The Formula 2 2020 Finale Send Off

To round of the Formula 2 season, Jess and I decided we would sit down and discuss the season; taking a look back at what we thought would happen, how the season would end and some of our favourite moments from the year.

he really proved to everyone how talented of a driver he is and how deserving of a seat he is

Alice

Driver | Callum Ilott and Felipe Drugovich

When I was looking back at drivers that stood out to me this year, Ilott and Drugovich were the two that rang prominent. Ilott had an incredible season that found him fighting for the championship from race one and he pulled everything he could out of the car to take it to where it finished. To take five pole positions in one season, the most out of the whole grid, shows how incredible of a driver you have to be. He fought a great season and he deserved every point he earned. With Drugovich, he was never a driver I imagined doing as well as he did. He wasn’t a driver on my watch list, someone I looked out for ahead of the season but after his race win from pole in the first sprint race of the season, I knew he would be someone to watch out for. Although his season held a lot of ups and downs, he really proved to everyone how talented of a driver he is and how deserving of a seat he is. It’ll be a shame if we never get to see either of these two in Formula One.

Team | UNI Virtuosi

Since the day that Virtuosi have stepped foot into Formula 2, they have been my favourite team on the grid. Whether they are over-performing or under-performing, they have always been the team I’ve looked out for and to see how well their season has played out is so heart warming. They had a great driver line up and a great team behind them who worked tirelessly on the car to get it to where it could go. This team is definitely one that’s going to go places in years to come and this is only the start. They’ve shown teamwork, mentorship and support the entire season, taking points and having fun the entire time. There’s no team, for me, that comes close to Virtuosi.

RACE | Austria Round One

This race was the one that stuck out to me the most. It was the first race of the season after a period of time where we believed we wouldn’t get to witness the season play out and it sure was one to watch. We saw Zhou take the first pole position of the season and we never would have expected that he would finish in 18th and his teammate, Callum Ilott, would take the race win. It was also that waking moment where we realised that the rookies weren’t here to mess around as Armstrong went on to finish second and Shwartzman to finish third. We also saw Drugovich finish 8th to go onto pole position and win the sprint race while the feature race podium sitters fell out of the points. Ilott finished 10th and Armstrong found himself retiring from the race. We also saw Mick tip the points to finish 7th while Tsunoda was no where to be seen. We thought that this weekend was the shining point that reflected how the season would go but it wasn’t even close.

Jess

Driver | Felipe Drugovich

I felt like I’d go on a tangent about Callum Ilott, so I decided to lay off of celebrating him by talking about who I thought was well deserving of the best driver that I saw. Drugovich came into the season with no higher than 5th in Formula 3, so it was all a bit skeptical in terms of what he was capable of. However, he got to work with MP Motorsport to bring those results in. It didn’t take long for the hard work to show as he simply took a win in the second race of the season, beating Del√©traz to the front. From then on, he was a frequent visitor at the front, taking another two wins and a third. If that’s not what talent is, I’m not sure what is. From a rookie to be challenging at the front regularly, I definitely would say he’s one to keep an eye out for next season.

Team | UNI-Virtuosi

There is simply no other team that I could best against Virtuosi other than Prema, but Virtuosi just seemed to stand out compared to the Italian team. They only compete in Formula 2, so all their resources are dedicated to competing and despite it being their second season as a stand-alone team, they’ve done incredibly well. UNI collected 15 podiums with a further 4 wins. That is the literal definition of a hard-working team and to have two incredibly talented drivers, they couldn’t have scored better. It was a shame that they didn’t get the title from Prema, but all in all, it’s definitely a season they should be proud of, because Formula 2, after all, is the second tier before Formula 1, so it would be highly competitive.

Race | Austria Race 1

My favourite race was simply just because of the end result. After watching the back end of Formula 3, I gathered a fair amount of favourites that I would love to see in Formula 2. Come the first round of the season after a delay of several months, we saw an incredible race play out to see what I would consider, the best podium with Ilott, Armstrong and Shwartzman. All three were ones I supported last season so to see all three there was fantastic to see, plus with two of them being rookies to Formula 2. On top of that, they’re all part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, so it’s nice to see that Ferrari’s picked drivers are incredibly talented.

The season was incredibly unpredictable from start to finish

Audience

At the beginning of the season, we asked the audience what they thought the season would look like. 2020 was definitely a different one and the season was incredibly unpredictable from start to finish.

When we looked back, we saw 20% of the people said Ilott would win the championship but it was the 15% who said Schumacher that predicted correctly. Ilott was the most popular candidate again for runner up where he took 25% of the predictions in which the 25% predicted correctly. To finalise the championship podium, 25% said Ilott but nobody predicted it would be Tsunoda to finish there.

We then look at who people wanted to see win. 30% wanted to see Schumacher win and that 30% got their wish come true. He fought a strong season and took a well deserved win. 25% said they wanted Ilott to win which he fought to the last breath for it and sadly, wasn’t able to pip the points. Other names we saw mentioned for drivers the audience wanted to win were Armstrong, Markelov, Shwartzman, Matsushita, Deletraz and Lundgaard. Regarding the most surprising driver, Armstrong was the most popular with 25% of the votes. I personally went into the mindset that he was a rookie in an ART and he’d very much be on the line of great weekends and poor weekends which is exactly how it went. I was surprised at how some of his races ended and how well he performed under certain pressures but I feel his season went the way most predicted. Shwartzman took 15% and I can see why. I felt surprised by Shwartzman’s season as he was running one of the best seasons he could in the beginning which came as a shock to most as he’s a rookie and the way it fell so suddenly also fell as a surprise. I hope next season is nicer to him and he’s able to hold his lead.

