Philip Dragovic won the FIA Formula 2 Championship’s spectacular first race on the Bahrain International Circuit, as second-seeded Kumlum Elot advanced to Mick Schumacher’s point lead.
The Brazilian Dragovich was able to pass the Ferrari Jr. Elot on the first corner, enabling him to manage speed during the opening period, and thus gave the MP Motorsport car the tire advantage that he was able to maximize for the rest of the race space.
Dragovich – who had previously won two F2 sprint-races – and Ilot started on the middle combination option tires, and Dragovich was able to advance three times before his pit stop.
Elot, meanwhile, was embroiled in a battle with Marcus Armstrong and Schumacher, each with hard tires, and Britain’s Vertusi racing car was fourth, while he dug in 12 of 32.
The sticky Elot on the left delayed his stop, but his speed on his new hard pyrelys was enough to allow him to pass Dragovich for the lead in the net race when the MP machine ran wide in his out-lap.
Dragovich then used his fresher tire to pass the Elot with 13 fraps left, and was able to extend the distance to 14.8-seconds by a checkered flag.
“I didn’t expect speed like this,” Dragovich said. “I knew we had a chance to be on the podium, but not this way.
“Everything came from taking the lead on the first corner, and I can handle the tires.
“After the stops I had newer tires than the cum and I could pass it.”
Elot added: “I don’t think we got it right on the car tires.
“It was a surprise at Hards, but he had fresher option tires and he pulled from me.”
Schumacher, who made a great start to the 10th to fourth in the opening round with 13 dominance left, and was sixth when he rejoined.
He did a short job of finishing fourth on Ferrari Jr. and Prema Racing Stable Robert Schwartzman and Armstrong’s ART Grand Prix car, before Zero on Red Bull Jr. Jahan Daruwala’s Carlin Machine.
The Indian was running in the top 10 seam in the first stage, but sat in the same position as Elot to get into the hard rubber.
With two holes left, Daruwala had to defend Schumacher aggressively, and the effort to get past it seemed to take a lot more from the series leader’s tires.
So Schumacher had to settle for fourth place, which was 18-points away from Illot when he finished 12th.
Daruwala’s Carlin teammates, Red Bull and Honda Jr. Yuki Susunada, finished 22nd inside the SS and last on the grid – after qualifying – in fifth place.
Sunoda walked up to Schumacher on hard tires, and then used Armstrong in the final lap to use his relatively fresh medium rubber to rise from the middle-teen position to sixth.
On the flag, Sunoda was heading to the slipstream of Nikita Mazapin of the Hitech Grand Prix, who made great strides in the second round, and if she had run a long run in the race, she would have been fifth.
Armstrong was seventh and Schwartzmann was eighth, given the Russian relay-grid pole.
Dan Ticketm made a poor start to the third on the grid and struggled to wear tires to finish ninth in his DAMS car, while fellow Williams F1 Project Jack Itcan (Campos Racing) claimed the final point by passing Luca Luto on the last lp.
Result – 32 laps
|.||Felipe Dragovich||MP Motorsport||58 m 24.004 sec|
|4||Mick Schumacher||According to racing||20.270s|
|5||Nikita Mazepin||Hi-tech Grand Prix||28,293s|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||31,361s|
|8||Robert Schwartzman||According to racing||43,868s|
|10||Jack Itken||Campus Racing||47,327 s|
|11||Pedro Pickett||Charouz Racing System||49,174s|
|12||Luca Giotto||Hi-tech Grand Prix||49,294s|
|14||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Vertuoso||53,775 s|
|16||Louis Deltrez||Charouz Racing System||55.957s|
|17||Giuliano Alessi||MP Motorsport||1 m 01.488 s|
|18||Theo Porchair||BWT HWA RACELAB||1M 01.839C|
|19||Christian Lundguard||ART Grand Prix||1 M 03.086 sec|
|20||Merino Sato||Trident||1 M 05.576 s|
|21||Gillem Samaiya||Campus Racing||1M 06.756C|
|22||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA RACELAB||1 M 16.019 sec|
Status of drivers
|3||Yuki Sunuda||Is 157|
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