Ferrari pupil Mick Schumacher achieved seventh place in the Formula 2 sprint in Bahrain, while title rival Callum Ilott lost his nerve when he attacked Mick. The victory goes to Robert Shwartzman.
At the start of the 23-lap race, young Ferrari driver Robert Shwartzman got away from pole position well, leading from Yuki Tsunoda, Mick Schumacher was able to maintain his fifth place. Then suddenly the Japanese Tsunoda fell back – flat tire on the right rear! This after touching Marcus Armstrong’s car in the first corner. The Red Bull Junior pitted. This moved Schumacher up one rank, while his toughest title rival Callum Ilott only appeared in seventh place.
At the beginning of the third lap, Nikita Mazepin attacked Schumacher, Mick hit back immediately and took fourth place again. Spicy: These two drivers will probably drive Formula 1 together at Haas in 2021. Mick Schumacher made his Prema racer very wide against the Moscow man, the Russian took a new attempt, he passed the German again, two ranks behind Ilott now in 6th place – he had grabbed Jack Aitken. The Englishman was only one place behind Schumacher.
Safety car then because of Formula 2 newcomer Théo Pourchaire: The 17-year-old had to put his racing car aside after the on-board fire extinguisher went off. Order: Shwartzman, who had to give up a four-second lead, ahead of Armstrong, Mazepin, Jehan Daruvala, Schumacher and Ilott. Jack Aitken played poker and picked up fresh tires from the pits.
Green flag after seven laps, Schumacher blocked Ilott’s path legally in the fight for 5th place. Then the Englishman was too aggressive into turn 10, unfortunate attack against Schumacher, in which he also got into the car with cold tires and cold brakes Daruvala slipped, Mick was able to continue with an apparently undamaged car, Ilott picked up a new vehicle nose and fresh tires – was this the scene that would ultimately lead to Schumacher’s title win?
After the restart, Marcus Armstrong fell behind, Nikita Mazepin now second behind his Russian compatriot Shwartzman, then the amazingly strong driving Pedro Piquet (son of three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet). Mick Schumacher moved closer to Armstrong, but also had to keep an eye on Guanyu Zhou. Callum Ilott was only in 17th place 41 seconds behind the front. Then things got worse for Ilott – drive-through penalty for causing a collision. That made it clear: no points.
In the 15th round, Zhour passed Schumacher, Mick thought about the championship and did not fight back with the utmost consequence, Mick now under pressure from Dane Christian Lundgaard. He received a radio message: “You have to step up, otherwise we won’t get any points today.” As a reminder: In the sprint, only the first eight receive points.
It became clear: Mick was fighting with worn tires. Lundgaard and Saturday winner Felipe Drugovich were clearly faster. He was given a respite because Lundgaard and Drugovich fought with each other and Louis Delétraz from western Switzerland also began to interfere.
Delétraz the fastest man in this phase of the race, he passed Mick, Mick only seventh with a claim to two points. The Swiss also grabbed Zhou on lap 21, although he only started 16th, but had picked up fresh tires in the safety car phase, and that now paid off.
Fourth win of the season for Robert Shwartzman, 2nd place for Nikita Mazepin, Pedro Piquet lost his first podium in Formula 2 due to a drive failure in the penultimate lap, Mick Schumacher received a rank as a result, but he lost it to Christian Lundgaar on the last lap 7th place, two points saved, lead on Callum Ilott extended to 14 points.
Formula 2 sprint race from Bahrain
1. Robert Shwartzman (RU), Prema Racing, 43:15,992
2. Nikita Mazepin (RU), Hitech Grand Prix, +5,283
3. Louis Delétraz (CH), Charouz Racing System, +6,472
4. Marcus Armstrong (NZ), ART Grand Prix, +10.655
5. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Uni-Virtuosi Racing, +15,133
6. Christian Lundgaard (DK), ART Grand Prix, +18,564
7. Mick Schumacher (D), +20,741
8. Felipe Drugovich (BR), MP Motorsport, +23,510
9. Roy Nissany (IL), Trident, +25.352
10. Artem Markelov (RU), BWT HWA Racelab, +31,150
11. Marino Sato (J), Trident, +31,848
12. Dan Ticktum (GB), DAMS, +39,824
13. Giuliano Alesi (F), MP Motorsport, +43,904
14. Sean Gelael (RI), DAMS, +44,427
15. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Carlin, +49,148
16. Callum Ilott (GB), Uni-Virtuosi Racing, +63,463
17. Jack Aitken (GB), Campos Racing, +1 lap * (tire defect)
18. Guilherme Samaia (BR), Campos Racing, +1 Runde
19. Pedro Piquet (BR), Charouz Racing System, +1 lap * (drive damage)
* canceled, but counted due to the distance covered
Théo Pourchaire (F), BWT HWA Racelab, Fire Extinguisher
Luca Ghiotto (I), Hitech Grand Prix, drive failure
Jehan Daruvala (IND), Carlin, transmission failure
Status after 22 of 24 races
1. Schumacher 205
2. Ilott 191
3. Mazepin 162
4. Shwartzman 159
5. Tsunoda 155
6. Lundgaard 149
7. Deletraz 134
8. Zhou 125,5
9. Ghiotto 106
10. Drugovich 105
11. Ticktum 82.5
12. Armstrong 52
13. Daruvala 51
14. Aitken 48
15. Nobuharu Matsushita (J) 42
16. Vips (EST) 16
17. Alesi 8
18. Markelov 5
19. Nissan 5
20. Sean Gelael 3
21. Piquet 2
22. Sato 1
23. Hughes 0
24. Samaia 0
25. Pourchaire 0