Weekend Preview- Round 6 Spain
The sixth round of the Formula 2 championship takes us to the Circuit of Catalunya in Spain in what is set to be one of the hottest weekends of the year.
The circuit which is located just under half an hour away from the centre of Barcelona, it has been hosting the second tier of motorsport since 1994 when the series was called F3000.
Unlike Silverstone two weeks ago Barcelona will only be one single race weekend before the series takes a well-deserved break before embarking on the third treble header of the season at Spa Francorchamps on the 29th of August.
As the season reaches the halfway point of the 2020 season eight different drivers have won the first ten races with only two drivers Callum IIott and Robert Shwartzman winning more than one race this season.
Last time out at Silverstone saw IIott start to pull away with the championship lead after a dominant light to flag victory in the Feature Race which saw his rivals struggling to keep up.
IIott then bagged further points in the Sprint Race with a sixth place in the sprint opening up a nineteen point gap on his rivals.
Shwartzman’s weekend, on the other hand, was disappointing as he lost further ground in qualifying followed by a challenging feature race before a costly collision in the Sprint Race with his PREMA teammate Mick Schumacher which cost the team a 1-2 finish.
That left the door open wide for Yuki Tsunoda as the Japanese driver went straight through to secure a deserved maiden Formula 2 win ahead of the apologetic Schumacher. In contrast, Jack Aitken looked delighted as he finally got his campaign into gear with two third places after a challenging start to the season.
The drama of the second race also cost Shwartzman second place as Christian Lundgaard overtook the Russian for second in the driver’s standings despite having a puncture in the Sprint Race which dropped him to twenty-first and last of the classified runners with the Dane bagging second in the Feature behind IIott.
The results of Silverstone have started to see the top three in the driver’s standings begin to pull away from the other eighteen drivers with the rest of the top six led by Hitech’s Nikita Mazepin over thirty points behind championship leader IIott.
There is however, half a season to play for and as we have seen in the past title challenges can begin as late as the half way point.
Last year’s round in Catalunya saw the championship get blown wide open as Nyck De Vries finally showed his championship credentials with a win in the Sprint Race becoming the start of a run of wins for the Dutchman which saw him reduce the early championship leader Nicholas Latifi’s lead to dust as the Dutchman won the F2 title.
Some of last year’s current grid had a good weekend in Catalunya over a year ago with Guanyu Zhou and IIott getting their first taste of the Formula 2 podium whilst Luca Ghiotto bagged another podium on their way to third and fifth in the driver’s standings.
The main question in Barcelona will be about tyres as temperatures for the Barcelona meeting set to range around in the late twenties for practice and qualifying with thunderstorms set to roll in for Sunday’s Sprint Race which may cause a damp track if the rain refuses to relent by lights out.
With Pirelli’s rubber falling to bits in the heat of Silverstone it’s highly likely that we will see a repeat of that same issue in Barcelona due to the circuit’s combination of slow, medium and fast corners and two long straights possibly making the Feature and Sprint Races a real workout for the twenty-two cars and drivers.
Other concerns this weekend includes the reliability of the Meccachrome engines, with the possibility of overheating and blowing up in the extreme heat.
Round six could be full of upsets if reliability issues arise. If such issues do affect the leading pact it may prove crucial for the destiny of the 2020 World Championship.
Could IIott and Shwartzman win their third race of the season this weekend? Could a third driver join the two wins club? Or, will we have a ninth winner of what has already been a crazy season?
We will soon find out in the heat of Spain.
We here at insideF2 will keep you up-to-date on all the action!
This weekend we will be bringing you LIVE Lap by Lap action direct from our website insidef2.com – Join us!
Here are all the times you need to know this weekend. All times are local (GMT +1)
- Free Practice: 12:55 – 13:40 Local Time
- Qualifying: 17:00 – 17:30 Local Time – Qualifying Report will be live on insidef2’s dedicated Round 6 Spanish GP page.
- Feature Race: Lights Out 16:45 Local Time
- Feature Race: LIVE Lap by Lap. The live blogging session begins 15 Minutes before Lights Out
- Feature Race: Race Standings and Report within 1 Hour of the Chequered Flag via our dedicated Round 6 Spanish GP page.
- Sprint Race: Lights Out 11:10 Local Time
- Sprint Race: LIVE Lap by Lap – The live blogging session begins 15 Minutes before Lights Out
- Sprint Race: Race Standings and Report within 1 Hour of the Chequered Flag via our dedicated Round 6 Spain page.
- The Debrief will be published with all the action and reaction to the weekend’s action! We would love to get your opinions.
Comment your predictions for this race weekend @F2inside on Twitter and join our ever growing community of Formula 2 fans!
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