The first weekend of the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship showed much promise for the Carlin team who somewhat under-performed in 2019, but their speed couldn’t be turned into results.
Rookie duo Jehan Daruvala and Yuki Tsunoda had qualified well in sixth and 12th respectively after the latter had topped the morning’s practice session. But their weekends unravelled when Tsunoda made contact with the rear of Daruvala’s car, sending the Indian into a spin and causing damage to his own machine.
Daruvala managed to recover to 12th while Tsunoda ended a lap down in 18th having pitted for repairs.
Sunday’s sprint race was equally tough for the Red Bull Junior Team pair as Daruvala did to Luca Ghiotto what Tsunoda had done to him, this time hitting Ghiotto around and into the gravel and out of the race. This left him with damage and a five-second time penalty too and as a result, he finished 16th with Tsunoda just outside the points in 11th.
Reflecting on the weekend on Sunday, Daruvala said: “It was a pretty hard weekend, it kind of went wrong yesterday on lap one. It was a shame, I think that the speed was pretty good yesterday and honestly now I am just looking forward to a better weekend next week.
“The speed is there, it is just about putting stuff together. Friday’s Qualifying lap would have been good enough for the front row, not probably for pole but definitely for P2 but there was an incident and that wrecked the lap so we were only P6. So it is a shame, all in all I am quite happy with the speed though, so that when things come together next week we should be up there fighting for race wins.
“I was pretty happy with the car but actually in Race 1 from the first lap impact I had damage on my floor on both sides which was costing me some downforce so that was costing me a bit of time in the first race.
“Race 2 was really difficult though, I had a bad first lap and after that it was pretty much a train of cars and all with DRS and we couldn’t really do much. I knew that there was no point in taking a big risk, just to get a penalty for next weekend. So not the way we wanted to start the year but I’m sure next weekend will be far better.”
Tsunoda said: “In Race 1 the start was OK, I didn’t lose any position in Turn 1. I hit a little bit the car in front in Turn 1 with my front wing. The car then felt a bit strange but I kept going, up to Turn 3 and I braked, a bit late but I thought that I can stop easily. But the car in front stopped quite a lot, stopped more than I expected and I couldn’t stop and I smashed to the car in front and damaged my front wing.”
“So I had to pit and change the wing and I stalled it when I tried to restart from the pit, that was my mistake. After that the race pace was quite OK. In the end I think I was two-tenths off the fastest lap, without using DRS so I think that was not too bad.”
“For Race 2 the start was really good, I gained a position at Turn 1 and gained also at Turn 3, six positions in the first lap. After that there were Safety Cars, I tried to gain a lot on the restarts but there was not enough pace to get positions, I was trying to save the tyres but I did not have enough to make positions at the end and finished P11.”