GHIOTTO GOES FROM LAST TO FOURTH WITH TWO PIT STOPS IN FORMULA 2: NEW FORMULA 3 MAKES ITS DEBUT WITH NEW PIRELLI TYRES
Highlighting the intense action seen in Formula 2, Virtuosi driver Luca Ghiotto went from last to fourth, despite making two pit stops following damage.
The brand new Formula 3 also got underway in Barcelona, showcasing the latest generation of P Zero rubber for the entry-level series at grand prix weekends.
Feature Race, the winner: Williams reserve driver Nicholas Latifi extended his championship lead by winning the feature race, stopping at the earliest possible opportunity to switch from the soft tyres onto the more durable hard tyres. The same strategy was adopted by Renault protégé Guanyu Zhou, who took the early lead. Zhou was passed by Latifi and then by Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken, with all three on the final podium.
Nicholas Latifi: “It definitely wasn't easy. We didn't have the hard tyre in winter testing here and I think we did 30 laps or so just not knowing what to expect. I'd hear the about the pace of the guys on the other strategy but I was just doing my own race, letting it come to me.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: Some drivers attempted the alternative strategy: going long on the hard tyre at the start of the race, before swapping to the soft in the closing stages with the cars on low fuel. Trident’s Ralph Boschung was the first driver to take the lead using this strategy, before being passed by Arden’s Anthoine Hubert. The most impressive – unintended – alternative strategy was from Ghiotto, who recovered to fourth from the back after a poor start and two pit stops.
Sprint Race, the winner: ART’s Nyck de Vries claimed the win after a dominant performance from third on the grid, with all the drivers on the hard tyres. These stood up well to the warm temperatures and high-energy demands of the Barcelona circuit.
Feature Race, the winner: The new Formula 3 championship used brand new P Zero White hard tyres in Barcelona, specifically designed for the series. The driver who crossed the finish line first – ART’s Christian Lundgaard – wasn’t the race winner: that honour went to Prema’s Robert Schwartzman, after Lundgaard was given a five-second penalty following a virtual safety car infringement.
Sprint Race, the winner: Prema took a clean sweep of F3 wins, showing excellent tyre management as Jehan Daruvala claimed victory on Sunday, in a race that was again affected by the safety car. He found grip instantly from second on the reverse grid to make an excellent start and get past Trident’s polesitter Niko Kari, who finished third.
Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola: “It was exciting to see F1, F2 and F3 together during the same weekend for the first time, which meant that we brought more than 4000 of our tyres in total to Barcelona, including the allocation for testing next week. As is often the case, there was an interesting mix of strategies in Formula 2 – with Luca Ghiotto putting in a stand-out performance with what was a very alternative strategy – while the Formula 3 tyres performed exactly as we expected on their debut; delivering similar lap times to the former GP3 series but in a slightly different way.”
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