Formula 2

Tsunoda inherits Belgium victory after Mazepin penalty.

2 Mins read
Credit: FIA Formula 2

On an poignant day for the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Nikita Mazepin produced a stunning defensive drive to keep Yuki Tsunoda at arms length, but the Russian was awarded a penalty on the cool down lap for forcing the Carlin off the track on the penultimate lap, handing the win to the Japanese driver.

The entire paddock, including those involved in Formula One, observed an impeccable minutes silence for the late Anthoine Hubert, who lost his life at this race a year ago, before lights out and they put on a fantastic show in his memory.

Mazepin defended so resolutely to cross the line in first, but his driving was deemed overly forceful and the five-second penalty dropped the Hitech GP car to second. He is also under two investigations post-race; one for an unsafe release during his pit stop and the other being after he hit the number two parc ferme board and nearly hitting Tsunoda in the process as he went over to his Carlin team.

The twenty-five points Tsunoda picked up has closed him to within eleven points of championship leader Callum Ilott making it a three-way title fight going into the second half of the season.

Mazepin was far enough ahead of the rest to take second place with Mick Schumacher some six seconds back. The PREMA was fairly anonymous for much of the race as he did all he could and brought home solid points for the team, as did Robert Shwartzman who finished fifth and closed to within seven points of Ilott in the championship.

Between the two Italian cars was Louis Delétraz who was very consistent on pace with the PREMA’s and will be very satisfied with his fourth placed finish.

Outside the top five though, there was all sorts of battling which eventually saw Dan Ticktum climb to sixth by the chequered flag, a gain of eight places which he will be delighted with after missing practice on Friday.

Guanyu Zhou had looked like the main threat on the alternate strategy but a slow pit stop dropped him into traffic, he was able to fight his way back to seventh ahead of the much improved Roy Nissany who took reverse grid pole in eighth.

Luca Ghiotto was the cause of much of the battling as he tried to hold on to his points with the oldest tyres of anyone. He did collect two for finishing ninth ahead of Ilott who struggled all race and was fortunate to take tenth.

Juri Vips was very impressive in taking eleventh from the back of the grid on his Formula 2 debut.

MP Motorsport won both races in Spain two weeks ago but their race was over on lap four when Felipe Drugovich and Nobuharu Matsushita collided at Blanchimont, sending the latter into the tyre barriers. Drugovich was able to continue but ended the race a lap down.

1Yuki TsunodaCarlin25 Laps
2Nikita Mazepin*Hitech GP+4.430
3Mick SchumacherPREMA+5.639
4Louis DelétrazCharouz+10.381
5Robert ShwartzmanPREMA+13.595
6Dan TicktumDAMS+16.218
7Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi+16.453
8Roy NissanyTrident+20.792
9Luca GhiottoHitech GP+24.222
10Callum IlottUNI-Virtuosi+25.808
11Juri VipsDAMS+28.877
12Pedro PiquetCharouz+29.776
13Marcus ArmstrongART+36.414
14Jack AitkenCampos+36.613
15Marino SatoTrident+38.942
16Artem MarkelovHWA Racelab+44.258
17Christian LundgaardART+46.051
18Guiliano AlesiHWA Racelab+47.045
19Jehan DaruvalaCarlin+92.794
20Felipe DrugovichMP Motorsport+1 Lap
21Guilherme SamaiaCamposDNF (Mechanical)
22Nobuharu MatsushitaMP MotorsportDNF (Crash)
* = Currently Under Investigation
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