Felipe Drugovich capped off a sublime debut weekend in FIA Formula 2 by clinching his first victory in the Championship at the Red Bull Ring, in just his second race at this level.
The Brazilian drove like a seasoned F2 contender, belying his lack of experience in the Championship and overcoming not just one, but three race restarts as the Safety Car got plenty of laps under its belt.
Drugovich enjoyed the cleanest of getaways off the line, shrugging off an attack from Louis Delétraz to sprint off into the distance. The Charouz racer was left to contend with Dan Ticktum, as the DAMS racer pulled up alongside him.
The Swiss just about kept his place before Marcus Armstrong got him out of jail and stole the attention of Ticktum. The Kiwi had already claimed three places at the start and took a fourth with his lunge on the Briton.
Giuliano Alesi was forced to pull over onto the grass from sixth as the back of his HWA Racelab machine went up in smoke, bringing out the first Safety Car of the morning. There would be a second visit in quick succession, as Sean Gelael pulled over as well just as the Safety Car was getting ready to head back into the pits.
When the Safety Car did finally head back in, Drugovich aced his restart and pulled away without an inch of doubt. Delétraz was forced to fight off Armstrong, just about clinging onto P2.
The Safety Car would be required for a third time shortly after, as Luca Ghiotto was spun around and beached himself on the gravel. Guan Yu Zhou just about managed to swing around the spinning Hitech machine but was forced wide and dropped to the back off the grid.
Once again, Drugovich nailed his restart, not even giving Delétraz a sniff of the race lead. Still, he’d need to do it for a third time as Armstrong became the race’s next casualty, losing power while in third place. Still Drugovich remained unfazed, holding off Delétraz when racing resumed once more.
With just a few laps remaining, the only movement in the top ten would come from Jack Aitken, whose lunge ahead of Feature Race winner Callum Ilott handed him his first points of the season, after a tough opening weekend.
Drugovich was the first across the line, ahead of Delétraz and Ticktum. Robert Shwartzman followed up P3 in the Feature Race with P4, ahead of Christian Lundgaard, Nobuharu Matsushita, Mick Schumacher and Aitken.
Ilott leads the Drivers’ Championship after the first round with 27 points, four ahead of Robert Shwartzman with Drugovich sitting third, followed by Ticktum and Delétraz. In the Teams’ Championship table, ART Grand Prix lead with 36 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 31 and MP Motorsport on 27. PREMA sit fourth ahead of DAMS In fifth.
|2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Austria 1 Sprint Race Final Classification (28 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result||Pts|
|1.||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||28||42:05.526||17|
|2.||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||28||+ 2.469||12|
|3.||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||28||+ 2.790||10|
|4.||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||28||+ 3.330||8|
|5.||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||28||+ 5.396||6|
|6.||Nobuhara Matsushita||MP Motorsport||28||+ 9.177||4|
|7.||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||28||+ 9.741||2|
|8.||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||28||+ 14.041||1|
|9.||Callum Ilott||UNI Virtuosi Racing||28||+ 14.272|
|10.||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||28||+ 15.395|
|11.||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin Motorsport||28||+ 17.528|
|12.||Roy Nissany||Trident Racing||28||+ 18.471|
|13.||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||28||+ 19.118|
|14.||Guan Yu Zhou||UNI Virtuosi Racing||28||+ 19.668|
|15.||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||28||+ 22.082|
|16.||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin Motorsport||28||+ 24.290|
|17.||Marino Sato||Trident Racing||28||+ 24.909|
|18.||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA Racelab||27||1 lap behind|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Reason|
|DNF.||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||22||Mechanical|
|DNF.||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||16||Collision|
|DNF.||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA Racelab||2||Engine|
- Championship points are awarded on the results of the Sprint Race’s top-eight finishers on a 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 sliding scale.
- Felipe Drugovich is awarded two bonus championship points for posting the fastest lap of the Feature Race by a top-ten finisher.
- To be advised.
Images and text via FIA Formula 2 Championship