Start, F2 sprint race, Hungaroring, 2019

Mick Schumacher resists Matsushita to claim first F2 win

Formula Two

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Mick Schumacher has taken his first victory in Formula 2 after holding off Nobuharu Matsushita during a close sprint race at the Hungaroring.

Schumacher took pole position for the race by finishing eighth in yesterday’s feature race. But having failed to convert pole position to victory in Bahrain five months ago, he came good this time, soaking up race-long pressure from the Carlin driver.

The Prema driver made a clean start and clung to the inside line to keep Matsushita at bay. But his rival, whose strong record at the Hungaroring includes a victory over dominant 2015 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, kept him in sight all the way.

Despite some upsets further down the pack the first lap was clean and shook the pack out into closely-spaced order. Tatiana Calderon retired with broken suspension on lap eight following contact with Arjun Maini, causing double-waved yellows but no safety car while her car was retrieved from a run-off.

By the halfway point in the race, Schumacher had a secure while not necessarily comfortable lead, just over a second ahead of Matsishita who had an equivalent gap to Sergio Sette Camara behind.

Sette Camara was able to eat into that gap, however, allowing Schumacher a small amount of breathing space as he and Matsushita swapped positions at turn one.

However by lap 19 Matsushita had recovered the gap and was back within DRS range of Schumacher with nine laps to go. But Schumacher held his nerce, never giving the Honda junior any overtaking opportunities.

Both Schumacher and Matsushita’s tyres were visibly stressed by lap 24, the gap remaining at less than a second between the two. Matsushita remained on Schumacher’s tail for the final lap, within metres of each other and yet again with the second-place man in DRS range all the way to the line.

Title rivals Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries finished seventh and sixth respectively, keeping De Vries on top of the championship. Dams continue to hold the teams’ lead, after Sette Camara completed the podium alongside Schumacher and Matsushita.

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    Hazel Southwell
    Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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    7 comments on “Mick Schumacher resists Matsushita to claim first F2 win”

    1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
      4th August 2019, 11:20

      I am so happy for Mick. He has been quite unlucky this season, but did a great race today, beautifully done. Pressure must be immense for him so I feel a small weight has been lifted off his shoulders with this performance. I am sure Michael is proud.

    2. Very nice, indeed! Well done, Mick!

    3. i’ve never felt that winning a reverse grid race from pole means as much as winning having actually qualified on pole on speed.

      it’s why there are so many reverse grid only winners in gp2 history that don’t make it any further, you have to prove you can do it on pace during qualifying & then the feature race. getting pole for finishing 8th because you weren’t one of the fastest drivers and then winning the sprint from reverse grid pole just doesn’t mean as much.

      1. Agreed 100%. Poor Mick is all hype and no trousers. I do feel for him though… the pressure on him is not fair.

    4. Oh, no, the hype will launch into full overdrive now!

      I am not saying Mick didn’t do good, he did, but it should not be the reason for over-celebration and prediction of becoming multiple F1 WDC…

      1. @dallein, I would agree that it is rather early to be hyping him up just yet, as it is still early days and he did have a rather torrid time in the middle of the season.

        That said, I think that it will at least be a nice confidence booster for Mick – it did seem as if, in Formula 3, he did start picking up once he managed to get some of those first milestones, such as his first pole position, so hopefully it will be the case that this will give him something to build on.

    5. I bet he will have stronger results after F1’s summer break.

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