Formula 2 Bahrain R1 Grand Prix 2020

Formula 2 had a two month hiatus, between Sochi and Bahrain, but as all great things come to an end, we’ve reached the penultimate round of the Formula 2 season. The drivers are at Bahrain International Circuit, following the usual layout. They enter the round with Schumacher sitting 22 points ahead of Ilott with Tsunoda in third.

This race summary is for the first round of Bahrain.

Qualifying

Drugovich sets a 1:42.107, which Armstrong immediately beats by 0.055 seconds to then sit 1st. Nissany slots himself into third for the first runnings of the session. Ilott sets a quicker sector two and three to set a 1:41.479, beating Armstrong. Zhou jumps to third as well with a 1:42.065. Tsunoda was on a push lap, but ended up losing the rear to slide out on track, bringing out the yellow flag. As he slowed on track, the red flag was called out. This meant Yuki was unable to set a proper qualifying lap for the session. Racing resumed not long later. Drugovich and Ticktum jumped up to 2nd and 3rd, pushing Armstrong into 4th, whilst Ilott remained at the top. Ilott’s title rival Schumacher was struggling to get anywhere higher, but moved up to 6th, until Lundgaard and Mazepin beat his time to drop him 8th. Alesi moves up to 6th with a 1:42.084, only 0.595 seconds slower than Ilott. Pourchaire moves up to 16th as he runs his first qualifying laps in a Formula 2 car. Alesi came off the track in sector one as he had an issue, whilst his teammate Drugovich sets the feastest third sector of the session, but wasn’t enough to improve from 2nd. With Alesi’s car still on track, the session was red flagged, ending it prematurely with 1 minute left on the timer.

The grid is as follows:
1. Callum Ilott
2. Felipe Drugovich
3. Dan Ticktum
4. Marcus Armstrong
5. Guanyu Zhou
6. Giuliano Alesi
7. Nikita Mazepin
8. Jehan Daruvala
9. Christian Lundgaard
10. Mick Schumacher
11. LouisDelétraz
12. Roy Nissany
13. Pedro Piquet
14. Robert Shwartzman
15. Jack Aitken
16. Théo Pourchaire
17. Marino Sato
18. Sean Gelael
19. Guilherme Samaia
20. Luca Ghiotto
21. Artem Markelov
22. Yuki Tsunoda

Feature Race

Drugovich immediately challenges the lead from Ilott into the first corner. Armstrong goes around the outside to settle into third comfortably, though was being challenged by Ilott’s teammate Zhou. Schumacher fully sends his car into the first corner to move up to 5th, sitting behind Guanyu Zhou. Later into the lap, Schumacher clipped the front wing of the Chinese driver to ruin his race with him having to pit at the end of the lap. Despite this contact, he was challenging Armstrong for third. Nissany had made up 3 positions into 9th and had to defend against Mazepin, who was trying to overtake him. Hoever, with all four wheels of the circuit, he backed out from the move.

Armstrong loses out to Schumacher, but the Kiwi doesn’t back down from the fight to retake the position. The Prema driver settles for 4th in the time being. Lower down the grid, Tsunoda moved up to 17th whilst Pourchaire joins him in 18th. Ticktum and Daruvala had been near each other in the opening laps, until Ticktum finally made the move into the first corner on lap three. Daruvala kept the position from the British driver, but eventually the DAMS driver took it a lap later. Roy Nissany also moves up tkaing advantage of the Indian driver, putting him into 7th. Mazepin was eyeing a move on him too, clearing him with ease. Not long later, Lundgaard and Daruvala were fighting side by side with each other for the position, but the Dane takes it, dropping Jehan to 10th in the matter of two laps. Mazepin and Daruvala went under investigation as Daruvala went off track during their battle, but was later given no penalty.

Nissany overtook Ticktum briefly, but a late braking meant the British driver was able to get past the Israeli once again.Armstrong was seeing a move on Ilott for 2nd into the first corner on lap eight, but the Briton kept ahead. However, just a few corners later, the Kiwi finally overtook the UNI-Virtuosi driver and now had a 1.9 second gap to Drugovich in first. It didn’t take long for Callum to be in the grasps of Schumacher either, merely only being one lap before the German driver overtook him. Armstrong had a lock up later in that lap to promote him to second, with the Kiwi and Briton trailing behind.

Armstrong was under attack from Ilott with softer tyres. Meanwhile, Shwartzman pits for hard tyres, going the soft to hard strategy. He drops to the back of the grid, but everyone else ahead had yet to pit. Mazepin was on a mission, overtaking Ticktum for 6th as the Briton struggled with grip. Lower down the order, Gelael made his way to 15th, overtaking Ghiotto and Pourchaire on his return to Formula 2.

Ilott, Ticktum and Daruvala all come into the pits on the end of lap 12. Despite Callum having an issue on the front left during the pitstop cost time, but still comes out ahead of Ticktum who came in from 7th. Immediately, Shwartzman overtakes Ticktum for 18th with used tyres. For Pourchaire, he was having an incredible debut, sitting in 12th despite it being his first weekend in the Formula 2 car.

