The Formula 2 Debrief – Round 7

The Formula 2 Debrief – Round 7

#AH19

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. 

Round 7 of the 2020 Formula 2 championship has been and gone and we’ve been treated to another great weekend of racing.

It was a poignant weekend for all involved as the Formula 2 and wider motorsport community remembered Anthoine Hubert, one year on from his tragic death at this circuit.

And the racing did Hubert proud. We saw clashes, controversy and penalties as the lead changed in both the drivers’ and constructors’ standings.

But before all of that action, the weekend started on Friday with a 30-minute practice session.

Perhaps that’s what makes Formula 2 so exciting, the lack of practice? Who knows, but it was Robert Shwartzman who set the fastest time in the half hour session.

Yuri Vips made his F2 debut in the session but there was no sign of his DAMS teammate. Dan Ticktum received an inconclusive result on his coronavirus test, meaning he isolated and missed practice. However, a retest gave a negative result and he was back for qualifying.

It was chilly in Belgium and Giuliano Alesi hit the barriers early on, damage that would affect the Formula 1 practice later that day.

Yuki Tsunoda also showed strong pace to take second, ahead of Nikita Mazepin and Felipe Drugovich.

FULL PRACTICE REPORT

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Qualifying Results

Below are the official timings from the session.

 

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Later that day and with Ticktum back in the car, it was time for qualifying for the Feature Race.

DAMS didn’t have two drivers in the session for long though. Vips encountered problems with the car and stopped on track, a disappointing end to his first day in F2.

Tsunoda set the early pace ahead of Mick Schumacher and championship leader Callum Ilott in the early stages.

Nikita Mazepin put in a scorching lap to take provisional pole but Tsunoda wasn’t going to let that slide, improving and retaking top spot.

Feature Race winner in Spain Nobuharu Matsushita set a strong lap to qualify third, ahead of Shwartzman and Drugovich.

Crucially in the title battle, Ilott couldn’t improve and qualified way down in 12th, with Christian Lundgaard’s recent struggles continuing down in 18th.

FULL REPORT

QUALIFYING

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Tsunoda_Carlin_Round_7

Race Results

Below are the official timings from the session.

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As Saturday rolled around, there was only one thought ahead of the Feature Race, the memory of Anthoine Hubert.

The Frenchman was tragically killed in a horrifying crash at this event last year and the entire grid gathered to pay their respects with a minute’s silence.

The silence was louder than any words could be in showing how motorsport is a united front as Hubert’s family, drivers, team members and more paid their respects to a much-loved person.

Racing will always continue, but his memory will be everlasting and before anything else, we always hope to see drivers safety come before anything else.

But as the true racer in Hubert would want, the lights went out at 16:45 local time and the Feature Race was underway.

Tsunoda held the lead off the line. Matsushita challenged Mazepin and passed the Russian on the Kemmel straight to take P2.

However, it didn’t last. Matsushita soon began to struggle with his tyres and was easily re-passed by Mazepin. Soon after, he was passed by Schumacher, Louis Deletraz and Shwartzman.

It was double delight in Spain a fortnight ago for MP Motorsport, but double trouble as Matsushita and Drugovich touched on the way into Blanchimont. The Japanese driver hit the barriers and retired from the race, whilst Drugovich was forced to return to the pits with damage.

Tsunoda suffered a slow pit-stop and lost out to Mazepin, who took the net race lead. Zhou was the lead driver on the alternate strategy, but when he exited the pits he found traffic, losing out on several positions.

So it was Tsunoda against Mazepin for the win. Tsunoda made the most of DRS on the Kemmel straight, coming alongside his rival on the outside of Les Combes.

He looked to be marginally ahead but Mazepin forcefully barged him off the track and over the kerbs.

Tsunoda was furious on the radio as Mazepin took the chequered flag first, before the stewards announced a five second penalty for the Hitech driver, giving Tsunoda the victory.

Mazepin dropped to second ahead of Schumacher and Deletraz, who both had quiet races. Shwartzman crossed the line fifth, with Zhou and Ticktum sixth and seventh.

