Home Featured Callum Ilott wins F2 season opener after team-mate Guanyu Zhou drops out of lead

Callum Ilott wins F2 season opener after team-mate Guanyu Zhou drops out of lead

by Josh Suttill

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Callum Ilott won the first Formula 2 race of 2020 at the Red Bull Ring after his Virtuosi Racing team-mate Guanyu Zhou was struck by a technical issue.

Renault junior Zhou made a slow getaway from pole, allowing Ilott and front row starting rookie Felipe Drugovich to pass him before Turn 1.

He soon dispatched MP Motorsport’s Drugovich, and passed Ilott around the outside of Turn 7 for the lead on lap one.

Zhou then conceded first place again after the pitstops, but re-passed late stoppers Ilott and Schumacher and was looking comfortable in the lead before slowing on lap 27 of 40.

After making it to the pits, just as HWA Racelab’s Artem Markelov ground to a halt and the race was put under safety car conditions, he returned to track finished a lapped 17th.

The safety car set up a late-race lead battle between Ilott and Schumacher, which ended when Schumacher went skating through the Turn 7 gravel and dropped down the order.

ART Grand Prix’s debutant Marcus Armstrong offset his 13th place starting spot with an extreme undercut strategy that led to him inheriting second behind first-time winner Ilott.

Schumacher’s Prema team-mate Robert Shwartzman pressured Armstrong after the safety car restart, but had to settle for third on his debut.

DAMS’ Dan Ticktum ran wheel-to-wheel with ART’s Christian Lundgaard on the final lap, with Lundgaard just holding on for fourth place.

Ticktum took fifth ahead of HWA’s Giuliano Alesi, who made a late charge on the soft compound tyres, and Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz recovered from a slow pitstop to take seventh.

Drugovich will start the reversed grid sprint race from pole after claiming eighth, just 0.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita.

Trident’s Roy Nissany beat Schumacher to 10th place and the final point.

Nikita Mazepin was another to suffer from a slow pitstop but was in the battle for 10th before he picked up a five-second penalty for a safety car infringement. His Hitech GP team-mate Luca Ghiotto failed to start, as did Nissany’s team-mate Marino Sato.

Yuki Tsunoda span around his Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala on the opening lap, damaging his front wing and earning a penalty. He finished a lapped 18th, while Daruvala recovered to 12th.


Race results (40 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Callum Ilott Virtuosi Racing 54m21.050s
2 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix +8.856s
3 Robert Shwartzman Prema +9.291s
4 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +10.878s
5 Dan Ticktum DAMS +11.277s
6 Giuliano Alesi HWA Racelab +12.828s
7 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System +16.267s
8 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport +17.033s
9 Nobuharu Matsushita MP Motorsport +17.435s
10 Roy Nissany Trident +19.543s
11 Mick Schumacher Prema +20.049s
12 Jehan Daruvala Carlin +22.008s
13 Pero Piquet Charouz Racing System +24.996s
14 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP +25.885s
15 Jack Aitken Campos Racing +30.138s
16 Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing +53.934s
17 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi Racing +1 lap
18 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin +1 lap
Ret Artem Markelov HWA Racelab
Ret Sean Gelael DAMS
Ret Marino Sato Trident
Ret Luca Ghiotto Hitech GP
Fastest lap: Zhou, 1m16.983s

Championship standings
1 Ilott 27   2 Armstrong 18   3 Shwartzman 15   4 Lundgaard 12   5 Ticktum 10   6 Alesi 8   7 Deletraz 6   8 Drugovich 4   9 Zhou 4   10 Matsushita 2