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Formula 2 Le Castellet, Circuit Paul Ricard preview

Formula 2 Le Castellet, Circuit Paul Ricard preview

20.06.2019: FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP 2019 2019 Round 5 Preview: Le Castellet, France All of the vital information ahead of F2's fifth round of 2019

 
FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP 2019
2019 Round 5 Preview: Le Castellet, France


 
All of the vital information ahead of F2's fifth round of 2019
 



The Stakes



Le Castellet in the south of France welcomes the F2 paddock for Round 5 of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship, almost a month after the glitz, glamour and glory of Monaco.
 


An exciting weekend in the principality saw Championship leader Nicholas Latifi put his DAMS machine on top of the timesheets in Free Practice, but it was ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries that set a blistering time during Qualifying to take pole. The Dutchman was unrelenting in his pursuit of victory in the Feature Race, leading every lap to claim back-to-back wins after his Barcelona Sprint Race success. The reverse grid saw BWT Arden’s Anthoine Hubert start from the front in the Sprint Race, and the French rookie battled brilliantly under pressure to capture his first F2 win.
 


Just one point separates Latifi (95 pts) and De Vries (94 pts) at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, with the Canadian preserving his advantage thanks to two bonus points for setting the fastest lap at the last possible attempt during the Sprint Race. UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Luca Ghiotto sits third on 67 points; DAMS lead the way in the Teams’ Championship with 147 points, 26 ahead of UNI-Virtuosi Racing (121 pts) in second. ART Grand Prix move up to third with 100 points.
 


Circuit Paul Ricard plays host to F2 for Round 5 of the championship, and the drivers will be hoping to avoid the colourful run-off areas as they push hard around the relatively flat track. Pirelli are supplying teams with Hard and Soft compound tyres, and with several areas of the track having been resurfaced the track atop the plateau will provide plenty of thrills and spills.
 




Mario Isola, Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing


 
“Pirelli is the title sponsor of the Grand Prix de France, so it’s great to have all three championships that we supply – Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3 – in action over the weekend. We can expect high temperatures and smooth asphalt in France, with generally low degradation, but the F2 drivers will have to manage the Soft compound carefully.




After discussions with the promoter we decided to add the Hard as the other choice, with the objective of adding a bit of unpredictability and giving the engineers something to think about, thanks to the difference in performance and degradation between the two compounds. This creates potential for some interesting strategies, as we saw in Barcelona earlier this year. Paul Ricard isn’t the easiest circuit to overtake on, so strategy can make a significant difference.”
 




Season Stats



1 The points gap between Nicholas Latifi (95) and Nyck de Vries (94) at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.


12 The number of different drivers who have led laps during the eight races so far this season.


7 The number of times a DAMS driver has stood on the podium this season (Latifi 4; Sette Câmara 3).


51 The total number of laps BWT Arden’s Anthoine Hubert has led this season, the most of all the rookie drivers so far this season.
 






Noteworthy
 



ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries is the only driver to have scored points in every race of 2019 so far. The Dutchman is the highest point scoring driver on the grid with a total of 410 points achieved since 2017.
 


De Vries bagged his 10th front row start with his pole position last time out in Monte Carlo.
 


Anthoine Hubert of BWT Arden enjoyed his first victory at this level following his Sprint Race success in Round 4, and becomes the first rookie to win an F2 race in 2019.
 


The French ace withstood mounting pressure to fend off Carlin’s Louis Delétraz and win the Sprint Race in Monaco by just 0.059s.
 


UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Guanyu Zhou has scored the most points of any rookie in the previous two rounds and is now the highest ranking rookie in the Drivers’ Championship (5th with 54 points).
 


Luca Ghiotto of UNI-Virtuosi Racing will have a three place grid penalty in Le Castellet after a collision with MP Motorsport’s Mahaveer Raghunathan in Monaco.
 


Raghunathan was also given three place grid drop after leaving the track and gaining an advantage through the pit lane exit in Round 4.
 


Jordan King returns to MP Motorsport in Le Castellet after missing Round 4 in Monaco because of Indy Car commitments.
 


Eight drivers scored points in both races at Monte Carlo: ART’s De Vries and Nikita Mazepin, UNI-Virtuosi’s Zhou, Sérgio Sette Câmara of DAMS, BWT Arden’s Hubert, Delétraz of Carlin, Dorian Boccolacci of Campos Racing and MP Motorsport’s Artem Markelov.




 
- Alexa Quintin, photo FIA Formula 2

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20.06.2019 / MaP

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