F2: Ferrari protege Mick Schumacher dominates in Monza feature race

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Following his recent run of success, Ferrari Racing Academy driver Mick Schumacher stormed to race victory in the feature F2 race at Monza to secure his first victory of the season.

Pole-sitter Callum Ilott got away well to keep his position. However, it was Mick Schumacher’s start that caught everyone’s attention. After crashing at the end of the qualifying session yesterday, the young German got off the line brilliantly to jump from P7 to P2.

Championship leader Robert Shwartzman was a victim of Schumacher’s crash yesterday as he could not improve his lap time due to the red flag. The Russian started only from 16th place and lost a further spot at the start.

On lap 4, Schumacher tried an overtaking move on fellow Ferrari junior driver Ilott. The pair was side by side into Turn 1, but the Uni Virtuosi driver managed to keep the lead.

On the next lap, Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda passed Renault protege Christian Lungaard to take P3. On lap 6, Luca Ghiotto closed in on Tsunoda and Lungaard and wanted to overtake the duo heading into the first chicane. However, Tsunoda forced him into the run off zone around the Variante del Rettifilio.

Championship leader Shwartzman pitted for new tyres on lap 7, trying an alternative strategy by coming in very early in the race. On the next lap, Lungaard peeled into the pit lane as well.

On lap 11, race leader Ilott pitted to change his old soft tyres to fresher medium boots. Although the tyre change was successful, the Briton stalled, losing over 15s due to the issue. On the next lap, Schumacher pitted with Prema conducting a perfect tyre change on the German’s car.

On lap 15, Ghiotto finally peeled into the pit lane to get rid of his soft tyres following his very long stint on the softest compound available at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

In the meantime, Ilott desperately looked to claw his way back from the back of the order. The Ferrari junior set a time of 1m42.192, showing that he was far from giving up.

Nikita Mazepin slowed down on the back straight, but he managed to recover his car coming out of the Parabolica turn.

On lap 16, Guanyu Zhou, Jehan Daruvala, Jack Aitken and Giuliano Alesi pitted for new tyres. Dan TIcktum and Juri Vips peeled into the pit lane on the next lap which saw Schumacher retake the lead.

On lap 23, Ilott passed Shwartzman to take sixth. On the next lap, he continued his charge by getting past Louis Deletraz. On his much fresher tyres, Zhou passed Shwartzman on the next lap.

With just two laps to go, Ghiotto tried an overtaking manoeuvre on Lungaard which he perfectly executed into the first chicane. Ticktum also overtook Shwartzman who ended up ninth.

In the meantime, Schumacher was controlling the entire race following the Ilott’s issue during his pit stop.

Schumacher was clearly happy with his first race victory in the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship. He said: “I am very happy with the result today. I think that the team did a mega job to get the car out again after yesterday’s incident in Qualifying. When you are pushing, you are obviously trying to improve yourself and I went a bit over the limit and therefore ended up in the wall.

“It was a long night for the boys, so I really wanted to get good points for them. I didn’t think that I was going to win, but I wanted good points and a good race for the guys. They stayed up until 2am yesterday and worked on the car to get it ready. They did that and they did it in style, so I am very, very proud of them.

“This race is for them. We as a team really deserve this one. It was a really good race, everything just worked, and I am really, really happy,” the German concluded.

Louis Delétraz will start from reverse grid pole in the Sprint Race tomorrow at 11.10am (local time), but all eyes will be on the trio of title contenders, with just three points separating them.