SCHUMACHER TAKES FIRST GRAND PRIX WEEKEND WIN ON PIRELLI P ZERO TYRES IN FORMULA 2
Mick Schumacher scored his first ever race win during a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend with victory in the Formula 2 sprint race at the Hungaroring, going the distance on a set of medium Pirelli P Zero tyres.
Formula 2 also had the red-walled soft compound P Zero as a requirement for the feature race, which features a mandatory pit-stop, while Formula 3 utilised the medium compound tyre for the first time since its second round at Paul Ricard in June.
Nicholas Latifi: “The start was probably the race-defining moment, to get out into the lead, especially at this track. Then it was just about managing the opening stint really, which was a bit different to past races as we were starting on brand new tyres. The goal for me was always to try and extend it. It was a bit of a difficult strategy call of when to pit because we knew Nyck was going for the undercut, but at the same time I already had a big gap and I said 'if I'm still pulling away relative to the others then let's keep going'. Then it was just about managing traffic – there was a few guys on the other strategy – and managing the tyres which I was quite confident to do.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: Jordan King (MP Motorsport) finished as the highest-placed driver to try the alternative strategy of starting on the medium tyre and switching to the soft. Taking the lead when the soft-starters pitted, King used his fresher and faster rubber late on to finish sixth, having started 10th.
Sprint Race, the winner: Mick Schumacher scored the first race victory at a grand prix weekend for a member of the Schumacher family since 2006 by winning the F2 sprint race. He resisted race-long pressure from Nobuharu Matsushita behind, with the Honda junior driver scoring the fastest lap of the race. All drivers went the distance on the same set of medium tyres, rather than attempt an alternate strategy of an optional pit-stop for softs.
Mick Schumacher: “I was always trying to keep [Matsushita] a bit behind, especially in the last sector, where mostly going into turn one is the easiest and most probable overtaking opportunity, so I tried to have a good exit out of the last corner every time which worked pretty well. He got pretty close when he had the DRS but in general I was trying to take care of my tyres, especially when those two [Matsushita and Sette Camara] were fighting. I tried to push to get away so I'd stay out of DRS but then also trying to look after the tyres so that if Nobuharu comes back, which was a matter of time, then I still had some tyre [life] left.”
Race 2, the winner: Prema Racing’s Marcus Armstrong became the seventh race winner this season, running away from Leo Pulcini after a brief elbows-out battle at turn two early on. But it was third-placed Jake Hughes who really made the P Zero tyres work to his advantage, climbing to third place as he’d done in race one and setting his fastest lap on the final tour of the circuit.
FIA Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel: “The Pirelli tyres have played a key role in the closing laps of the F3 races this weekend to provide us with a great show. That’s what we want and what we like to see! This also provides the drivers with an extra challenge: whoever masters the degradation will shine at the finish line. This is something crucial in the learning curve towards the ultimate goal.”