Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel looks back at an eventful third round of the 2020 season and picks out his key topics from Round 3 in Budapest.
He picks out who has impressed him so far, explains why tyre management was key at the Hungaroring and discusses his pleasure at the successful safety measures which have been put in place.
Round 3 at the Hungaroring was remarkable for many reasons, and one of them was that Mick Schumacher was the first driver in 2020 to achieve two podiums in one race weekend. The German was pretty solid in Budapest with P5 in qualifying and third place in both races. He clearly enjoys this track and seems more and more comfortable in the car. I’m curious to see if he can keep the momentum for the second part of the season.
His teammate Robert Shwartzman has also made another strong impression on the field: starting from P11 in the Feature Race, his start was mesmerising and then he crossed the line with 15.5s to Nikita Mazepin, following a mature drive. He is the first driver to claim two victories in 2020. We knew he would be one to watch this season, but his performance so far is very impressive.
Finally, talking about Mazepin, his team Hitech Grand Prix have enjoyed their best weekend so far with one podium – including a superb win – in each race in Hungary. It’s also Nikita’s first F2 podium. Hitech scored a total of 53 points. Their hard work since they joined the field earlier this year has paid off in a major way!
FERRARI DRIVER ACADEMY
With five talented drivers on the grid, the Ferrari Driver Academy was expecting strong results on a regular basis. Four of their protégés currently stand in the Top 6 of the Drivers’ Championship, including Shwartzman and Ilott in first and second. In Sunday’s Sprint Race, they finished P2, P3 and P4. We have many drivers supported by F1 teams (Renault, Red Bull, Williams) but at the moment, it is those in red that are featured at the top.
TYRE MANAGEMENT IS MORE KEY THAN EVER
As you know, tyre management has been fundamental last weekend. It’s made the races enthralling and unpredictable. Pirelli have done a great job in that sense. They highlighted the capacity of the engineers to find the right strategy, and the skills of the drivers to keep the tyres alive. The sprint race was incredible! It was riveting to watch Luca Ghiotto – one of the two only drivers to bet on sticking with the Medium tyres the whole way through – master the degradation. Had the race lasted for one more corner, he would have had a very difficult time to keep Callum Ilott at bay. But, for him, it was perfectly timed. Bravo!
We’ve just wrapped up the first triple header of the season, in the safest way. I am pleased to see that the health protocol put in place is efficient. Everyone has played a part in ensuring we can keep on racing in those trying times.