Home Featured Lack of tyre degradation and short DRS zone limits F2’s Imola overtaking

Lack of tyre degradation and short DRS zone limits F2’s Imola overtaking

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Formula 2’s Imola sprint race featured a last-lap pass for the win, but there was little wheel-to-wheel action beyond that.

After lap one, the only two overtakes were by MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto for victory and Rodin Motorsport’s Zane Maloney for third place. Colapinto’s race-winning move on Hitech GP’s Paul Aron was assisted by the latter’s car briefly snapping out of control as he entered the pit straight.

“It’s just very difficult to follow in the last corner especially,” said Maloney, who spent 15 laps stuck behind Aron’s team-mate Amaury Cordeel before eventually passing him.

“I was very close for the whole lap. Then you get into the last corner and you completely pull up, and then a snap of oversteer on the exit and you lose a lot of time. So I was just trying to do the same thing around the whole track, and try to change that last corner, try different things. When I got the move done, I was just that little bit closer. Still had to brake very late and go on the outside into turn two.

“Amaury was very clean. He could have run me out of road, I kind of gave him no option. But we could easily have crashed, and he did allow me to have room, so great racing by him.”

Virtuosi Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto also spent plenty of time stuck behind another car. But unlike Maloney, he was unable to overtake and finished sixth behind Prema’s Ollie Bearman. 

“We know it’s very tough to overtake in this track,” he told Formula Scout in the paddock. “I almost got Bearman at the end, but he’s a great driver. I know that. And he didn’t make any mistakes that allowed me to make the move on him.”

He still reckoned that “if you have the pace advantage from early, you can do it maybe at some point end of race”.

Tyre degradation, which played a significant role in previous rounds, “was not that big” in the sprint race according to the McLaren junior. He predicted “more of less the same” in the feature race, and was proven right despite Pirelli bringing its softest tyre compounds. Bortoleto finished second, able to match Campos Racing’s winner Isack Hadjar for lap after lap but lacking the pace advantage which would make him “risk anything stupid” in an overtake attempt.

“When everyone has grip it’s much more tricky and much more difficult to try to stay close, as the car in front can push hard and not slide,” explained Colapinto.

Maloney agreed and added: “If everyone didn’t have any degradation, then I don’t think there’d be much overtakes.”

Drivers also pointed out the limitations of the Drag Reduction System, with the circuit’s single DRS zone 100 metres shorter than before.

“Most tracks, we have two or three DRS zones, here it’s just one,” said Maloney. “So if you put one after the chicane, then you would all of a sudden see a bit more overtaking.”