The FIA Formula 2 campaign returns for Round 9 at Mugello in Italy, but what should you be watching out for this weekend?
THE INCREDIBLY TIGHT TITLE FIGHT
2020 has been the most hotly contested season of Formula 2 since the modern era began back in 2017.
Less than 50 points separate the top seven drivers, who have all enjoyed big moments throughout the campaign. But, no one has been able to grab the Championship by the scruff of the neck and really take control, as has happened in past seasons, and that’s partly due to the sheer amount of ability on the grid.
As it stands, Callum Ilott holds the top spot, but Robert Shwartzman has led the standings on two occasions this season, whilst Mick Schumacher is currently the man in form. The German has five podiums from his last five races, including a Feature Race win in Monza last time out.
You shouldn’t overlook those below, with the likes of Yuki Tsunoda and Christian Lundgaard very capable of mounting a late challenge.
LUNDGAARD IS BACK TO HIS BEST
Speaking of Lundgaard, the Dane was back on the podium in Monza after a couple of difficult rounds, including four pointless races in succession. As a rookie, the ART Grand Prix driver can certainly be a afforded some slack – it’s just that we’ve become so accustomed to him scoring solid points and podiums that it was a surprise to see him out of top ten.
Round 9 in Italy was certainly more to the standard that we have been used to, with a double podium finish, taking third and second. The ART man now sits just seven points behind Tsunoda in fourth and will have his eyes set firmly on leapfrogging the Carlin racer.
CAN NISSANY KEEP UP HIS RECENT FORM?
“This is a product of very, very hard work, which is being put into this project.” Roy Nissany was “very, very happy, but not surprised,” after taking his highest Qualifying position.
It followed his highest race finish in the weekend prior, as well as two FP1 stints with Williams, as part of his role within their academy. After a tough start to the season, Nissany looks to be getting to grips with the Trident machine and the new 18-inch tyres. His return to F2 wasn’t helped by his lack of racing in 2019 when the Israeli was without a full-time drive.
Nissany looks firmly at home now, with his hard-work beginning to bear fruit. He’ll hope to keep this up in Round 9 of the season.
A NEW TRACK
Mugello is certainly a driver’s circuit. It’s incredibly high speed, but extremely tight. As a one-lap challenge, it can be phenomenal to watch, even if it can be tricky to overtake on.
Realistically, the first corner is the best option for a move after a long DRS straight, but F2 has already proven this season (see the Budapest Feature Race) that moves can and will be attempted in the most unlikely to places. Turns 10 to 12 can also be ripe for an overtake or two if the drivers get it right.
Mugello is also not a track that anyone is used to, really. Most of the grid will have driven here at one point or another during their junior careers – Dan Ticktum did in Formula Regional last season - but never in F2 or F3.