Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
2 days
MotoGP
04 Apr
Event finished
R
Portugal GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
2 days
Formula E
24 Apr
Next event in
10 days
NASCAR Cup
R
Richmond
18 Apr
Race in
5 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
18 Apr
Practice 1 in
3 days
23 Apr
Next event in
9 days
WEC
13 Jun
Race in
60 days
Supercars
20 Mar
Event finished
17 Apr
Practice 1 in
3 days

Bahrain F2: Drugovich wins, Ilott cuts into Schumacher's lead

Felipe Drugovich took a superb maiden FIA Formula 2 Championship feature race victory at the Bahrain International Circuit, as second-placed Callum Ilott made further inroads into Mick Schumacher’s points lead. 

Bahrain F2: Drugovich wins, Ilott cuts into Schumacher's lead

Brazilian Drugovich was able to pass polesitting Ferrari junior Ilott at the first corner, enabling him to manage the pace during the opening stint, and this gave his MP Motorsport car a tyre advantage he was able to maximise for the remainder of the race. 

Drugovich – who had previously taken two F2 sprint-race wins – and Ilott started on the medium-compound option tyre, and Drugovich was able to go three laps longer before his pitstop. 

Ilott, meanwhile, was embroiled in a battle with Marcus Armstrong and Mick Schumacher, each of whom was on the hard tyre, and the Briton’s Virtuosi Racing car was down in fourth by the time he pitted on lap 12 of 32. 

A sticking left-front delayed Ilott at his stop, but his pace on his new hard Pirellis was sufficient to allow him to pass Drugovich for the net race lead when the MP machine ran wide on its out-lap. 

Drugovich then used his fresher tyres to pass Ilott with 13 laps remaining, and was able to extend a 14.8-second gap by the chequered flag. 

“I didn’t expect pace like this,” said Drugovich. “I knew we had a chance to be on the podium but not this way. 

“Everything came from taking the lead at the first corner, and I could manage the tyres. 

“After the stops I had newer tyres than Callum and I could pass him.” 

“I don’t think we’ve got the car right on option tyres,” said Ilott. “On hards it was amazing but he had fresher option tyres and he pulled away from me.” 

Schumacher, who had made a brilliant start to rise from 10th to fourth on the opening lap, was the last of the leading contenders to pit, with 13 laps remaining, and he was down in sixth when he rejoined. 

He made short work of Ferrari junior and Prema Racing stablemate Robert Shwartzman and the ART Grand Prix car of Armstrong to move up to fourth, before zeroing in on the Carlin machine of Red Bull Junior Jehan Daruvala. 

The Indian had been running on the fringes of the top 10 in the first stint, but pitted on the same lap as Ilott to get onto the hard rubber. 

With two laps remaining, Daruvala had to defend aggressively from Schumacher, and the exertions to get past seemed to take too much out of the series leader’s tyres. 

Schumacher therefore had to settle for fourth, trimming what was an 18-point gap to Ilott heading into the race to 12. 

Daruvala’s Carlin teammate, Red Bull and Honda junior Yuki Tsunoda, was a star of the race as he came within 0.3s of rising from 22nd and last on the grid – following an off in qualifying – to fifth. 

Tsunoda ran as long as Schumacher on the hard tyres, and then used his relatively fresh medium rubber to rise from a position in the mid-teens to sixth when he passed Armstrong on the final lap. 

At the flag, Tsunoda was just tucking into the slipstream of Hitech Grand Prix’s Nikita Mazepin, who made great progress in the second stint, and would surely have grabbed fifth had the race run one lap longer. 

Armstrong was seventh and Shwartzman was eighth, giving the Russian reversed-grid pole. 

Dan Ticktum made a poor start from third on the grid and struggled for tyre wear to finish ninth in his DAMS car, while fellow Williams F1 protege Jack Aitken (Campos Racing) claimed the final point by passing Luca Ghiotto on the last lap. 

Bahrain F2 - Feature race results:

shares
comments
Bahrain F2: Ilott takes dominant pole, Schumacher only 10th

Previous article

Bahrain F2: Ilott takes dominant pole, Schumacher only 10th

Next article

Bahrain F2: Shwartzman eases to win, no points for Ilott

Bahrain F2: Shwartzman eases to win, no points for Ilott
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Bahrain
Sub-event Race 1
Drivers Felipe Drugovich
Teams MP Motorsport
Author Marcus Simmons
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Prime

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come.

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Prime

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance Prime

How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2021
How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance Prime

How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance

As a consequence of George Russell's step up to Mercedes to cover for the COVID-positive Lewis Hamilton, Jack Aitken will make his Formula 1 debut for Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Long on F1's peripheries, Aitken finally has a chance to shine.

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2020
How F1's foundation has responded to the coronavirus threat Prime

How F1's foundation has responded to the coronavirus threat

While Formula 1 felt the public brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, the virus also put the Formula 2 and Formula 3 categories on hiatus. But their roles in feeding F1 with drivers meant their survival was crucial to their parent series' long-term future

FIA F2
Jun 11, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Prime

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

Formula 1
Dec 26, 2019
From Formula 1 exiles to part of the family Prime

From Formula 1 exiles to part of the family

It wasn't long ago F2 drivers couldn't even get passes to the F1 paddock. Now, as Ross Brawn and Bruno Michel explain, attitudes are totally different

Formula 1
Dec 13, 2019