The Formula 2 Championship’s pattern of first-time winners continues, with Dan Ticktum clinching his maiden victory in the series in an exciting Sprint Race at Silverstone.
The British driver led every lap from his reversed-grid pole, surviving immense pressure in a final three-lap dash to the finish line after a late Safety Car interruption.
The full-course caution could not have been worse-timed for Ticktum, who found a number of his rivals opting to make a free pit stop and switch to fresh tyres. His DAMS team opted to keep him out, which was a smart move in the circumstances as its decision to split strategies and pit his teammate Sean Gelael led to the Indonesian driver being forced to stop at the exit of pit lane thanks to a loose wheelnut.
The lead driver to gamble on a pit stop was Renault junior Christian Lundgaard, who had vaulted to second place at the start thanks to poor getaways by Callum Ilott, Louis Delétraz and Felipe Drugovich who had all started ahead of him.
Lundgaard initially found himself unable to make inroads into Ticktum’s lead, with the Danish driver’s attention instead kept busy by Delétraz and a fast-closing Ilott.
Ilott had himself earned a five-second time penalty for punting Yuki Tsunoda into a race-ending spin at Village on the opening lap, and set about trying to minimise the pain of the penalty with a pair of beautiful passing moves on Delétraz and Lundgaard on Lap 13.
Ticktum was a little over two seconds up the road and coming under increasing threat from Ilott, who had the pace to potentially pass his countryman and build up enough of a lead to negate his penalty and still claim victory.
That potential all came to naught on Lap 15, however, when Ilott lost the back end of his car at the exit of Vale, spun and stalled. His stranded car triggered a Safety Car interruption, eradicating Ticktum’s lead to Lundgaard.
The ART Grand Prix team pounced on the opportunity to bring the Renault junior driver in for a free tyre change as the field was forced to tour through the pit lane under Safety Car conditions.
Lundgaard only lost three positions in the process of making his pit stop, emerging behind Delétraz, Zhou and Saturday’s Feature Race winner Nikita Mazepin.
The race restarted on Lap 19 and Lundgaard immediately pounced, dispatching Mazepin for fourth at Village and passing Zhou for third on the next lap at Brooklands. At the start of the final lap he picked off Delétraz at The Loop, and was barely a second behind race leader Ticktum who just managed to hold him off at the chequered flag.
Delétraz completed the podium, with any threat from Zhou eradicated when the Chinese driver looped his UNI-Virtuosi at Chapel on the last lap. That error promoted Jehan Daruvala to fourth, with the Indian driver also benefiting from the decision to pit under the Safety Car. Rejoining in tenth place, the Red Bull junior carved his way past his rivals and looked set to finish fifth before Zhou’s error.
Mazepin crossed the line in fifth ahead of MP Motorsport teammates Drugovich and Nobuhara Matsushita, with Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken rounding out the points-scorers in eighth.
Championship leader Robert Shwartzmann capped off a points-free weekend with a 13th place finish behind Prema Racing teammate Mick Schumacher after the Italian squad bungled the timing of its pit stop and double-stacked its two drivers.
Shwartzmann saw his 22-point lead over Ilott cut by 14 points after the Feature Race and could well have lost further ground to the Briton were it not for his spin and retirement. Lundgaard remains third in the points standings, a further four points behind Ilott, thanks to his second-place finish and two bonus points for posting the race’s fastest lap.
|2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Britain (I) Sprint Race Final Classification (21 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result||Pts|
|2.||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||21||+ 0.376||14|
|3.||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||21||+ 2.697||10|
|4.||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin Motorsport||21||+ 6.257||8|
|5.||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||21||+ 6.483||6|
|6.||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||21||+ 8.459||4|
|7.||Nobuhara Matsushita||MP Motorsport||21||+ 8.956||2|
|8.||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||21||+ 9.782||1|
|9.||Guan Yu Zhou||UNI Virtuosi Racing||21||+ 10.848|
|10.||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||21||+ 10.995|
|11.||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA Racelab||21||+ 17.417|
|12.||Marino Sato||Trident Racing||21||+ 18.643|
|13.||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||21||+ 22.320|
|14.||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||21||+ 26.230|
|15.||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||21||+ 28.531|
|16.||Roy Nissany||Trident Racing||21||+ 31.974|
|17.||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||21||+ 41.395|
|18.||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA Racelab||20||1 lap behind|
|19.||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||19||Mechanical|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Reason|
|DNF.||Sean Gelael||DAMS||16||Lost Wheel|
|DNF.||Callum Ilott||UNI Virtuosi Racing||14||Spin|
|DNF.||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin Motorsport||0||Collision|
- 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 (Christian Lundgaard) and their corresponding team (ART Grand Prix) for posting the fastest lap of the race by a top-ten finisher.
- To be advised.
Image via Dutch Photo Agency
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