Weekend Preview: Round 7 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Weekend Preview: Round 7 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia will host the seventh round of the Formula 2 championship. 

Saudi Arabia will be hosting it’s first ever F2 event this season prior to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou will be heading into the event full of confidence after his promotion to Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo Racing.

Zhou currently sits second in the F2 standings 36 points behind PREMA driver Oscar Piastri.

Alfa Romeo’s newest recruit has impressed during his stint in Formula 2 with UNI-Virtuosi winning four races including Feature Race victories in Bahrain and Great Britain in 2021.

Zhou will be replacing fellow F2 graduate Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo with the Italian stepping aside from the Formula 1 grid.

Zhou desperately needs a good weekend in Saudi Arabia after his lackluster outing in Russia. 

The 22 year old stalled on his way to the grid prior to the sole Sprint Race before claiming P6 in Race 2 losing more points to Piastri.

The title battle has been absolutely pulsating this season with the momentum ebbing and flowing between the two championship protagonists.

Piastri extended his points advantage last time out in Sochi during a disrupted weekend. 

The Alpine Academy driver collected his second consecutive Feature Race victory in yet another mature, confident drive.

He has been brilliantly consistent in F2 finishing outside the points on just three occasions for PREMA.

Saudi Arabia could provide the perfect stage for Zhou to strike back at Piastri with three races on an all new high speed street circuit.

Piastri’s teammate Robert Shwartzman enjoyed a solid weekend in Sochi storming to a podium in Race 1.

The Russian has improved massively after a patchy opening two rounds in Bahrain and Monaco driving to a pair of wins this campaign.

Carlin driver Dan Ticktum enjoyed a victory in Sochi’s Sprint Race.

The Briton recently announced his departure from F2, he will join NIO 333 Formula E team partnering Oliver Turvey for the 2022 campaign.

Jeddah is home to 27 Turns and promises to be ultra-fast on the coast of the Red Sea. 

The circuit boasts a higher average speed than the fast and flowing Silverstone making Jeddah the second quickest track on the calendar behind Monza.

The heavy braking zone of the hairpin at Turn 27 should provide the best chance for overtaking on the 6.174km circuit.

The circuit is home to three DRS zones including the long straight prior to the final turn.

Turn 13 is heavily banked and could provide overtaking shortly after the tracks first DRS zone.

Jeddah’s first sector will be incredibly fast with the high speed flicks from Turn 4 through the Turn 11.

This section should provide the perfect opportunity to see a FIA Formula 2 car at it’s absolute limits.

Formula 2 will welcome a quartet of new faces to the grid for the penultimate round of the season in Saudi Arabia.

MP Motorsport are fielding an all new driver lineup in Saudi Arabia. The highly rated Clément Novalak and Jack Doohan will replace Lirim Zendeli and Richard Verschoor who both left for financial reasons.

Both Novalak and Doohan enjoyed great campaigns in FIA Formula 3 this season finishing second and third in the championship standings.

Campos are also bringing in a new driver for the final two rounds. Olli Caldwell steps up from F3 to replace David Beckmann.

HWA Racelab’s Jake Hughes will be replaced by Williams Driver Academy member Logan Sergeant who took one victory in F3 this season.

Round 7 of the F2 championship should be a nail biting occasion as the title battle rolls on between Piastri and Zhou.

So who will master the all new Jeddah circuit and triumph in Saudi Arabia as Formula 2 begins to draw to a close in 2021?

 

* Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited

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Weekend Preview: Round 7 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Jeddah - FIA Formula 2 News