Carlin’s Yuki Tsunoda won feature FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps as Trident’s Lirim Zendeli wins FIA Formula 3 (F3) Championship.
Pole-sitter and Carlin’s Yuki Tsunoda made a good start in feature F2 race at Spa-Francorchamps as he led MP Motorsport’s Nobuharu Matsushita and Hitech GP’s Nikita Mazepin as Prema’s Mick Schumacher got off to a good start to be fourth.
Charouz’s Louis Deletraz was fifth behind the leaders, from Prema’s Robert Shwartzman, MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich, UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Guanyu Zhou, Charouz’s Pedro Piquet and UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Callum Ilott in the Top 10.
There was problems for Campos Racing’s Guilherme Samaia as he dropped to the back of the field with Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala being forced to pit with a broken front wing after contact at Turn 1 while battling a DAMS and ART Grand Prix car.
As Tsunoda led the way, Matsushita started to lose places on the different strategy as he came side-by-side with his teammate Drugovich around Blanchimont. The Japanese just stayed ahead but swayed slightly to the right, when the two touched.
Matsushita had a right-rear puncture to spin off onto the barrier hard as Drugovich was forced to pit for a front wing change. The incident will be investigated after the race along with an unsafe release for Hitech GP’s Mazepin.
The VSC period did not harm much of the F2 field as Tsunoda continued to lead from Mazepin and Schumacher. The re-start saw Zhou make up a position on Shwartzman as Ilott started to drop back after losing to DAMS’ Dan Ticktum and Trident’s Roy Nissany.
The net F2 race lead bestowed on Mazepin as he stopped a lap earlier to Tsunoda, who had a slower pit stop to lose out. Schuamcher remained third with Deletraz fourth from Shwartzman as Zhou on the alternate strategy dropped places.
He came out in seventh but colder tyres and an off allowed Hitech GP’s Luca Ghiotto, Cahrouz’s Pedro Piquet, Ticktum and Ilott to pass as the four drivers ahead had their own battle where the Italian was sixth with the Brazilian losing places.
He lost seventh to Ticktum while Ilott passed him for eighth then. While they raced on, it was nice of the F2 field to dedicate Lap 19 in the memory of Anthoine Hubert as the whole grid stood up to applaud the moment after the pre-race’s minute’s silence.
Amid the latter half fights, Tsunoda reeled in Mazepin and made the move on Kemmel Straight but the Russian stayed ahead with the Japanese going over the kerbs. Schumacher was a distant third with Deletraz long way off in fourth.
It was same for Shwartzman as Ticktum steadied in sixth with Zhou making up places again to be seventh after a fantastic move on Ghiotto in the final corner on the outside. At the front, though, it was getting tasty for the F2 race win.
Tsunoda tried again at the end of Kemmel Straight but Mazepin held on to win the feature F2 race on the road. The Japanese was not happy at all but the push off track was put under investigation with a five-second penalty handed to the Russian immediately.
Tsunoda was adjudged the winner of the feature F2 race eventually as Mazepin had to settle for second while being under investigation still for an unsafe release and also parc ferme violation where he pushed the second place board hard. Schumacher ended up third with Deletraz and Shwartzman rounding the Top 5.
It was close in the end but Ticktum hung on to sixth from Zhou with Nissany passing Ilott and Ghiotto to secure his best result in eighth and also take the reverse grid pole as the Italian and the Brit rounded out the Top 10 points position.
F2 debutant Juri Vips did a good job with DAMS in 11th as he passed Piquet late in the race with ART’s Marcus Armstrong ending up 13th, just keeping Campos’ Jack Aitken behind with Trident’s Marino Sato rounding the Top 15.
Position 16-20: Artem Markelov, Christian Lundgaard, Giuliano Alesi, Daruvala, Drugovich. DNF: Samaia, Matsushita.
UPDATE: F2 shared details of the investigations where Mazepin was handed a suspended five-place penalty for his parc ferme gesture while Hitech GP were left off with a reprimand for the unsafe release where the Russian nearly collided with a Trident team member.
A three-place grid drop for Matsushita has been issued for his collision with Drugovich. The Brazilian, though, has been disqualified from the event after he made his mandatory stop on the final lap – both will start from the back of the grid on Sunday.
And finally, ART’s Armstrong was handed a five-second penalty for overtaking Campos’ Aitken off-track in the final corner of the final lap. The Kiwi, subsequently, drops to 15th in the order, promoting the Brit and Sato to 13th and 14th respectively.
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Pole-sitter Trident’s Lirim Zendeli started the feature F3 race well at a cloudy Spa-Francorchamps as he kept ART’s Theo Pourchaire and Aleksandr Smolyar at bay as yellow flag were displayed for punctures for Carlin’s Clement Novalak and Charouz’s Andreas Estner.
Behind, HWA Racelab’s Jake Hughes couldn’t get going on the formation lap and was forced to start from the pitlane but issues eventually forced him to retire later on. As Zendeli led the way, a VSC was deployed for an off for Campos’ Alessio Deledda.
While Pourchaire steadied in second, Smolyar was hurried by Trident’s David Beckmann, who passed Prema’s Logan Sargeant for fourth early on. The fight for sixth saw Prema’s Oscar Piastri make up loads of ground to fight Hitech GP’s Liam Lawson.
The Australian eventually passed Lawson to have track position as the Hitech GP driver lost more places like MP Motorsport’s Richard Vershoor. At the front, Zendeli flew away to secure his first F3 win from Pourchaire as Beckmann rounded out the podium.
The German made it a Trident 1-3 after passing Sargeant and Smolyar, with the Russian keeping fourth from Piastri. The F3 front-runner managed to pass his American teammatem who dropped to eighth in the latter stages as he faced power issues.
Prema’s Frederik Vesti made his way upto sixth with Trident’s Oli Caldwell also doing well in seventh ahead of Sargeant, Lawson and Verschoor as the Dutchman took the final point, as well as pole for F3 sprint race on Sunday.
Here’s news on Yuki Tsunoda getting a F1 test chance