UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Callum Ilott wins FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship feature race at Red Bull Ring as Prema’s Oscar Piastri taking it in FIA Formula 3 (F3) Championship.
It was a feisty start to the feature F2 race at Red Bull Ring as pole-sitter Zhou went head-to-head with UNI-Virtuosi Racing teammate Callum Ilott. The two fought almost wheel-to-wheel where the Chinese racer stayed ahead eventually.
Prema’s Mick Schumacher also got through MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich to be third as the other Prema of Robert Shwartzman gained places to be fifth ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lungaard and DAMS’ Daniel Ticktum in the Top 7.
The Top 10 then had Hitech GP’s Nikita Mazepin, Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz and ART’s Marcus Armstrong. Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala was the driver lose as a slow start dropped him in the mid-pack where he was then spun around by Yuki Tsunoda.
Teammate Tsunoda was handed a five seconds penalty as he was forced to change his front wing, while Daruvala continued from the back of the field where Hitech GP’s Luca Ghiotto and Trident’s Marino Sato did not start the first F2 race of 2020 season.
It was a strategy game then as Zhou stopped one lap early than teammate Ilott, which allowed the Brit to get track position. Better than that, Schumacher jumped both the drivers to take the lead having stopped another lap later.
But Zhou wasn’t to sit back as he got past Ilott and Schumacher on successive laps to retake the lead. The Brit got through the German as well to have track position as Armstrong also had track position over Shwartzman and Lundgaard after an early stop.
Having done all the hard work, Zhou hit a problem to drop back from the lead as Ilott got through to head the way from Schumacher and Armstrong in the Top 10. A safety car to retrieve the car of HWA Racelab’s Artem Markelov bunched up the F2 field then.
The re-start worked well for Ilott but Schumacher lost a rear at Turn 7 and dropped to 13th as a result helping Armstrong and Shwartzman to be in the Top 3. The Russian chased the Kiwi until the final lap but couldn’t pass through.
It was Ilott to secure victory in feature F2 race to start the 2020 season in style as Armstrong and Shwartzman made it a Ferrari 1-2-3 finish, while Lundgaard ended up fourth defending himself from Ticktum in the Top 5.
A different strategy helped Alesi to be sixth with Deletraz in seventh ahead of sprint F2 race pole-sitter Drugovich, MP Motorsport’s Nobuharu Matsushita and Trident’s Roy Nissany in the Top 10. The Israeli passed Mazepin and fended off Schumacher for 10th.
Schumacher ended up 11th with Daruvala 12th ahead of Charouz’s Pedro Piquet, Mazepin, Campos’ Jack Aitken & Guilherme Samia, Zhou and Tsunoda – where the latter two finished a lap down on the F2 leaders.
DNF: Markelov, Sean Gelael, Sato, Ghiotto.
A slow start from pole-sitter ART’s Sebastian Fernandez in F3 feature race allowed Prema’s Piastri to get through at the start to lead with Trident’s Lirim Zendelli putting himself in second from Prema’s Logan Sargeant.
Fernandez was forced to retire with damage as Sargeant passed Zendelli for second, with Campos’ Alexander Peroni also going through to be third with Prema’s Frederik Vesti also getting a look in. The Dane managed to pass the ailing Trident driver to be fourth.
At the front, Piastri maintained his lead to eventually win the feature F3 race to start the 2020 season as Sargeant made it Prema 1-2, while Peroni had a heroic return after from Monza incident to round out the podium positions.
Vesti was fourth from Zendelli with Hitch GP’s Liam Lawson making up six places to be sixth as Trident’s David Beckmann in seventh led a chain of drivers which had MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor in eighth, ART’s Alexandr Smolyar and Carlin’s Clement Novalak.