Delétraz and Tsunoda were fighting each other for 10th, with the Swiss losing out to the Japanese. Just ahead of them, Lundgaard and Piquet were also battling for 7th. Piquet gets ahead of Christian as the Dane went wide, allowing Aitken, Delétraz and Tsunoda to catch up. Because they were bunched up, Yuki managed to squeeze past Louis for 10th and was eyeing up another position on Aitken and easily took it.

Mazepin is fully challenging for 3rd against Alesi, whilst ahead Drugovich comes in to pit. Nikita passes Giuliano after a bit of wheel to wheel racing, moving him to 3rd. Meanwhile, Drugovich came in to pit and comes out ahead of Ilott. While very crucial, he loses out to the British driver after a lock up, plus with the UNI-Virtuosi driver having a compound advantage due to an undercut strategy. Alesi, Aitken and Delétraz all come in to pit after the multiple lap battle earlier.

Mazepin, Nissany, Piquet and Samaia all come in to switch tyres on lap 18. Meanwhile, Shwartzman passes up to 6th with Daruvala, passing Zhou. ust a few corners later, Armstrong passes too, bringing Formula 3’s 2019 top 3 in 6-7-8. On top of this, Guanyu Zhou had still yet to pit for new tyres. Pourchaire comes in to the pit from 3rd, promoting Ilott into 3rd with Drugovich behind.

Mick Schumacher went for the alternate strategy comapred to Ilott and Drugovich. He comes in on lap 20 and comes out in 6th, behind his teammate Shwartzman. Meanwhile at the first corner of the lap, Ilott loses out to Drugovich, now losing the tyre advantage he had previously. Ghiotto passes Zhou for 8th, despite starting 20th on the grid.

Shwartzman loses his 5th position to Schumacher, who was speeding up the grid after pulling an overcut to his rivals. Meanwhile Zhou finally makes his stop, dropping him to the back of the grid once again. Armstrong had been trying to hold back Schumacher, but with laps old tyres compared to the German’s, he had a significant lack of pace. Lower down the grid, Mazepin passes both Gelael and then Ghiotto to slot into 8th. Tsunoda also managed to pass Piquet, putting him into 14th and was now on the hunt for Aitken. The Japanese driver passed the Campos driver around the outside, meanwhile the Briton manages to pass the Dane in the same corner.

Since Robert Shwartzman was the earliest to pit, his tyres were dropping off, allowing Mazepin to pass. Tsunoda had a bigger tyre advantage compared to Mazepin so it didn’t take long for the Carlin driver to pass him for 9th. He sat one position away from reverse grid pole, which was occupied by Ticktum.

Schumacher going for the alternate was a powerful strategy as he battled Daruvala for 3rd towards the closing laps. The Carlin driver held the Prema driver behind to the end of the race, allowing him to take his first podium. Lower down, Mazepin moves up to 5th, going past Armstrong. On the final lap, Tsunoda manages to pass the Kiwi as well, promoting him to 6th. Zhou was making his way back up the grid once again, getting past Alesi for 16th and now sat behind Delétraz in the penultimate lap. Ghiotto and Aitken were battling each other for the final points paying position in 10th, where the British Campos driver maintained the position from the Italian. Meanwhile for HWA rookie Pourchaire, he moves up to 18th past Lundgaard.

The feature race results are:
1. Felipe Drugovich
2. Callum Ilott
3. Jehan Daruvala
4. Mick Schumacher
5. Nikita Mazepin
6. Yuki Tsunoda
7. Marcus Armstrong
8. Robert Shwartzman
9. Dan Ticktum
10. Jack Aitken
11. Pedro Piquet
12. Luca Ghiotto
13. Sean Gelael
14. Guanyu Zhou
15. Roy Nissany
16. Louis Delétraz
17. Giuliano Alesi
18. Théo Pourchaire
19. Christian Lundgaard
20. Marino Sato
21. Guilherme Samaia
22. Artem Markelov

Sprint Race

The sprint race grid is:
1. Robert Shwartzman
2. Marcus Armsrtong
3. Yuki Tsunoda
4. Nikita Mazepin
5. Mick Schumacher
6. Jehan Daruvala
7. Callum Ilott
8. Felipe Drugovich
9. Dan Ticktum
10. Jack Aitken
11. Pedro Piquet
12. Luca Ghiotto
13. Sean Gelael
14. Guanyu Zhou
15. Roy Nissany
16. Louis Delétraz
17. Giuliano Alesi
18. Théo Pourchaire
19. Christian Lundgaard
20. Marino Sato
21. Guilherme Samaia
22. Artem Markelov

Mazepin loses out on the start. Meanwhile, Shwartzman keeps the lead of the race, allowing Tsunoda to slot into second. Schumacher and Mazepin are battling each other for position. Tsunoda locks up into the second sector, losing out to Shwartzman and now was within reaching grasps of Armstrong. Unfortunately for the Japanese driver, Tsunoda picked up a right rear puncture, dropping him to the back of the grid. Ilott was wanting to improve his position and was eyeing up a move on Aitken ahead.

