The Formula 2 Debrief – Round 12

The Formula 2 Debrief – Round 12

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Each and every week insideF2.com will bring you our Monday feature The Debrief.

This is the Number One place for the full round up of news and views from the FIA Formula 2 Championship each week.

Remember if you missed any of the action, head over to our dedicated race weekend page to look back at the standings and our LIVE Lap by Lap sessions for each race. 

The 2020 Formula 2 series came to a dramatic end in Bahrain this weekend with two chaotic races at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Mick Schumacher held his nerve to take the title and move to Formula 1 showered in glory after what was an unpredictable final round.

The event on the shortened circuit saw a debut winner, fierce podium battles and a title race that went right down to the wire.

There was one change to the grid, as Ralph Boschung filled in at Campos for Jack Aitken, who was called up to race for Williams this weekend in Formula 1.

But before all of that, the biggest weekend of the Formula 2 season started with a 45-minute practice session and their first venture onto this thrilling Sakhir track layout.

It became pretty clear early on that the new part of the track was going to be a handful, with bumps all around the middle sector.

It was Carlin who showed the best pace in the session, with Yuki Tsunoda going fastest and Jehan Daruvala second.

There was also good pace shown by Luca Ghiotto, Felipe Drugovich and 2021 Haas driver Nikita Mazepin. Schumacher was seventh, while title rival Callum Ilott could only manage 18th.

FULL PRACTICE REPORT

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Tsunoda Qualifying

Qualifying Results

Below are the official timings from the session.

[ninja_tables id="15299"]

With four points available for qualifying, Ilott knew he had a chance to eat into Schumacher’s title lead, as he did in this session one week ago.

However, neither of the title favourites were able to take advantage on the shortest track of the season, allowing Tsunoda to continue his perfect weekend and mathematically keep himself in title contention.

Tsunoda’s pole meant that Robert Shwartzman was now unable to take title glory in his debut F2 season, with the Russian now too far behind his teammate.

The Japanese driver was joined on the front row by Mazepin, as Daruvala continued his good form by qualifying third.

Shwartzman secured fourth ahead of Drugovich and Lundgaard, while Ilott could only manage ninth. It was a frustrating session for Schumacher though, as he struggled to find pace and in a desperate attempt to set a strong lap he collided with Roy Nissany, meaning he would start way down in 18th.

FULL REPORT

QUALIFYING

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Race Results

Below are the official timings from the session.

[ninja_tables id="15301"]

Polesitter Tsunoda lost out to Mazepin at the start, with the Hitech driver getting the better run through the first set of turns.

Schumacher made ground on the first lap, getting one of his trademark fast starts to move into 13th early on.

On the soft tyres, Ilott began to struggle and was only just in front of Schumacher when UNI-Virtuosi called him into the pits for new tyres, releasing his title rival.

When all the stops had been completed, Mazepin was coming under pressure from Tsunoda, and Mazepin did everything he could to defend the lead, even pushing the Japanese driver off the track.

Despite Mazepin’s robust defence, Tsunoda worked his way past to take the lead. Meanwhile, Ilott and Schumacher were running sixth and seventh, and crucially, Schumacher held the fastest lap as Zhou passed both to begin his tilt on the top runners.

The Chinese star was feeling brilliant on the alternate strategy, passing several drivers – including Mazepin on his way to second place.

In the dying laps, Mazepin’s actions were called into question again as he aggressively squeezed Drugovich against the pit wall to defend his position. He kept the place, but was given two five-second penalties for his defending, dropping him down to ninth.

Zhou was just unable to pass Tsunoda for the win, with Drugovich inheriting Mazepin’s P3. Shwartzman had a fairly quiet race to come home in fourth, with Ilott fifth and Schumacher sixth.

But with Schumacher holding the fastest lap and the two points given for that, there was no change in the difference between the two in the standings. Daruvala finished seventh, with Ticktum taking reverse grid pole for P8. Mazepin rescued two points with ninth, ahead of Pedro Piquet.

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Race Results

Below are the official timings from the session.

[ninja_tables id="15303"]

Sunday came around and the most important race of the 2020 Formula 2 season was underway with a perfect start for polesitter Ticktum.

Schumacher originally got himself up into second, but locked up massively into Turn 4, losing out to Daruvala and massively damaging his tyres.

From then on it became a direct battle between the title protagonists, with Schumacher defending excellently to keep Ilott behind him, with the Brit having to watch out for the other PREMA of Shwartzman behind him.

Eventually, Ilott passed Schumacher and the German’s pace was so affected, he lost out to not just Shwartzman but Zhou as well. At the end of the lap, Schumacher pitted, and the move momentarily gave Ilott a shot at title glory.

Unfortunately for the UNI-Virtuosi driver, his tyres were very worn after following Schumacher so closely for so long, and he was unable to track down Ticktum and Daruvala, and soon lost out to a gaggle of drivers.

Up front Daruvala was doing everything he could to get past Ticktum, with the DAMS driver defending brilliantly. It was only a matter of time until Daruvala got ahead and he did that with ten laps to go.

Ticktum slowly fell into the clutches of Tsunoda, who had found some brilliant late race pace. Tsunoda made it a Carlin 1-2 with a move on Ticktum at the final corner of the final lap, taking his second podium of the weekend.

Zhou completed a strong weekend in fourth, with Shwartzman fifth and Giuliano Alesi sixth. Ghiotto was seventh in what is probably his final Formula 2 race, with Drugovich in P8.

Ilott finished down in 11th and despite a frustrating P18, Schumacher became the 2020 Formula 2 Champion!

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What a season! It may have started a few months late, but it was certainly worth the wait! 12 different race winners, a title battle that went down to the wire and plenty of entertainment.

After a long season Mick Schumacher was a worthy winner, taking ten podiums in a much improved season. Callum Ilott was a worthy contender, his form in qualifying was superb, but a few moments of bad luck and a few mistakes cost him in the end.

Congratulations also go to PREMA, who secured a first teams’ title in Formula 2, edging out UNI-Virtuosi to that crown.

Formula 2 in 2020 is over, but 2021 is just around the corner! We’ll have some new names, some familiar ones, some new tracks and another exciting year and we just can’t wait!

 

Current Driver Standings

[ninja_tables id="6590"]

[ninja_tables id="6594"]

Each and every week in our F2 Debrief we will take a look back at the action and crown a driver with insideF2’s #ItGotSent award!

There has been some great move’s as always in FIA Formula 2 this weekend.

We have opted for a mega brave move from our 2020 Champion Mick Schumacher.

This was not only a super brave move on the bumps at Turn 6, but also a signal of intent to his challengers.

Mick had it all to lose and yet held nothing back in this weeks Feature Race.

InsideF2.com is the largest community of Formula 2 fan’s online. 

Only one person can take the crown this week and for FIA Formula 2 in 2020 and that man was of course Mick Schumacher in what has been an amazing season despite the challenges. 

🏆 Congratulations Mick Schumacher 🏆

Thank you for following InsideF2.com.

Do check out our latest news and we hope to see you on from now and through until the new 2021 season next year. Thank you for following insideF2.com and being part of our community. 

Written By: Adam Newton 

*Image Credits : (C) Formula Motorsport Limited

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