Ghiotto wins F2 sprint race with strategy gamble

Formula Two

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Luca Ghiotto used the unusual tactic of making a mid-race pit stop to win the Formula 2 sprint race at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Emulating Charles Leclerc’s strategy from two years ago, Ghiotto pitted halfway through the race for a fresh set of tyres having built up a six-second lead over his pursuers.

That allowed the DAMS pair of Sergio Sette Camara and feature race winner Nicholas Latifi into the lead. But with his superior pace Ghiotto made light work of his ascent through the field.

On lap 18 Ghiotto cruised up behind Louid Deletraz and pole-sitter Mick Schumacher, and swept past the pair with little difficulty. Within three laps he had the race leaders in his sights.

Ghiotto breezed by the two DAMS cars on lap 21 of 23. His grip advantage was so great he was able to take Sette Camara for the lead in turn 13, an unusual overtaking spot.

The DAMS pair followed him home while Guanyu Zhou made a late charge to claim fourth. Next was Deletraz wrested fourth place from Schumacher after a fine scrap between the pair. Schumacher briefly reclaimed the place before Deletraz saw him off around the outside of turn four.

The Prema driver had held his lead from pole position at the start and seemed in a strong position when his three closest pursuers tangled on the first lap. Delrtraz, Jack Aitken and Nyck de Vries took to the run-off at turn six.

De Vries took seventh ahead of Jordan King – who survived a mid-race assault by Juan Manuel Correa – Anthoine Hubert and Sean Gelael.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Ghiotto wins F2 sprint race with strategy gamble”

  1. Shumacher’s F2 debut was over rated. Galael out qualified him, but had a dnf through no fault of his own in race one when ahead of Schumacher. IN Race 2, reverse order grid pole for Schumacher, so starting first, while galael started last, galael ended up only 6 seconds and 3 positions behind Schumacher. Also in both races other rookies finished ahead of Schumacher but wont get the recognition or Ferrari tests because of their name. I don’t like this sort of business of producing racers because of their family origin, so far mick seems like the next Bruno senna, and not the next Ayrton of Michael Schumacher.

    1. Schumacher qualified first of the rookies (despite a big lockup in his best run) and finished first in feature race amongst those with no prior racing experience of the Pirellis, which are such a completely different tyre compared to Hankook he raced the whole last season that they might as well be circled vs squared.

      Bahrain it’s the worst possible race for being introduced to Pirelli tyre management (pit stop in sprint race, come on…). From the onboard it was perfectly visibile how careful he was on the throttle and with the lines. All in all a perfectly fine first event.

      Very well-done from Ghiotto. I hope he can win this championship, in a way he’s a better prospect for Italy than the intermittent F1 career Giovanazzi is having.

    2. Let’s judge him after a few races. It’s not like he hasn’t got any talent.
      He won the euro F3 title last year, remember!

      1. He won it only after a good dozen of his opponents left the championship. In first F3 season he was 12th, while Norris was the champion and it was also his first FIA F3 season. He had 3 races in 2016, but just 3. Even in 2018 season Ticktum was faster, just less lucky.

        He isn’t overrated. He is the name.

        1. @regs Nonsense. More experienced drivers leave championships all the time, that doesn’t devalue the championships of those drivers who follow them. There were enough good drivers in the Euro F3 last season and the fact is he won, however loud Ticktum and his fans whine about it and spread the conspiracy theories.

          He also had a great first weekend in F2 on a weekend when the experienced drivers ruled he was the most impressive rookie together with Hubert who unlike him has experience with the cheese tires.

          But yeah he’s just the name. Whatever.

  2. Let’s put things into perspective – this is third season for Sean Galael vs. Mick Schumacher debut. So if in three seasons and 47 race starts all you have to show is one podium to show to your name, zero pole positions, zero wins etc… vs. a person who just debuted, it goes to show who the talent is. Not a fan of neither Mick or Sean, but perspective is everything. Let’s see if Mick improves, or degrades as Sean did.

  3. What a drive for Ghiotto. Always liked him, a shame especially last year he was at Campos who seemed to have no real clue what they were doing. He pushed Ocon all the way back in GP3, very solid driver, hope he competes for the championship this season. Really, he was in a different class all weekend, only a clutch failure stopped him from winning both races.

  4. Hubert way more impressive than Schumacher. Mick will need some time.

    UNI virtuosi had a very good car this weekend, even Zhou managed good results, not just only Guiotto.

    Ghiotto strategy today was a mess, he had won anyway, if the race had a safety car in the end he could have lost the race. They had no reason to pit him and gamble when he was first by a good margin.

    Sette Camara confirming his favoritism, the surprise is Lafiti and Guiotto, the struggler De Vries.

    1. @miani How can you say that the strategy was a mess, if not a single driver who has not stopped profited from his strategy while all who stopped prospered as a result, apart from Hubert who stopped too late?

      Had there been a safety car it would not have lost Ghiotto the race, quite the opposite, it would have made his job easier

      1. @montreal95 other drivers in the midfield had something to gain, he not. He was already first and the only way he could have lost was if both DAMS drivers had pitted.

        If we had a safety car in the last laps, as we saw in F1 race, he would have lost the race.

        His strategy was an unnecessary gamble.

        1. @miani I disagree. The teams know their setup and their limitations and they know where they are stronger than their competitors and where they are weaker. Ghiotto went like a scalding cat from the start of the race so he probably knew he would not be able to finish the race on the same tires without being overtaken by the Dams cars. And to gamble that there would be a race ending safety car beforehand… now that would be an extremely stupid gamble indeed.

  5. I think it could be nice if the race results were included in the article as well?

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