Roy Nissany impressed to take eighth and reverse grid pole, with Luca Ghiotto ninth and Ilott rescuing a single point in tenth.

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Race Results

Below are the official timings from the session.

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As the lights went out on Sunday for the Sprint Race it was Ticktum who got the best start. Zhou was bogged down and Ticktum passed Nissany to take the lead into Eau Rouge for the first time.

However, the Israeli driver wasn’t done. Nissany used the slipstream to great effect, re-passing Ticktum for P1.

Zhou’s slow start promoted Shwartzman to P3. The other UNI-Virtuosi got a better start, but Ilott was punted in the rear by Tsunoda early on, spinning round and out. The Japanese driver was handed a five-second penalty for the clash, not that it changed anything for Ilott.

Ticktum has tasted victory once before this season and he wanted more of it, looking to the outside of Les Combes. Nissany squeezed him, Ticktum bounced over the kerbs and into the Trident, spearing him into the barriers and out of the race.

The contact allowed Shwartzman to cruise through into the lead of the race, with Ticktum now second.

The Brit clearly had some damage and was noticeably slower than his Russian rival. Whilst Shwartzman streaked away, Ticktum did his best to hold on to second.

Behind Ticktum there were several changes in position. Deletraz lost out to Zhou, Schumacher and Mazepin, before Schumacher overtook Zhou for third.

On Lap 11 Ticktum’s brave defence came to an end. Schumacher was the first to pass, followed by Zhou a lap later. Several others streamed past the man with three podiums this season, and he fell out of the points.

Nobody was able to get near the top three for the rest of the race, and it ended with Shwartzman heading a PREMA 1-2, with Zhou rescuing some decent points on a tough weekend for UNI-Virtuosi.

Hitech pair Mazepin and Ghiotto were fourth and fifth, with Deletraz in P6.

Tsunoda finished seventh on track but his penalty relegated him to ninth, out of the points. After four races without scoring, Lundgaard took two points for P7, ahead of Artem Markelov, scoring his first point of the season in eighth.

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As far as the championship goes, it was a great weekend for Shwartzman. He retakes the title lead from Ilott, leading the Brit by ten points. Tsunoda’s win sees him move into title contention, just ahead of Schumacher and Mazepin.

Renault juniors Zhou and Lundgaard may be outsiders for the title now, but at 40 and 43 points shy of the lead respectively, it’s still all to play for.

Looking at the constructors’ standings, Shwartzman’s win and Schumacher’s double podium did the business for PREMA. The Italian team jumped above UNI-Virtuosi in the standings, now leading 238-214.

Hitech moved up to third, with Carlin jumping two spots to fourth. ART’s woes continue as they and MP Motorsport failed to score in Spa, dropping down to fifth and sixth respectively.

But more than anything, this weekend was to honour Anthoine Hubert, and with some great racing and competition, I think Formula 2 did just that.

Current Driver Standings

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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!

Roy had an eventful weekend overall with a great Feature Race and some great moves again. He is becoming this year’s overtake master! 

He has a back to back win in our weekly awards! 

You #GotItSent Roy Nissany!  🙌🏻

We felt it was right to exclude our weekly Top 3 Social posts from the world of FIA Formula 2 this weekend. 

We would like to pay tribute to Anthoine Hubert and the outpouring of love and respect his memory deserved from Belgium this week. 

We talked to his Mother Nathalie and also collated just some of the many messages this weekend in the below posts.

💙🤍❤️ #AH19 💙🤍❤️

Our Top 3 Social posts from the world of FIA Formula 2 this weekend. 

Let us know if we missed something @F2inside on Twitter and you may get a mention next week 🙌🏻.

Thank you for following InsideF2.com.

Do check out our latest news and we hope to see you on next week’s event page throughout the entire weekend for the preview, lap-by-lap action, leaderboards, race results – post session, and weekend Formula 2 debrief. 

Writer: Adam Newton
Producer: James Porter

*Image Credits : (C) Formula Motorsport Limited

Media Team

Media Team