Callum Ilott (UNI-Virtuosi Racing) finished second in today’s Formula 2 Feature Race in Bahrain. Thanks to the points he picked up yesterday when he took his fifth pole of the year, the Ferrari Driver Academy talent strengthened his second place in the classification with a points haul of 22.
Difficult start. “My first stint was not the best,” explained Ilott before going to the podium. “Because the set-up on our car did not suit the Medium tyre. After the pit stop the situation changed for the better, because on the Hards I had a great pace and that’s how I got second place. I’ve closed the gap in the championship and am now 12 points off Mick, which is good. Now we have to focus on tomorrow’s race.”
Undercut. Having started on the Medium tyres, Ilott dropped to second at the first corner behind Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) and was fourth by the time he made his pit stop on lap 12. It was an early stop and it meant the Englishman pulled off an undercut that saw him move up to second and there he stayed to the chequered flag.
Close fight. Ilott therefore made up 10 points on Mick Schumacher (Prema), who finished fourth today, with a great climb up the order built on a scorching getaway off the line which saw him go from tenth to fourth. Mick started on hard tyres and pushed hard in the opening laps, so that after 9 laps he was up to second place, passing Callum and fellow FDA driver Marcus Armstrong (ART Grand Prix). He took the lead on lap 15, when the leader Drugovich who went on to win the race, made his pit stop. Schumacher switched tyres on lap 19, rejoining sixth and moving up to fourth at the chequered flag.
Marcus and Robert. Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman (Prema) showed well in the race, to ensure a strong start to the weekend for the Academy drivers. Armstrong, fourth in the classification, paid the price for heavy tyre wear in the race and finished seventh, just ahead of Shwartzman. However it was an important result for the pair which will see them start from the front row on the reverse grid for tomorrow’s Sprint Race, with the Russian on pole.
Giuliano. Alesi was unlucky in the race. Having qualifying sixth in the MP Motorsport car, he was a top six runner throughout the first stint. After his pit stop, the Frenchman suddenly suffered a drop in performance, spiralling down to 17th. The Sprint Race to end this first Sakhir weekend will see Schumacher start from fifth on the grid, with Ilott behind him in seventh.