For pole positions; Ilott and Zhou tied with 20% each but it was Ilott who took the crown. He finished the season with five pole positions, the highest on the grid, with Tsunoda close behind with four. We also saw the audience mention Armstrong, Aitken, Matsushita, Shwartzman and Ghiotto.

We went on to look at who people thought would move to Formula 1 with 65% saying they’d see Schumacher graduate. The Ferrari Driver Academy driver has signed with Haas for the 2021 season alongside fellow Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin which nobody saw moving up for the new season. As of now, nobody else has been announced as moving up however, there is talks of Tsunoda heading to Alpha Tauri which nobody predicted either. 35% said Ilott and Aitken which, both drivers have been affiliated with teams in Formula 1. Aitken made his debut last weekend at the Sakhir Grand Prix while Ilott is due to join Alfa Romeo at the young drivers test.

Team wise, 30% believed ART would take the championship while a further 30% said Virtuosi but it was the 25% who believed Prema would take the points that were correct. However, the 20% who voted Virtuosi for runner up predicted correctly.

Alice

I have never been prouder in my predictions. After Formula 3, I was doubtful that I’d ever be able to predict a championship again but my Formula 2 predictions fell at 95% accurate. Ahead of the season, I predicted that Schumacher would go on to win the championship. I went on to describe him as a stronger driver and went on to say that after having a year in the sport, I think he’d adapt to the car enough to pull out a win. He did exactly that and drove an incredible championship. For second, I predicted Callum Ilott but also went on to say that I believe Zhou would give him a run for his money. I also mentioned that I believe Ilott will finish the season with the most pole positions which he did. The rookie I believed would come out on top was Armstrong which I predicted incorrectly as it was Tsunoda who took the crown.

Regarding the teams, I said Virtusoi would finish the championship on top as I felt they had one of the strongest lineups on the grid but they fell short of the title in the final rounds. As a team, they worked hard and took runner up which was well deserved.

The person I wanted to see on top was Louis Deletraz. Although he finished eighth overall, he drove an incredible season. This year was a better year for him and no doubt will he be fighting for championships soon. He juggled two series while driving a car that’s no where near being the best on the grid and I think he did a remarkable job to take the points he did. I still believe in him and his talents in the sport and hopefully he’ll return next year to go for the championship. My most surprising driver fell drastically. I had a lot of faith in Samaia to do well this season but he rarely finished off of the back line.

I mentioned a few names who would have a chance of moving up and out of the five, only one will graduate. I mentioned Callum Ilott, Mick Schumacher, Louis Deletraz, Guanyu Zhou and Daniel Ticktum but it was only Schumacher who was given the opportunity to make the move. I can still see these drivers heading to Formula 1 soon.

Jess

I came into the season with a lot of favourites from following both Formula 2 and Formula 3, so when they were announced, it was a difficult decision of who I thought would be capable of champion. I stuck with who I supported the most and persevered with Callum Ilott, and he did deliver. He barely qualified out of the top 3 and when luck was on his side, continuously fighting up at the front. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as champion, but nevertheless, I’m proud of him. From then onwards, my predictions were pretty disasterous. I predicted Zhou to be runner up, but turns out to be his teammate with Schumacher obtaining the title, with him only finishing 6th. For teams, I had my full support in Virtuosi, and rightly so, but with a series of misfortunes for both drivers continually throughout the season, it wasn’t enough to knock Prema off their title campaign. Similarly, I mentioned ART Grand Prix as my runner up, however, to be franky honest, it seemed as if they were only capable of providing one good car per weekend, which I think they need to sort the consistency issues across weekends to come close next season.

I put Marcus Armstrong as my one of my most surprising drivers, and I really wish it was. After taking 2nd from Daruvala in Formula 3 last season, I expected him to be there at the front, which he did in the first rounds. All the races after just started to fall apart as he continually stayed near the middle to back of the grid, bar the penultimate round, where he was close to a podium once again. My other driver was Robert Shwartzman, who definitely did surprise me this year. No doubt I knew he had a load of talent, after all, he was crowned Formula 3 champion in a competitive grid, but for him to be fighting Schumacher, Ilott and so on continuously, it’s just a matter of time to see if he’ll take the crown.

Drivers moving up to Formula 1 is a touchy subject, with only two drivers (potentially three) moving up, where the first place driver moves up, followed by 3rd and 5th. Ilott should of had the chance to be there with Schumacher into Formula 1, but it’s such a tight grid, there was no opportunity for him. Aitken made his Formula 1 debut too during the Sakhir Grand Prix, but not given a full-time seat. I also mentioned Ticktum, Zhou, Deletraz and Ghiotto, but alas, Formula 1 is no easy place to get to. I’d love to see them there though in the nearby future, because they all deserve it.

It’s just a matter of time

We hope we were able to improve your Formula 2 experience this season and we’re super excited to jump back into it once more in the new year. We will see you next year for the 2021 Formula 2 Season.

Thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t have done this without you. We appreciate every single one of you.

Alice and Jess.