Mick Schumacher picked up his fourth podium of the season. The Ferrari Driver Academy student was third for the third time this year in the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Barcelona. Over the 26 laps, tyre management proved yet again to be the key factor and the drivers struggled a great deal to complete the race distance on one set and some even had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a second set.
Start. When the lights went out, Callum Ilott from fourth on the grid, got past Schumacher’s Prema Racing car at the first corner to go third. From then on drivers concentrated on looking after their tyres more than on trying any attacking moves, but in the final third, many of them still suffered from degradation. Ilott’s in the UNI-Virtuosi Racing car saw his pace gradually tail off and he dropped down the order to finish eighth.
Perfect management. Schumacher managed his race really well, overtaking Ilott on lap 21 and then crossing the finish line in third, one second behind Luca Ghiotto (Hitech Grand Prix), who was second behind the winner Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport). “It was a good race,” commented Mick. “it wasn’t easy to manage the tyres without slowing and so I’m pleased with the job I did and with the podium. We have ended the weekend high up the points table and that is definitely positive.”
Tyre troubles. Robert Shwartzman, who was second in yesterday’s feature race, was eighth for a long time, but with seven laps remaining, his Prema Team called him for a set of used Option tyres. The Russian then banged in some strong lap times going from last to 13th.
Marcus and Giuliano. Marcus Armstrong had a steady race, starting from the last row to finish 15th while Giuliano Alesi had a problem on the formation lap and had to start from pit lane. The Frenchman made up some ground but had to make a tyre change on the same lap as Shwartzman on his way to finishing 19th.
Classification. After six rounds, Ilott still leads the championship on 121 points, followed by Shwartzman on 103. It was a good weekend for Schumacher, now fifth on 79 points, although it was less successful for Armstrong and Alesi. With the second triple-header complete, Formula 2 now has a weekend off before returning at Spa-Francorchamps on 28 August for round 7.