After Silverstone, the Formula 2 paddock is now set up at Barcelona for the sixth round of the season. Never before has the series faced such a gruelling schedule, with six rounds in seven weeks and therefore this will be a tough weekend, especially given the very high temperatures. On the plus side, the season so far has provided plenty of excitement with eight winners in ten races, with the championship still wide open and led by the Ferrari Driver Academy’s Callum Ilott.
Standings. The 21 year old, racing with the UNI-Virtuosi Racing team won the Feature Races (the longest of each weekend’s two races) in Austria and at the 70th Anniversary event. He is the only driver to have qualified on pole twice, at the Hungaroring and last time out at Silverstone. Thanks to a good second weekend in the UK, Ilott is now on 106 points, 19 ahead of Christian Lundgaard and 21 ahead of Russia’s Robert Shwartzman.
Disappointments. 20 year old Shwartzman, also and FDA driver, is in his first season of Formula 2 and has already won two Feature races in Styria and Hungary, but after Budapest he struggled over the two Silverstone weekends, not doing as well as expected. He will be hoping to put all that behind him in Barcelona and once again fight for the wins. Last year, here at Montmelo, he won on his debut in Formula 3. The weekend at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit will also be an opportunity for Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong to fight back after two disappointing rounds at Silverstone.
A different setting. “For the first time, we will be racing at Barcelona in August, when it is particularly hot,” commented the head of the FDA technical department, Marco Matassa. Montmelo is the most popular testing venue in winter and spring when temperature are very different, so we will have to take that into account when working on car set-up. Callum, Mick and Giuliano have already raced in Formula 2 here, while Marcus and Robert have all competed in different categories and so they know the track. Let’s see how it goes, but I think they can all have a good weekend.”