F1 has come home for the weekend, as we have 3 days of action from Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom for the British Grand Prix. Not only are F1 here, but Formula 2 as well, with another 3 races this weekend, the first of which we had this morning.
Written by Olly Radley, edited by Janvi Unni
On the grid, it’s F2 race winner Christian Lundgaard who starts on reverse grid pole having qualified 10th in the 30-minute Friday qualifying session. Lundgaard as I said took victory last season on his way to 6th in the championship but this year has had a torrid time, he was hoping to get a result from this position. Juri Vips took double wins at Baku in the last round, today he starts P2 with a surprise starting position for Roy Nissany who has struggled to get many points this season from 3rd. A man to look out for was Robert Shwartzman, 3rd in the championship and 4th on the grid with an opportunity to take the championship lead this morning. Zhou and Piastri, 1 and 2 in the championship began from 9th and 10th.
We had a manic start here in Sprint Race 1 with numerous cars colliding and spinning around the first few corners. Robert Shwartzman, who started from a very promising position today, had a lightning getaway off the grid, advancing from 4th to 1st by the first corner as they all raced into Abbey and Farm Curve. Roy Nissany’s day went very sour after he hit the back of Christian Lundgaard under braking, prematurely ending his race. A bit further back, the championship leader Guanyu Zhou completed a perfect 180 degree spin through The Loop, also ending his race and forcing several drivers to take avoiding action. With Zhou stranded in the middle of the circuit and Nissany a bit further off track, the Safety Car came out to slow the pack so the two could be retrieved.
The morning wasn’t as action-packed as we might have hoped, on the safety car restart, Deledda made contact with Abbey with another car, who we suspect was Marino Sato, leaving Deledda stuck in the corner, once again the safety car was deployed. Samaia then got beached at Luffield, another safety car was required to rescue the stranded Charouz.
By the time the 21st and final lap came, it was Robert Shwartzman who took the chequered flag and the victory in Silverstone after a perfect start and a perfect race for the Russian. Juri Vips tried to close the gap but to no avail, as he took P2 ahead of polesitter Christian Lundgaard who would’ve wished he could’ve taken more points this morning.
Théo Pourchaire also made a strong effort to try to snatch 4th from Felipe Drugovich, but the Brazilian stayed solid throughout the race and stayed in P4, making his teammate’s retirement a bit more sweet for the Uni-Virtuosi team.
A great weekend for Prema today, with Robert taking the win and Oscar taking the championship lead. Now Oscar is 1st place with 83 points ahead of Robert with 81, Zhou will be devastated with his spin, as he lies 3rd with 75 points and a spot last on the grid for this afternoon’s 2nd sprint race.
An interesting development to follow was Richard Verschoor’s progress in the late race. He pitted under the 3rd and final safety car for a fresh set of option tyres, dropping him right down the grid, but he and his MP motorsport team predicted well that the advantage they’d get on the softs would make up the time and it did. Verschoor carved through the grid like a hot knife through butter, progressing up to 10th by the end of the race. By claiming 10th he takes the reverse grid pole for the second race this afternoon, which he’ll be very pleased with I’m sure.
That’s it for the morning, later on today we have both F1 sprint qualifying and more F2 action. Bye for now.