Piastri is F2’s second rookie winner of the day after last-lap pass

Formula 2

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Alpine Formula 1 junior Oscar Piastri won Formula 2’s night-time sprint race at Bahrain on his second start in the series.

Hitech’s Juri Vips started from pole on a grid set by the results of Saturday morning’s season-opening race with the top 10 finishers reversed. MP’s Lirim Zendeli started second followed by Carlin’s Dan Ticktum.

However Ticktum was taken out of contention at the first corner of the race after being hit by Prema’s Robert Shwartzman. That led to the first laps being run behind the Safety Car as their damaged cars came to a stop.

Zendeli was next to leave the lead battle, being jumped at the restart by Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou, who originally lined up fourth. Zendeli lost several more places before being struck by ART’s Christian Lundgaard and suffering a puncture.

The first corner drama enabled several drivers who started towards the back to fly up the order. Hitech’s race one winner Liam Lawson came from 10th to third and Zhou’s team mate Felipe Drugovich rose from 16th to fourth after the Safety Car period. After clearing Zendeli, it didn’t take long for Zhou to pass Vips for the lead too.

Marcus Armstrong was another riser, having started 19th. But the DAMS driver’s progress up the order was slower and it took until halfway through the race for him to climb up to fifth and close on the front group.

That fifth place became third soon afterwards, as Drugovich spun Lawson at turn four, after Lundgaard nipped past both, and then Vips and Lundgaard opted to pit during the resulting Safety Car period.

That briefly promoted ART rookie Theo Pourchaire to fourth before he too pitted and dropped to 12th. As a result, Vips was now fifth – with a tyre life advantage – behind Trident’s Bent Viscaal.

There was action on the restart, with a three-wide move between Drugovich, Armstrong and Viscaal into turn four resulting in Armstrong rising to second. The exchange allowed Zhou to draw two seconds ahead after one sector. Vips avoided the battle but passed Viscaal and Drugovich later in the lap, and then took Armstrong into turn one the next time by.

Vips quickly closed in on Zhou with his tyre advantage, but just as he was eyeing up a move his car began to lose drive out of corners and he dropped down the order. That promoted Piastri, the reigning Formula 3 champion, to second and Lundgaard to third.

After a brief Virtual Safety Car period the top three had three laps to fight, and the winning move came at turn one on the final tour. Piastri passed Zhou on the inside, but Lundgaard then dived down the inside of both. That compromised his exit, allowing Piastri back by to win a thrilling encounter.

Zhou and Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala rounded out the podium, as Lundgaard was penalised 10 seconds for his earlier clash and he finished ninth as a result, just ahead of Armstrong.

MP’s Richard Verschoor came from the back to finish fourth, and Pourchaire converted his one-stop strategy into fifth, but Vips’ car also failed him and he dropped to 16th on the last lap.

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Bahrain Formula 2 race two result

1Oscar Piastri
2Christian Lundgaard
3Guanyu Zhou
4Jehan Daruvala
5Richard Verschoor
6Theo Pourchaire
7David Beckmann
8Marino Sato
9Matteo Nannini
10Marcus Armstrong
11Guilherme Samaia
12Bent Viscaal
13Gianluca Petecof
14Felipe Drugovich
15Roy Nissany
16Juri Vips
17Ralph Boschung
18Alessio Deledda
19Liam Lawson
20Lirim Zendeli
21Dan Ticktum
22Robert Shwartzman

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    Ida Wood
    Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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    10 comments on “Piastri is F2’s second rookie winner of the day after last-lap pass”

    1. An exciting race, but a pity for Vips as he had a realistic shot at winning.

    2. Now F2 has an unlikely championship leader In jehan daruvala, it’s been a unpredictable two races so far.

      1. Still it feels quite a bit artificial unpredictableness with those reverse and reverse reverse starting grids.

      2. Lundgaard is reinstated to 2nd after it was found he observed his 10s penalty during his pit stop under safety car (didn’t think that counted personally), so Daruvala drops back to 4th, putting Piastri top after the 2 races.

    3. This year’s F2 line-up is a bit uninspiring compared to previous year when we’ve had really interesting names such as Illot, Mick, Tsunoda, etc… Not to mention that stellar year with Russel, Norris, Albon and Latiffi.

      But yeah, it is what it is and hopefully the races will be just as good as before.

      1. What? Most of these drivers have more talent than a driver like Albon and also Schumacher. Its a packed field, perhaps even better than last year as the big group from F3 are now in in their second year. Pouchaire, Vips, Lundgaard, Piastri, Lawson and Shwartzman are all drivers to watch and the carlin team knows how to race aswell.

      2. Marinated Monolith (@)
        27th March 2021, 19:07

        At the beginning of 2020, no one expected Tsunoda to perform at that level. Everyone pretty much expected Daruvala to lead Carlin but we all saw what went down.

        All I’m trying to say is that we’re only two races in, it’s way too early to say how things are going to proceed from here on out. Lawson and Vips to me are highly promising with Piastri and Pouchaire not far behind. Then you’ve got the returnees and wildcards like Petecof and Verschoor, which all-in-all should make for an interesting season, even if I’m not completely on board with the new format.

    4. F2 really went off with a bang. But there’s tomorrow.

    5. Correction: Lundgaard served his 10 sec penalty under pitstop and was not penalized after the thus taking 2nd place. Pinstripe is still under investigation for forcing Lundgaard of the track so he might be promoted to first place.

    6. Pourchaire can probably feel like he has been robbed of two podiums so far this weekend. Mechanical failure in the first race, and in this one, had the team pitted him first instead of Lundgaard (who had a penalty), he would have been able to follow Vips and Piastri through the field – it could even have been him challenging Piastri for the lead on the final lap.

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