Lundgaard makes his way past Drugovich as the Brazilian struggled with pace compared to his British rival in the feature race. It didn’t take long for the MP driver to repass him, though was considerably struggling compared to Ilott. Meanwhile, Pourchaire made his way up to 14th after starting in 18th.

Mazepin made a move on Schumacher to take 4th down the inside into the first corner. The German retakes it, only a few corners later. Coming into the third sector, Mazepin went for an overtake once again, but almost went into the back from late braking. Not only does Mazepin pass Schumacher, Aitken does too briefly. Behind, Lundgaard and Drugovich continued to battle each other for 12th position. Delétraz manages to pass Pourchaire for 14th as well. Eventually, Nissany and Markelov manages to get past Pourchaire for 15th and 16th.

Ilott gets past Aitken for 6th and now was on the hunt for Schumacher, which was crucial in terms of the title fight. Unfortunately for the HWA rookie, his car’s fire extinguisher went off, meaning he had to retire his car due to disqualification rules. This caused a safety car to retrieve his car. Aitken comes in to pit, but his rear left wheel didn’t go on properly, causing a bit of a delay. Delétraz, Ghiotto and Tsunoda joins the British driver in taking a pitstop as well.

Mazepin sends a move on Armstrong into the first corner, going isde by tside, though the KIwi kept the position. Ilott and Schumacher went wheel to wheel, competing for positions. As Mick locked up, Ilott sent a move, but also locked up from a consequence of braking late. Unable to slow down, he hits the side of Daruvala, spinning the Indian driver round. Piquet seizes this opportunity by overtaking Schumacher down the inside in the following corner to move up to 4th. With Jehan’s car spun round on track, the virtual safety car was called out. Ilott had to pit as he had a broken front wing because of this collision.

Armstrong had a good reaction to the end of the virtual safety car on lap nine, to see an opportunity to try and overtake Shwartzman. However, he was not close enough to pull a move, thus sat behindthe Prema driver with Mazepin behind. Unfortunately a lap later, Armstrong had a lock up, allowing the Russian driver to pass, making it a Russian 1-2. Ghiotto had to retire with a suspected mechanical issue.

Piquet tried a move on the New Zealand driver for 3rd, but he defended his line. They go wheel to wheel, but with a switchback, the Brazilian moves up to 3rd. Unfortunately for both Ticktum and Ilott, both were given penalties: Ticktum was for safety car infringement with a 5 second penalty and Ilott’s was for the collision, in which he was given a drive through penalty.

Sato moves up to 11th behind Nissany after overtaking Alesi. Delétraz moves up to 13th after overtaking Aitken and had the MP driver ahead. In the midfield, Zhou had been making his way up the grid after an incident on the first lap during the feature race to put him in 14th for the grid, pushing for 5th against Schumacher.

Lundgaard locked up whilst trying to overtake Schumacher. The Prema driver had no grip allowing the Dane to catch up. There was a slight tap of the cars, but no damage given to either of them. Drugovich saw a move on Lundgaard after two failed attempts to overtake Mick. felipe manages to pass him into turn 10, but loses out to the ART rookie. Just behind them, Delétraz passes Markelov for 9th and now was only a second behind Drugovich.

Aitken was another driver who went for the pitstop and was up to 12th after overtaking Sato. However, Delétraz was the highest driver who had pitted and was still improving his pace. He passed Drugovich for 8th and was within reaching grasps of Lundgaard in the following few corners. Schumacher was being caught up by Louis too with the massive tyre advantage. A lunge into the first corner allowed him to improve to 6th and had Zhou ahead by 0.5 seconds.

Louis was not stopping, moving up to 5th as people’s tyres dropped from high performance. Jack Aitken passed Markelov for 11th, who did a similar strategy to Louis Delétraz in 5th. On the penultimate lap, the Swiss driver managed to pass Armstrong and now had his teammate Piquet ahead, but it didn’t last long. Pedro picked up an issue, dropping him from 3rd and ending up having to retire. However, it did promote Louis to the podium position. Lundgaard tried to overtake Mick on the final lap and does so as the Prema driver couldn’t defend with race old tyres.

The sprint race results are:
1. Robert Shwartzman
2. Nikita Mazepin
3. Louis Delétraz
4. Marcus Armstrong
5. Guanyu Zhou
6. Christian Lundgaard
7. Mick Schumacher
8. Felipe Drugovich
9. Roy Nissany
10. Artem Markelov
11. Marino Sato
12. Dan Ticktum
13. Giuliano Alesi
14. Sean Gelael
15. Yuki Tsunoda
16. Callum Ilott
17. DNF/COMPLETED 90% DISTANCE Jack Aitken
18. DNF/COMPLETED 90% DISTANCE Guilherme Samaia
19. DNF/COMPLETED 90% DISTANCE Pedro Piquet
20. DNF Luca Ghiotto
21. DNF Jehan Daruvala
22. DNF Théo Pourchaire

We’ll be back on Wednesday for a Race Review, with what we thought of our predictions, highlights, lowlights, underrated drivers and so on. Check on our social medias to see how you can be included in these posts!