The FIA Formula 2 Championship delivered another tyre wear dominated thriller at the Hungaroring, with Luca Ghiotto narrowly holding out Callum Ilott to win Sunday’s Sprint Race and claim his first victory of the 2020 season.
Driving for the new-to-F2 Hitech Grand Prix team, Ghiotto gambled on not making a pit stop during the 28-lap Sprint Race and nursed his fast-fading tyres to cross the finish line just 0.4 seconds in front of Ilott who gambled on a mid-race switch to soft tyres.
The Sprint Race format does not typically warrant a pit stop, but such was the extreme tyre wear being experienced by the field that many gambled on doing so.
Having qualified on pole for Saturday’s Feature Race but failed to convert it into victory after his tyres fell away, Ilott was not going to fall foul of the same error on Sunday. Starting from the reversed-grid pole, Ilott once again jumped into the lead from Ghiotto and built an early four-second advantage over the Italian.
Last year’s Sprint Race winner Mick Schumacher was running in third place and was the first of the frontrunners to gamble on a pit stop, swapping his Medium tyres for Soft rubber. A slow change on the right-front wheel put paid the to the German’s aspirations of victory, however.
Ilott followed suit on the next lap, surrendering his lead to Ghiotto. With ten laps to go, he rejoined with a 40-second deficit to the Italian who opted to nurse his Medium tyres to the end.
Ilott was immediately getting an advantage out of his softer rubber and cut into Ghiotto’s lead at an average of four seconds lap. With one lap to go, he was 4.9 seconds behind, but a lock-up by Ghiotto at Turn 1 saw the gap between the two slashed even further.
Ghiotto had Ilott right under his rear wing as they went through the final corner, somehow hanging on to cross the line just 0.4 seconds clear.
Schumacher recovered from his slow pit stop to finish in third place, mirroring his result in the Feature Race won by teammate Robert Shwartzmann who finished in fourth.
Ghiotto’s teammate Nikita Mazepin backed up his first ever Formula 2 podium on Saturday with a solid drive to fifth ahead of Louis Delétraz (Charouz Racing System) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) who both opted to start the race on Soft tyres and were forced into a mid-race pit stop when their rubber fell away.
Shwartzmann continues to lead the Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship standings on 81 points ahead of Ilott (63) and Christian Lundgaard (43) who failed to add to his tally this weekend thanks to his retirement in the Feature Race.
|2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Hungary Sprint Race Final Classification (28 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result||Pts|
|1.||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||28||45:04.725||15|
|2.||Callum Ilott||UNI Virtuosi Racing||28||+ 0.423||12|
|3.||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||28||+ 11.762||10|
|4.||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||28||+ 13.818||8|
|5.||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||28||+ 15.152||6|
|6.||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||28||+ 23.451||4|
|7.||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin Motorsport||28||+ 23.831||2|
|8.||Guan Yu Zhou||UNI Virtuosi Racing||28||+ 32.230||3|
|9.||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||28||+ 34.275|
|10.||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA Racelab||28||+ 39.283|
|11.||Nobuhara Matsushita||MP Motorsport||28||+ 42.731|
|12.||Sean Gelael||DAMS||28||+ 44.953|
|13.||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||28||+ 46.926|
|14.||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA Racelab||28||+ 51.733|
|15.||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||28||+ 52.231|
|16.||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||28||+ 55.890|
|17.||Roy Nissany||Trident Racing||28||+ 1:04.365|
|18.||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin Motorsport||28||+ 1:13.806|
|19.||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||28||+ 1:15.656|
|20.||Marino Sato||Trident Racing||28||+ 1:23.059|
|21.||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||27||1 lap behind|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Reason|
|NC.||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||23||5 laps behind|
- Championship points are awarded on the results of the Final Classification of each Sprint Race to the race’s top-ten finishers and their corresponding teams on a 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 sliding scale.
- Two bonus points are awarded to the driver finishing in the top-ten (Guan Yu Zhou) and their corresponding team (UNI-Virtuosi) for posting the fastest lap of the race by a top-ten finisher.
- To be advised.
Image via Motorsport.com