The FIA Formula 2 Championship returns to action tomorrow after an exhilarating opening round in Shakir that saw rookies Liam Lawson and Oscar Piastri claim Sprint Race wins on debut, and Alpine Test Driver Guanyu Zhou take home his first Feature Race victory in masterful style.

Beginning tomorrow the official three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will give all 22 drivers an opportunity to put their learnings from the opening round into practice ahead of the upcoming weekend in Monaco on 20 – 22 May.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Running from Friday, 23 April to Sunday, 25 April, the three days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will be split into a morning and afternoon session with a total of 18 hours of track time available across the weekend.

The morning session on all three days will run from 9am until 12pm (local time). The afternoon testing window on Friday and Saturday will open at 2pm and run until 5pm (local time) while on Sunday the session will start at 1pm and finish at 4pm.

In addition to the familiar P Zero hard compound, which featured at both the pre-season test and opening round in Sakhir, teams will also have the chance to put the medium tyres to test for the first time this season.

Zhou leads the standings after Round 1

THE STORY SO FAR

The official in-season test for the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship gets underway at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona tomorrow, after an action-packed opening round in Sakhir last month saw some dramatic tussles between rookies and experienced drivers for points and podium finishes.

With a brand-new weekend schedule, anticipation was at an all-time high heading into the opening round of the 2021 season at the Bahrain International Circuit and the new three-race format did not disappoint, providing a weekend full of enthralling racing.

Red Bull Junior Liam Lawson impressed on his Formula 2 debut with Hitech Grand Prix, taking home his maiden win in the opening race of the season. The New Zealander demonstrated skilful defending in Sprint Race 1, brushing off a stiff challenge from his academy-mate Jehan Daruvala to claim victory. Charouz Racing System’s David Beckmann also made an impression on debut, coming home behind the Carlin man to claim a spot of the final step of the podium.

Reigning F3 Champion Piastri took a first win in Sprint Race 2 of Round 1

Reigning FIA Formula 3 Champion Oscar Piastri took home the win in Sprint Race 2, after seizing the victory from UNI-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou with a last lap overtake. ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard, who fought his way up to P3 after a time penalty, also put his car in an ideal position to take advantage of Zhou’s heavily degraded tyres on the last lap. The Dane crossed the line in P2, ahead of Zhou, who cautiously managed his tyres to the line rounding out an all-Alpine Academy podium.

However, it wasn’t long before the Chinese driver sealed his second victory in Formula 2. Zhou put in a masterful drive in Sunday’s race to take home his first Feature Race win. After initially falling back through the pack, he expertly navigated his way back to P1 to come home ahead of Carlin’s Dan Ticktum and Lawson, who made his second appearance on the podium in three races.

The eighteen hours of running at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will give the teams and drivers a chance to put the medium compound Pirelli tyres to the test, after two outings in Bahrain with the hard and soft compounds. It will also offer them valuable preparation time ahead of the second round of the campaign which will take place in Monaco 20 – 22 May.

DRIVERTEAM
1Robert ShwartzmanPREMA Racing
2Oscar Piastri
3Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi
4Felipe Drugovich
5Dan TicktumCarlin
6Jehan Daruvala
7Liam LawsonHitech Grand Prix
8Jüri Vips
9Christian LundgaardART Grand Prix
10Théo Pourchaire
11Richard VerschoorMP Motorsport
12Lirim Zendeli
14David BeckmannCharouz Racing System
15Guilherme Samaia
16Roy NissanyDAMS
17Marcus Armstrong
20Gianluca PetecofCampos Racing
21Ralph Boschung
22Matteo NanniniHWA RACELAB
23Alessio Deledda
24Bent ViscaalTrident
25Marino Sato