Zhou reaffirms his grip on the championship
With F1 sprint giving us plenty of action yesterday afternoon, it’s back to F2 this morning for the 3rd and final race of the weekend; the feature race. Where the 22 drivers have the opportunity to get the maximum points and help their championship hopes.
Written by Olly Radley, Editted by Haneen Abbas
On the grid, is Oscar Piastri, the new championship leader who starts from pole after going fastest in friday’s qualifying session ahead of his fellow Alpine-youngster, Guanyu Zhou who he overtook for the championship lead. Behind them on the 2nd row is Sprint Race 2 winner, Richard Verschoor, who will be hoping to take another podium this weekend, ahead of home hero, Dan Ticktum who can enter the championship fight with a good result. 2nd place in the championship, Robert Shwartzman starts 7th and the underdog in the championship battle, Juri Vips starts from 9th. All of the top 10, bar Juri Vips, started on softer tyres – pitting onto hards later on.
Off the line it was Guanyu Zhou who made the best getaway, promoting himself to the lead before he reached Abbey corner, Piastri just slotted in behind his diffuser patiently. Dan Ticktum snuck past Verschoor for 3rd.
Early on, all drivers seemed to struggle on their option-tyres; come Lap 6, Dan Ticktum made the move and pit for the hard tyres, which Shwartzman did too. Despite this, race leader Guanyu Zhou reported no issues at all: a total contrast to his competitors. That same lap, Osar Piastri also dived into the lane for a fresh set of hard-tyres. While pitting for new tyres is a reward in the long-run, the initial penalty is the tyre warmup, which Piastri felt the force of, losing position to Ticktum on his cold tyres. Come Lap 8 and Zhou did pit, coming out of the pits comfortably ahead of Ticktum, who had safely conquered Piastri for net-2nd place. Christian Lundgaard’s woeful season got even more woeful as a bizarre pit incident saw his tyre pop-off his car as he exited his pit box. This unsafe release warranted Lundgaard a 10-second stop-go penalty. Juri Vips, who started on the alternate strategy, finally pit on Lap 18.
It wasn’t a particularly eventful morning for Zhou, but I’m sure he’ll be very happy with the result as he takes his 3rd win of the season and reasserts his grip on the Formula 2 championship. Ticktum came 2nd infront of the adoring British crowd and Piastri held off the charge of Verschoor to take 3rd and remain in the lead of the championship. Piastri defended very hard and then cut corners in his desperate efforts to remain ahead of Verschoor.
Uni-Virtuosi will be very happy with their weekend coming 1st and 6th, taking 33 points back to Norfolk, a result they’ll be very chuffed with. Their Italian rivals lost out to them today, coming 3rd and 5th, taking only 25 points. Good points for MP Motorsport too, with Verschoor 4th and Zendeli 9th, meaning a solid 14 point haul for the Dutch team just from today, as well as Verschoor’s 15 for his win yesterday.
Piastri is now only 1 point ahead of Zhou in the championship on 104 points compared to Zhou’s 103. In 3rd now is Shwartzman with 91 points ahead of Ticktum, who now carries 89 points in 4th. Vips tried the alternate strategy, and finished 7th putting him in 5th with 85 points.
That’s it for F2 for quite a while now, next up: Monza, in a quick 54 days. I’m sure it’ll fly by but goodbye for now.