SCHUMACHER STORMS TO MAIDEN F2 VICTORY IN BUDAPEST
Mick Schumacher became the second rookie winner of this season’s FIA Formula 2 campaign with a commanding performance from lights-to-flag in the Sprint Race that required every inch of his defensive abilities.
The PREMA racing man beat out the experienced Nobuharu Matsushita to earn his maiden F2 win and a first taste of champagne for PREMA this season. DAMS’ Sérgio Sette Câmara came home in third, having pushed and prodded Matsushita all the way, in the tightest of front threes.
The German had been handed reverse grid pole for the second time this season, thanks to a strong 8th place finish in yesterday’s Feature Race and he got away smoothly off the line, despite the Carlin attached to his rear wing.
Matsushita, starting P2, waited until the first turn to make his move and skidded around the outside of the German, but he ran out of track and remained second. Sette Câmara had forced his way ahead of Jordan King when the lights went out for third, while Nikita Mazepin rose four places to break into the points’ paying places.
Schumacher set the fastest lap in his attempts to put space between himself and Matsushita, but the Japanese driver reacted by beating his time around the Hungaroring and slicing into the distance between them. Less than a second behind him was Sette Câmara, in an intense three-wary tussle for first.
With thick clouds appearing above, the track temperature fell from 41 to 35 degrees, adding a further challenge to Schumacher’s defence of P1. Still, he clung on, but Matsushita remained within five tenths of him and refused to let the German breathe.
The Brazilian in third had the same tactic, but couldn’t find a way through at Turn 3 when the two went side-by-side and the Carlin came out ahead.
Championship contender Luca Ghiotto had been one of the fall guys in Mazepin’s rise to 8th, but he was able to regain the spot when the ART man lost pace on lap 18. Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou both followed the Italian through, after the Russian had warned his team that he was in trouble. Ghiotto’s overtake of the Russian put him in a 1-2-3 with title rivals Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries in a three-way fight for 6th.