PREVIEW: 2018 FIA Formula 2 – Hungaroring

by Aaron Gillard
Artem Markelov - Russian Time - Silverstone

Round 8 of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship takes us to the Hungaroring in Hungary for one final race before heading into the summer break. With the series rested after the triple header, the teams and drivers will be giving their all before resting for a long summer break. But first, here’s what to keep an eye out for this weekend in Hungary.

What happened last time out in Hungary?

DAMS driver Oliver Rowland converted pole position to win the feature race in an dominant drive. In the final moments of the race, Artem Markelov in the Russian Time made an attempt to pass the British driver for the lead. Rowland defended well against the Russian at Turn 1, with Markelov taking the grass and losing control of his car. Rowland’s team-mate Nicholas Latifi claimed second place to make it a DAMS one-two, with Nyck de Vries finishing in third.

In the sprint race, Nobuharu Matsushita secured the sprint race win after starting from fourth place. Oliver Rowland placed his DAMS car in second place with Nyck de Vries repeating his feature race efforts with third place.

You can read our reports of the races from last year here: Feature | Sprint

What should I look out for this year?

After numerous issues with the clutch and engine mapping with the Dallara F2/2018, the series, teams and drivers ran tests on new software and mapping during the off week to fix the issue. The series had to start races under a safety car to prevent any stalled cars on the grid, but after a successful test from the teams, normal starting procedures will return.

Trident will welcome their latest recruit this weekend with Alessio Lorandi making his F2 debut this weekend. Stepping up from the GP3 Series, Lorandi will replace the banned Santino Ferrucci, who will not return with the Trident team after his contract was terminated. This will be the Italian’s first time racing under the new machinery of F2 but Trident say they’ll support him all the way and help him learn the car.

The battle in the teams championship is starting to heat up, with both ART Grand Prix and Carlin Motorsport are tied on points. George Russell and Lando Norris are both battling for the drivers title, with Russell extending his championship lead, but Norris is looking to change his fortune for Hungary and for the season.

Lando Norris - George Russell - Silverstone

Lando Norris’ Carlin and George Russell’s ART Grand Prix are tied on points in the teams title. Credit: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

George Russell’s team-mate Jack Aitken hasn’t scored in the last seven races in Formula 2 and lies tenth overall in the championship, but he enters familiar territory having won here last year in GP3. The Anglo-Korean driver will be hoping to bounce his season back after a promising start to the year with a podium in Azerbaijan and a win in Spain.

Silverstone saw Maximilian Günther secure his first ever Formula 2 win, becoming the eighth winner of the season. Last year saw ten drivers win in the inaugural season of F2 and with drivers like Louis Delétraz and Sergio Sette Câmara finishing close the winners spot and lie within the top ten of the championship.

Artem Markelov came close to winning the feature race at the Hungaroring last year, but lost out after suffering an accident with race winner Oliver Rowland. Markelov went off track in an attempt to pass the DAMS driver, only to lose control of his car and eventually retire from the race. This year he’ll be hoping to finally claim victory at Hungary and put his title aspirations back on track.

What is the schedule for this weekend?

FRIDAY 27TH JULY

Practice: 12:55 (Hungary Time)/11:55 (UK Time)
Qualifying: 16:55 (Hungary Time)/15:55 (UK Time)

SATURDAY 28TH JULY

Feature Race: 16:45 (Hungary Time)/15:45 (UK Time)

SUNDAY 29TH JULY

Sprint Race: 11:20 (Hungary Time)/10:20 (UK Time)

Where can I watch the Formula 2 races?

You can watch all session lives from the FIA Formula 2 championship on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend in the UK and Ireland. Re-runs of the races will be shown over the week.

How can I keep up with all of the action over the weekend?

The Checkered Flag will provide the latest news and updates from 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship this weekend and throughout the season.

George Russell - ART Grand Prix - Silverstone

George Russell leads the championship heading into Hungary.
Credit: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

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