers redemptions. Armstrong found his way back in the points while Daruvala finished second in qualifying and fifth in the race to take a far amount of points. A lot of the drivers put their heart into their drives this weekend as it’ll be their last race for the two months so it was nice to see some different names in the points and getting recognised.
Jess decided that her highlight was about FIA’s safety. We saw many incidents over the weekend, one being in the feature race and then a heavy one in the sprint race. Seeing all drivers come out of it unharmed with only their cars taking the main impact, it shows how much they’ve managed to develop the safety in such dangerous sports. She thinks it’s definitely something to commemorate about.
The audiences highlights were similar to three words we’ve spoken about in regards to the drivers walking away from the crash unharmed and the starts we saw at the beginning of both races. We also saw highlights reflect back to mine with Daruvala receiving recognition and points as he deserved. A different one we saw was the mention of the switch back overtakes from Schumacher & Tsunoda in turn 2 during the feature race. Another highlight we saw was the drag race from Ilott to the finish line.
switch back overtakes
Overall, this weekend is Sochi for me is one to forget. It’s a boring track and the racing is never the best we get to see. However, it’s great to see how this championship is unfolding and how the drivers up the front are battling for the title. Hopefully the final two rounds in Bahrain will be worth the two month wait.
There is no for the next two months until Bahrain in November but don’t worry, we’ll still be bringing you lots of content across the weeks so you don’t miss out on all things racing. If you are missing the Formula 2 grid just that little bit, then next weekend on the 9th October, we will see Schumacher drive in FP1 with Alfa Romeo and Ilott drive in FP1 with Haas at the Eifel Grand Prix at Nurburgring in Germany.