Ticktum controls Monza Sprint Race for second F2 win, as Ilott retakes Championship lead with P2

Ticktum controls Monza Sprint Race for second F2 win, as Ilott retakes Championship lead with P2

06.09.2020: Dan Ticktum put on a Monza masterclass to clinch a comfortable second win of the season in the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race, finishing nearly 4s ahead of Callum Ilott, who retrieved the Championship lead from Robert Shwartzman. The Russian not only lost


Dan Ticktum put on a Monza masterclass to clinch a comfortable second win of the season in the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race, finishing nearly 4s ahead of Callum Ilott, who retrieved the Championship lead from Robert Shwartzman.




The Russian not only lost first, but also second in the standings, as PREMA teammate Mick Schumacher followed up his Feature Race win on Saturday with a fourth-place finish in the Sprint. Shwartzman did manage to wrestle his way to sixth from P9 in the race, but it wasn’t enough, and he falls to third place in the standings behind his fellow Ferrari Academy drivers.



ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard continued his strong turnaround of form, completing the podium in third place for the second race in succession, having scored just one points finish from the five races prior to Monza.



Having started on reverse grid pole, Louis Delétraz slumped to a fifth-place finish, as his search for a first F2 win continues.






AS IT HAPPENED



Delétraz got a good getaway from pole, but Ticktum’s was even better from second, forcing his DAMS into the lead ahead of the first corner. There was little movement behind them, as Ilott, Yuki Tsunoda and Lundgaard all stood firm and held on to third, fourth and fifth respectively.



Schumacher launched off the line from eighth and up to sixth place. The PREMA racer was unrelenting and gained another position from Lundgaard on the second lap.



The German was up to fourth by Lap 3, as Tsunoda’s Carlin struggled and slowed to a near stop. The Red Bull junior did manage to get going again, but dived into the pits for a check-up, and was eventually forced to retire.



There was a similar issue for Guanyu Zhou. The UNI-Virtuosi racer had just managed to get ahead of Schumacher, out-braking him at Turn 1, but slowed significantly just half a lap later. The Renault junior crawled back to the pits and ultimately retired as well.



Shwartzman was making moves. Having started the day in ninth, the Russian was up to sixth, directly behind teammate Schumacher, who had lost a place to Lundgaard during his battle with Zhou.



Ticktum was sitting pretty out in front, with Delétraz busy defending second place from Ilott. Eventually, the Briton was able to fling his UNI-Virtuosi past the Charouz on the first straight to take the position.



The Ferrari junior will have wanted to chase down Ticktum’s 3s lead, but Delétraz refused to give him any room, harrying him in an attempt to regain second place. Ilott was given some minor respite when the Swiss driver fell into the clutches of Lundgaard, who slipstreamed past him.



Felipe Drugovich was thumped by Roy Nissany at Turn 1, spinning to a halt at the second corner to bring out a Virtual Safety Car and force him into retirement. Race leader Ticktum will have been pleased to see a VSC, and not a full Safety Car, as it allowed him to retain his 5s advantage at the front.



The restart was clean, as Ilott’s focus was locked on defending from Lundgaard. The only movement in the top five came from Schumacher, who leapt in front of Delétraz, despite some heavy vibration on his front left tyre.



In the end, it was pretty comfortable for Ticktum. He glided across the finish line with a near-4s lead, while Ilott held onto second ahead of Lundgaard. Schumacher claimed fourth place, with Delétraz in fifth and Shwartzman sixth. Jehan Daruvala and Jack Aitken completed the points’ places.


In the fight for the Drivers’ title, Ilott now leads with 146 points, five ahead of Schumacher in second, while Shwartzman has fallen to third on 138. Tsunoda is fourth, ahead of Lundgaard. In the Teams’ Championship, PREMA are first with 279 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 248. Hitech Grand Prix are third, ahead of ART Grand Prix and Carlin.





KEY QUOTE – DAN TICKTUM (DAMS)


“A pretty positive day for me today, with a second win in F2. It has been a very up and down season so far, but I think we have consistently been moving in the right direction and I think we are nearly there. You can always be better, but I feel like the car is a lot closer to the window now – or perhaps even in it.


“I am really happy with the result today. I was able to control the race once I had gotten a good start. I would like to win a Feature Race, I said that in Silverstone, but a win is a win. The big positive is the pace that we have in the car. We will see what Qualifying is like next week and hopefully I’ll be on top in the other race.”






WHAT’S NEXT?



Having retaken the Championship lead, Ilott will not want to surrender it again, but Schumacher is the man on form and will have his eyes locked firmly on the prize.



Shwartzman has some making up to do from third after a disappointing Round 8, but will have the chance to do so in less than a weeks’ time when F2 heads to Mugello for the ninth round of racing.




- Alexa Quintin - photos Formula Motorsport Limited

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/ticktum-win-monza-sprint-race-ilott-championship-lead-p2---212084.html

06.09.2020 / MaP

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