The FIA Formula 2 campaign returns for Round 2 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, but what should you be watching out for this weekend?
A REACTION REQUIRED
At one point it looked as if all of the pre-race prophecies would be coming true. Guanyu Zhou led an all-second year front three of himself, Callum Ilott and Mick Schumacher, with highly rated rookie duo Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman following.
But this is F2 after all, so it was never going to play out like that was it? Zhou and Schumacher both dropped out of contention late on, allowing the 2019 F3 frontrunners a debut podium.
Zhou and Schumacher will return with the bit between their teeth in Round 2 as they look to make amends for that disappointment, while making up for the precious points that they lost out on.
CAN THE ROOKIES KEEP IT UP?
Speaking of the rookies, can they maintain their impressive start? Shwartzman, Armstrong and Felipe Drugovich all did superbly on their debuts, but will need to up their game once again if they are to transform that into some form of consistency and spark a title charge.
It’s one thing to turn a few heads on your debut - handling the pressure that comes with fighting at the front regularly will be an entirely different challenge.
Carlin didn’t quite hit the same heights in 2019 as they did in 2018, when they were crowned teams’ champions. They showed plenty of pace, and took two impressive victories, but struggled with consistency, and at times, bad luck.
They took a risk for 2020 in signing two rookie drivers to their rostrum, but Free Practice suggested they could surprise a few, as Yuki Tsunoda took P1. Things got a bit more challenging from here though, and ultimately, neither Tsunoda, nor Jehan Daruvala would score a point in Round 1.
FP was proof that the team are quick though, and if they can translate that into race pace this weekend, then they’ll be a force to reckon with.
It remains to be seen how much difference, if any, remaining out in Spielberg for a second round will make. You imagine it will play a part in confidence though.
Teams and drivers who performed around the Red Bull Ring in Round 1 will be assured of their pace and abilities around the circuit, and it will perhaps allow drivers to push the limits a little bit harder than they normally would.