The three-day Bahrain test line-up is confirmed by FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship as some teams have also announced their drivers for 2021.
Prior to the testing line-up announcement, Prema confirmed retention of Robert Shwartzman alongside the already announced Oscar Pisastri for 2021, as UNI-Virtuosi Racing hired Felipe Drugovich for his second F2 season from MP Motorsport.
Shwartzman ended up fourth in his rookie F2 season with Prema, collecting four wins and six podiums, as Drugovich was ninth with three wins and four podiums. The two joined the already confirmed Piastri and Campos’ Ralph Boschung for 2021 season.
“I am happy to race in F2 with PREMA again in 2021,” said Shwarztman. “Our target as a team is obviously to win and make progress in terms of results from this season, working hard, improving the car but also enjoying another year by staying together and having fun. It will be our fourth year working together, and we are going to make the most out of it. I want to thank everybody who supports me for their dedication and commitment.”
At the same time, Drugovich added: “I think if you take a big picture of the championship, I think UNI-Virtuosi has been the team that has had the best pace. Through the season they had really good qualifying pace, and they’re really fast at every track. With other teams you could see they were really good somewhere, but somewhere else, they might not have the pace. So I think this has been the most consistently good thing. And that’s why we wanted to get on board with them.”
The two will take part in the three-day post-season F2 test in Bahrain between December 8-10. They will have six hours of testing in all, with Day 1 and Day 2 having two sessions starting at 9AM and 2PM (local time), respectively. Day 3’s first session will start at 9AM but the second one will be from 1PM. until 4pm (local time). They will be provided by eight sets of hard compound each for the whole event.
The line-up has a mix of current, returning and new drivers. Among the full-time returning F2 drivers are Shwartzman, Drugovich, Roy Nissany, Marcus Armstrong, Jehan Daruvala, Dan Ticktum, Guanyu Zhou, Christian Lundgaard, Louis Deletraz, Guilherme Samaia, Mario Sato and Callum Ilott (only one day).
The returning drivers – some of whom who took part in selected rounds in 2020 F2 season – include Boschung, Roberto Merhi, Juri Vips and Theo Pourchaire. And among the new comers, they are Clement Novalak, Logan Sargeant, Matteo Nannini, David Beckmann, Lirim Zendeli, Bent Viscaal and Liam Lawson.
While it is known that Drugovich has switched teams, among others – who aren’t confirmed for a F2 drive yet – includes Nissany & Armstrong (from Trident & ART to DAMS), Ticktum (DAMS to Carlin), Deletraz (Charouz to MP Motorsport), Ilott & Samaia (Virtuosi & Campos to Charouz).
As for others, Merhi & Nannini will drive for HWA Racelab, Vips & Lawson for Hitech GP, Pourchaire for ART, Zendeli for MP Motorsport, Sargeant for Campos on all the days, whereas others will be shuffling between two F2 teams.
As noted, Ilott will test with Charouz on Day 1, where Beckmann will take his seat for Day 2 and Day 3. The German will be in action on Day 1 in Samaia’s car. UNI-Virtuosi, meanwhile, will have Zhou on Day 1 and Day 2, while Novalak will run on Day 3. The American will test the Trident on Day 1 and Day 2, whereas Day 3 will have Viscaal.
Among the F2 drivers missing from 2020 list are Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin, Artem Markelov, Yuki Tsunoda, Sean Gelael, Pedro Piquet, Giuliano Alesi, Jack Aitken and Luca Ghiotto. While for the former two, it is already known F1 move, the Japanese is all but confirmed to AlphaTauri now.
Here’s the full F2 entry list for testing:
|Guanyu Zhou D1 / D2
|Clement Novalak D3
|ART Grand Prix
|Charouz Racing System
|Callum Ilott D1
|David Beckmann D2 / D3
|David Beckmann D1
|Guilherme Samaia D2 / D3
|BWT HWA RACELAB
|Clément Novalak D1 / D2
|Bent Viscaal D3
|Hitech Grand Prix
Here’s all the upcoming changes in F2 2021