F2: Ilott Takes Debut F2 Win In Austria

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Callum Illot celebrating his debut Formula 2 victory in Spielberg. Image sourced from @FIA_F2 via Twitter.

Uni-Virtuosi’s Callum Ilott wins his first race in Formula 2 after team-mate and Pole-sitter Guanyu Zhou suffers power issues after leading early on.

An issue with his car meant that 7th placed Luca Ghiotto would not start the race after his car stopped on the way to the grid.

After not being able to get off the start-line, Marino Sato’s Trident stalled on the grid. He was unable to start the race.

The lights went out and it was a great start from Callum Ilott who rocketed from 3rd to 1st.

Ilott led through the first corner and was challenged all the way by Zhou up to turn 2 but Ilott holds on.

After going wide at Turn 4 allowed Zhou to challenge Ilott as the pair went side-by-side with Zhou getting the upper hand. It has also been a great start by Mick Schumacher who was now running 3rd after battling with Felipe Drugovich.

Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala was tipped into a spin at Turn 3 on the opening lap as Yuki Tsunoda pitted after damage.

Tsunoda was later given a 5 second time penalty on lap 7 for causing a collision.

The replay shows that it was Tsunoda who misjudged his braking and tapped his Carlin team-mate, Daruvala, into a spin.

On lap 7, Sean Gelael retired his DAMS car as on lap 8, Robert Shwartzman overtook Drugovich for 4th to keep in touch with his Prema team-mate of Schumacher. Drugovich bailed out and pitted at the end of lap 9.

Jack Aitken soon followed into the pits for Campos with Louis Deletraz, Christian Lungaard and Nikita Mazepin pitting on the end of lap 11.

Zhou continued to lead out front with a second in hand over team-mate Ilott with Schumacher a further second behind in 3rd.

At the end of lap 13, Shwartzman and Dan Ticktum pitted from 5th and 6th.

Marcus Armstrong, who was leading the pack of drivers who had already made their pit-stops, was setting fastest lap after fastest lap in 8th.

Aitken received a 10 second stop/go penalty for being out of position.

At the end of lap 17, Zhou pitted from the lead and after a swift stop, he re-joined in 6th.

On the following lap, Ilott pitted from second as Schumacher took the lead. After an identical pit-stop to his team-mate, Ilott re-joined ahead of Zhou. Now Schumacher pitted.

After a good stop by Prema, Schumacher re-joins ahead of battling team-mates. Zhou pounces and dives down the inside of Turn 3 to nab second.

Schumacher’s tyres aren’t up to temperature and along with DRS, Zhou tries to pass the German but it’s Zhou who has the traction to blast past the Prema driver to hold the inside line for Turn 4.

Great battling and it’s not over as Ilott now piles on the pressure on Schumacher.

Meanwhile, Giuliano Alesi leads team-mate Artem Markelov by 2.3 seconds having not pitted yet.

Ilott manages to make the move stick on Schumacher into turn 4 on lap 23 to take 4th behind Zhou.

Onto lap 25, Alesi pits leaving Markelov to take the lead as Shwartzman is now all over Armstrong for 4th. Markelov pits as there is an issue for Zhou.

He’s losing power and Ilott take the lead on the way to Turn 1.

He tumbles down the order and pits. The team are able to fix the issue but he’s way down the order in 18th.

After pitting, Markelov is now experiencing issues as he slows.

On lap 29, the Safety Car is deployed as Markelov has parked-up and gotten out of the car. Behind the Safety Car, Ilott leads ahead of Schumacher, Armstrong, Shwartzman, Lundgaard and Ticktum.

On lap 31, racing resumes as the Safety Car pulls into the pits with Ilott leading.

It’s all eyes on Alesi who is on the Soft tyre while everyone ahead of him is on the Hard tyre.

Schumacher’s been off and drops down the order after running wide into turn 8. His trip across the gravel drops him to 13th.

It’s a comfortable lead of 2.6 seconds for Ilott who heads Armstrong who’s defending from the drivers behind him.

On lap 34, Ticktum overtakes Deletraz by going round the outside of turn 3 to take 5th. Alesi is on the move and is now 7th after overtaking Drugovich.

With five laps to go, Ilott’s lead has grown to five seconds as Armstrong defends from Shwartzman with Lungaard now catching the pair.

Alesi now overtakes Deletraz for 6th as Ticktum joins the now four-way fight for second.

On the penultimate lap, Ilott has checked-out but it’s all to play for behind. Ticktum challenges Lungaard for 5th but Lungaard holds on as Ilott wins.

Armstrong and Shwartzman round out the podium after brilliant defending by Armstrong. Its Ilott’s first win in F2 while its debut podiums for Armstrong and Shwartzman.

Lundgaard just misses out on a podium finish in 4th ahead of Ticktum with Alesi in 6th after his late drive.

Deletraz, Drugovich, Nobuharu Matsushita and Roy Nissany round out the top 10.

Drugovich will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race from Pole.

Zhou finished in a lap down in 17th while Schumacher recovered to 11th after his off.

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