After 2 months, Formula 2 is finally back! The last race weekend in Silverstone was a good one for us, where Richard and the team got their first F2 win of the season. We’ve had an unlucky weekend in Monza, where we could have gotten more points than we left with. The qualifying session was as followed:
P11 Lirim Zendeli
P20 Richard Verschoor
As the qualifying top 10 reverses for the grid for Sprint Race 1, Lirim was just missing out on pole and started from his qualifying position. Lirim had a mega start and made 3 positions within the first lap. Richard gained 2 positions and was driving on P18. The safety car had to come out in the second lap when Ticktum spun in the first corner. When the safety car went in, Lirim found himself on P6 and Richard on P15. It was a mega start for both our drivers. By lap 10 of the total 21 laps, Lirim drove on P5 and Richard on P10, which would be the reverse pole for Richard in the second Sprint Race.
Unfortunately, not late after that moment, Richard had to retire as he had technical issues with his car. With 3 more laps to go, Lirim started to slow down and was quickly overtaken by almost every car. He also had technical issues and had to stop his car on the track. We could’ve gotten a lot of points and good results for both drivers in this race, but unfortunately, luck was not on our side.
Due to the retirements in Sprint Race 1, Lirim started Sprint Race 2 from P15 and Richard from P17. Lirim had again a good start and gained 3 places. In lap 8, Richard moved a few places and found himself on P14, while Lirim was fighting with Armstrong for P11. Overall, the second Sprint Race was a solid race for both drivers, with nice overtakes and fights, but unfortunately without points. Lirim finished on P13 and Richard right behind him on P14.
Richard had a good start during the Feature Race, immediately gaining 2 positions, Lirim remained on P11. In the second lap, the safety car had to come out as Samaia spun and was blocking the track. The racing continued when the safety car went back in, and Lirim made a nice move on Shwartzman. A lap later, Shwartzman took back the 8th position. Richard was currently driving on P15 after starting from P20. Vips’ car stopped on track and another safety car came out in the 9th lap. Almost all cars came into the pits, as did both MP drivers with a double pit stop. Unfortunately, they lost quite some time in the pit stop and ended up in the back of the grid.
In lap 21, with 9 more left to go, Lirim and Richard made it to P14 and 15. But Lawson also had issues with his car and had to stop on track, so a new safety car came. The team used this to have another stop for Lirim and switch to the soft tires. Multiple cars came in to pit, and when we started racing again, Richard was driving on P7! Lirim was driving on P13, with 5 laps to go. Within 2 laps, Lirim was already driving in the points on P10. With 2 more laps to go, Viscaal and Beckmann collided and the safety car had to come out again, which would mean the end of the race. Richard was still driving on P7, which was very impressive after coming from P20, and Lirim’s two-stop strategy worked cause he was driving right behind him on P8.
Unfortunately, Richard was disqualified from the race after it was found that the combined weight of his car, including the driver wearing his complete racing apparel, was below the minimum weight.
All in all a weekend with a good car, but lots of bad luck. Next stop Sochi!
Richard Verschoor – 10th – 50 points
Lirim Zendeli – 17th – 13 points
P6 – 63 points