A super start to the 2021 FIA Formula 2 season saw Red Bull junior Liam Lawson take victory on his debut in F2, holding off Jehan Daruvala.
The New Zealander, racing for Hitech GP, started third but took advantage of poor starts for both Théo Pourchaire and David Beckmann on the front row to lead into turn one. A lead he never relinquished.
He was never really under threat from Pourchaire, who was second for much of the race until a mechanical failure forced the seventeen-year-old to retire, and even though Daruvala charged late on to within DRS range, The Indian couldn’t find a way past Lawson.
A long way behind the class of the field, Beckmann managed to keep the PREMA’s of Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri at arms length to claim the final step on the podium in his first F2 race.
Those PREMA’s were engaged in battle in the closing stages with Piastri twice trying to send it up the inside of Shwartzman, but the Russian held off the reigning FIA Formula 3 champion to come home fourth, a great result having started in eleventh.
Christian Lundgaard was ultimately very quiet all race in sixth as was Guanyu Zhou who took pole from the Dane yesterday by 0.003s. Zhou crossed the line eighth but Dan Ticktum had a five second penalty for contact with Richard Verschoor on lap two which ultimately ended the Dutchman’s race and the Brit dropped behind Zhou as a result.
There were more penalties further down the order as Guilherme Samaia’s own five second penalty for a virtual safety car infringement saw Lirim Zendeli promoted to ninth – not in the points but he earned to for fastest lap – and Juri Vips was promoted to tenth having started last after being disqualified from qualifying due to a technical regulation failure.
As a result, the Estonian starts this afternoon’s second sprint race from pole thanks to the top ten reversal from this race which means Zendeli will start alongside Vips while Bent Viscaal was the unfortunate eleventh placed driver for Trident.
Marcus Armstrong’s DAMS car seemingly died on him out of turn one ending his race and Ralph Boschung was also caught up in the incident as he ran up the back of the Kiwi as he accelerated out of the corner. Boschung also had to retire, pulling over on the back straight with damage.
Felipe Drugovich had to pit early on having gained front wing damage in the Ticktum-Verschoor incident and therefore finished well down the order.
|1||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||23 Laps|
|9||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||+27.291|
|10||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+27.933|
|14||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||+33.963|
|18||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||+68.910|
|19||Théo Pourchaire||ART||DNF (Mechanical)|
|20||Ralph Boschung||Campos||DNF (Damage)|
|21||Marcus Armstrong||DAMS||DNF (Mechanical)|
|22||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||DNF (Damage)|