Nikita Mazepin is the fifth first-time race-winner in the 2020 Formula 2 Championship, claiming an impressive victory in the Silverstone Feature Race on Saturday afternoon.

Felipe Drugovich qualified on pole position for the first time and his task looked to have been made easier before the start when Calum Ilott squandered his front-row starting position when he could not get off the grid on the formation lap.

Drugovich, however, didn’t make a clean getaway at the real start and was jumped by Prema Racing’s Mick Schumacher on the run to Abbey.

The German’s time at the front was short-lived, however, as he was soon overhauled by Mazepin who passed him around the outside of Stowe to claim the lead.

Mazepin and Schumacher ran 1-2 until they both pitted at the end of Lap 8, dispensing their Medium tyres for the Hard rubber to run to the flag.  This left Drugovich, Guan Yu Zhou and Jack Aitken – who all started on the Hard tyres – out on track running a long first stint.

Having made his compulsory pit stop, Mazepin held the effective race lead and made better work carving through the midfield traffic yet to cycle through the pit lane.

This allowed him to open up a buffer and hold a comfortable lead by the time everyone had completed their pit stops, winning by 5.3 seconds.

Zhou was one of the few able to make his alternate Hard/Medium strategy work, eventually making his pit stop on Lap 22.  This gave him just seven laps to run to the chequered flag on the quicker Medium tyres, with the Chinese driver able to overtake Christian Lundgaard for second place with two laps to go.

Lundgaard was struggling to make his tyres last to the finish and succumbed to Carlin’s Yuki Tsunoda on the final lap.

Fifth place, after a hard charge through the field after his pit lane start, was Ilott, who finished just 2.5 seconds behind Lundgaard.  Louis Delétraz finished sixth, while pole-sitter Drugovich could only manage seventh place.

British driver Dan Ticktum crossed the line in eighth place, giving the DAMS driver the reversed-grid pole position for Sunday’s Sprint Race.

Mick Schumacher tumbled down the order late in the race thanks to excessive tyre wear, finishing in ninth place ahead of Nobuhara Matsushita.  Schumacher’s teammate and championship leader Robert Shwartzmann finished fourteenth after qualifying a poor 18th, with his 22-point buffer over Ilott cut to just eight points.

2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Britain (I) Feature Race Final Classification (29 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result Pts
1. Nikita Mazepin Hitech Grand Prix 29 51:17.953 25
2. Guan Yu Zhou UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Logo 29 + 5.323 20
3. Yuki Tsunoda Carlin Motorsport 29 + 7.406 15
4. Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 29 + 8.094 12
5. Callum Ilott UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Logo 29 + 10.764 10
6. Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 29 + 16.121 8
7. Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 29 + 18.136 10
8. Dan Ticktum DAMS 29 + 20.580 4
9. Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 29 + 24.742 2
10. Nobuhara Matsushita MP Motorsport 29 + 25.319 1
11. Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 29 + 26.230
12. Jehan Daruvala Carlin Motorsport 29 + 26.527
13. Jack Aitken Campos Racing 29 + 26.744
14. Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 29 + 30.767
15. Sean Gelael DAMS 29 + 31.585
16. Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 29 + 37.827
17. Luca Ghiotto Hitech Grand Prix 29 + 45.263
18. Artem Markelov BWT HWA Racelab 29 + 53.528
19. Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA Racelab 29 + 1:00.579
20. Marino Sato Trident Racing 29 + 1:12.128
21. Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing 29 + 1:27.775
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Reason
DNF. Roy Nissany Trident Racing 4 Mechanical

Championship Points:

  • Championship points are awarded on the results of the Feature Race’s top-ten finishers on a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 sliding scale.
  • Four additional championship points are awarded to the driver (Felipe Drugovich) and their corresponding team (MP Motorsport) for claiming pole position for the Feature Race.
  • Two additional championship 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.

Post-Race Penalties:

  • To be advised.

Image via Hitech Grand Prix.

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Geoff Burke

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