Ready to continue – F1’s support series summer review

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Nick de Vries, Robert Shwartzman and Julien Andlauer were the ones who could enjoy their summer break the most as the Dutchman, the Russian and the Frenchman are leading the Formula 2, the Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup championships respectively. In our summer review, we are assessing the first half of the season of Formula One’s three main support series.

De Vries with a healthy lead

In its current form, the FIA Formula 2 Championship completes its third running in 2019. Supporting the Formula One World Championship, the series serves as the second tier of formula racing in the FIA Global Pathway.

After 16 races ART Grand Prix driver Nyck de Vries leads the championship ahead of DAMS drivers Nicholas Latifi and Sérgio Sette Câmara while in the teams' standings DAMS have a 65-point gap to UNI-Virtuosi Racing.

The Championship is contested over twelve rounds with two races on each race meeting. The season kicked off in Bahrain and will end in Abu Dhabi. These two races compass the rounds in Azerbaijan, Spain, Monaco, France, Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Belgium, Italy and Russia.

There are still ten teams competing in Formula 2, albeit there have been changes to the outfits forming the series. Russian Time left the championship after six years competing in Formula 2 and its predecessor, the GP2 Series. Their entry and assets were sold to Virtuosi Racing, who had operated the team. Arden International entered into a partnership with Mercedes-affiliated team HWA Racelab. Charouz Racing System formed a partnership with Sauber Motorsport, which currently runs Alfa Romeo's team in Formula 1.

The championship rightly calls itself the main feeder series for Formula One. For the 2019 season, George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon, the first three-placed drivers in the 2018 F2 Championship managed to step up into the pinnacle of motorsport.

Interesting facts

    The eight qualifying sessions saw five different drivers setting the best lap time. Nyck de Vries proved fastest on three occasions while Luca Ghiotto started first two times. Nobuharu Matsushita, Sergio Sette Camara and Guayu Zhou have all secured a single pole position so far. When it comes to the fastest race lap, it was de Vries, Sette Camara and Matsushita who recorded the most with three apiece.

    The first twelve races saw eight different winning drivers. Nicholas Latifi was the most successful in terms of wins with the Canadian having taken four triumphs so far. The last race before the summer break saw Mick Schumacher take his maiden Formula 2 race victory.

    The French racing team DAMS is currently the runaway leader with 307 points followed by Uni-Virtuosi Racing with 242 and ART Grand Prix with 202 points.

    After collecting twelve penalty points on his racing license for incurring three Virtual Safety Car infringements during the Paul Ricard feature race, Mahaveer Raghunathan was banned from the series for the Red Bull Ring round.

    Artem Markelov made a one-off return in Monaco as a replacement for Jordan King at MP Motorsport, who was competing in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

    Starting from the first position has not been a good omen so far this year. Of the eight feature races so far, only one pole-sitter could convert his first starting position into a victory. It was Nick de Vries who managed to cross the finish line first first after securing the pole position in the qualifying session.

After five rounds, the Standings is as follows: Nyck de Vries (196), Nicholas Latifi (166), Sergio Sette Camara (141), Luca Ghiotto (135), Jack Aitken (134).

Shwartzman with a shrinking lead

Despite to an impressive start to the season, Robert Shwartzman’s comfortable lead in the Standings shrank to just twelve points with six more races to go before the first ever FIA Formula 3 champion will be crowned.

The championship is completing its inaugural season after having been formed by the merger of the GP3 Series and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2018, which brought the two championships under the umbrella of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The huge field featuring a total of 31 young drivers compete in three-point-four litre Formula 3 racing cars. The chassis is designed by Dallara Automobili, the cars are equipped with the drag reduction system, steel head protection system, sequential gearboxes. The six-cylinder 3.4 litres, naturally aspirated engines can produce 380hp.

Interesting facts

    After ten races Robert Shwartzman leads in the drivers' championship ahead of Hitech Grand Prix driver Jüri Vips and his Prema Racing teammate Jehan Daruvala. While in the teams' championship Prema had a 161-point margin over Hitech Grand Prix.

    Artem Petrov ended his campaign after the first round due to lack of funding. His replacement at Jenzer Motorsport was Giorgio Carrara, however the Argentine could only start participating from the Spielberg round due to visa issues. Carrara was replaced with Federico Malvestiti for the Silverstone round. Carrara returned to the seat in Hungary.

    Of the five feature races so far, three pole-sitters could convert their first starting position into a race victory.

    There has only been one hat-trick result so far. It was Christian Lungaard who set the best race lap on his way to the victory in Hungary after securing the pole position.

    Prema Racing has been the most successful outfit so far with five triumphs. Second on this list is Hitech Grand Prix with three wins while HWA Racelab and ART Grand Prix have both managed to secure a solo victory.

    Of the drivers having started in each round so far, there are eight who are yet to score a championship point. Devlin DeFrancesco, Andreas Estner, Ye Yifei, Sebastian Fernandez, Keyvan Andres, Raoul Hyman, Teppei Natori, Alessio Deledda are all waiting for their first points.

    At the last round before the summer break in Budapest, F3 had two new winners and both had been knocking on the door for a while. Marcus Armstrong celebrated his first F3 success in the sprint race in Hungary while Christian Lundgaard proved the fastest the day before.

After eight rounds, the Standings is as follows: Robert Shwartzman (124), Jüri Vips (112), Jehan Daruvala (104), Marcus Armstrong (98) and Christian Lundgaard (73).

Neck on neck

The 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup cannot be blamed for the lack of excitement as the battle for the title has been closely contested since the very beginning of the season. Reigning world champion Michael Ammermüller has to withstand immense pressure from his team-mate Julien Andlauer as the Frenchman is currently one point ahead of the German.

The season began on 12 May at Circuit de Catalunya and will end on 27 October at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, after ten scheduled races, all of which are support events for the 2019 Formula One season.

Interesting facts

    As overtaking has been quite difficult in the Porsche SuperCup series in recent years, it is not surprising that pole position has proved crucial so far. Of six rounds so far, the actual pole-sitter could convert his starting position into victory on four occasions.

    So far, 54 drivers have started in at least one race. However, many of them are guest drivers and only twenty drivers have entered all race weekends.

    Current championship leader Julien Andlauer contests only his second season this year. The Frenchman gave a convincing performance in his debut year with two victories in 2019. The 19-year-old is currently leading the championship by one point ahead of his team-mate Michael Ammermüller.

    The BWT Lechner Racing team has been victorious in four of the six races so far. The martinet by Almeras and the Momo Megatron Lechner Racing outfits were the only two other squads to have taken wins so far.

    There are three drivers who have not managed to score any points despite having started in every race. This less successful club includes Philipp Sager, Stephen Grove and Marc Gini.

    The start of the season saw young driver join the fast one-make cup. Jaxon Evans has come from the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia to tackle his maiden season on international level. The New-Zealander has scored points in all races bar the last event in Hungary and is currently lying ninth in the Standings.

After six rounds, the Standings is as follows: Julien Andlauer (85), Michael Ammermüller (84), Larry ten Voorde (62), Ayhancan Güven (58) and Florian Latorre (57).