The wait is finally over! Following a four month global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent race cancellations, Formula 2 returns, at last, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria for the first double-header of the 2020 Championship.
Arguably the prettiest circuit on the calendar, the Red Bull Ring is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Mountain villages, lush valleys and rugged mountains provide the enviable backdrop.
Because of its location, the weather can range from unbearably hot to deluges of rain, as the arriving teams discovered this week! Predictions for this year’s race weekend look good, with a low chance of rain affecting proceedings.
The track itself is both a driver and fan favourite. It’s variable gradients, quick corners and fast-straights make it a unique circuit on the Formula 2 calendar.
During the 2019 race in Austria the F2 title race took a dramatic turn after Sérgio Sette Câmara shunted his DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi in the feature race, causing the Canadian to spin down the order.
The incident, which saw Câmara receive a five second penalty for his antics, also saw the gap between Championship leader Nyck De Vries and Latifi extend from 12 points to 37.
Last year’s race in Austria also saw a tale of two races for Carlin. From the joys of victory for Nobuharu Matsushita in the feature race – ending a two year drought without a race win, to the despair of Louis Delétraz losing a haul of points after a violent accident into the Niki Lauda Kurve, courtesy of a brake failure.
Following Matsushita’s feature race triumph, it was Câmara who secured the sprint race win.
12 months on and F2 looks very different to how it did in 2019. With a number of changes around the driver market there will be doubleheaders held at Austria and Silverstone, which offers a recipe for a chaotic season.
Nine rookies will start the 2020 campaign, including seven FIA Formula 3 graduates. Only six drivers have completed more than two seasons in F2.
When considering experience, many have tipped Russian Artem Markelov to succeed this year. If Markelov wins a race this weekend he will surpass 2019 Champion Nyck de Vries as the driver with the highest number of wins under the moniker of the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
An interesting stat to consider is that the pole sitter for the Austrian Feature Race has gone on to win the Championship every year since the beginning of the modern era of Formula 2. Only time will tell if that holds true in what has been a year of global surprise.
We are delighted to bring you LIVE Lap by Lap action direct from our website insideF2.com this week from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. In fact we will be bringing you LIVE Formula 2 action every single race weekend directly through insideF2.com.
Here are all of the times you need to know this weekend. All times are local time (GMT +2)
- Free Practice: 12:55 – 13:40
- 17:00 – 17:30 – Qualifying report will be live on insideF2.com’s dedicated Round 1 – Austria page.
- Feature Race: Lights Out 16:45
- Feature Race: LIVE Lap by Lap – The live blogging session begins 15 minutes before Lights Out (Link Here). We also have a chat function to get involved with.
- Feature Race: Race Standings and Report within one hour of the Chequered Flag via our dedicated Round 1 – Austria page.
- Sprint Race: Lights Out 11:10
- Sprint Race: LIVE Lap by Lap – The live blogging session begins 15 minutes before Lights Out (Link Here)
- Sprint Race: Race Standings and Report within one hour of the Chequered Flag via our dedicated Round 1 – Austria page.
- The Debrief will be published with all the action and reaction to the weekends action! We would love to get your opinions.
- The Formula 2 minutes will be published on our homepage for your news on the go.
Comment your predictions for this race weekend @F2inside on Twitter and join our ever growing community of Formula 2 fans!