The final race of the FIA Formula 2 season was held today at the Yas Marina Circuit. Three Ferrari Driver Academy talents made their debut in the category this season: Giuliano Alesi, Callum Ilott and Mick Schumacher. In Abu Dhabi, the FDA trio performed well enough even if they might have hoped to come away with more than they did.
Callum. Ilott’s weekend got off to a great start as he qualified second, proof of the progress made over the course of the season. Tyre strategy was the key to yesterday’s feature race and Ilott opted to start on Supersofts before switching to Softs. Up to the pit stop, the Englishman was in the top three but once the run of stops was complete, he found himself fifth, which is where he finished. “Overall, we can be happy with that result,” commented Callum . “There was not much difference between the two strategy options, but when you start from the front row, you tend to go for the safest option. I had a good pace and over the season, I improved my ability to manage the tyres.” Ilott then started today’s sprint race from fourth and after ten laps he was third. However, in the closing stages, he had to give best to Sergio Sette Camara.
Giuliano. Alesi also had a positive weekend. He started from twelfth on the grid in Race-1 and finished eighth, after running an attacking final stint which saw him move up the order. The reverse grid for Race-2 meant he started from pole for the very first time and Alesi made the most of it. He led from the start and stayed in front for eight laps, but then as the tyres progressively degraded he had to slow, but he managed a far from easy situation to come home fifth.
Mick. It was not a straightforward weekend for Schumacher, who began by qualifying tenth. “For various reasons, my first night time qualifying did not go as I’d hoped,” said Mick. “And I had to settle for starting from the fifth row.” In Race-1, Schumacher made up some places but tyre management proved more complicated than expected. “I had a good pace in the first stint, but in the second, I probably pushed too hard in the middle part, so the tyres were gone by the end. On a different strategy, Alesi had a fresher tyres for the final laps and was able to close the gap and pass me right at the end to take eighth place.”
Mick also finished ninth in Race-2.
Test. The FDA drivers are not leaving Abu Dhabi just yet, as they are staying on for a three day test next week. The three of them will be joined by FDA colleagues Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman who are moving up to Formula 2 next year.