GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK

By The1nsider 3 weeks ago

GOOD WEEK

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GEORGE RUSSELL

That’s one hand on the crown for George Russell! The ART ace had a solid weekend in Russia – with third in qualifying, he made sure he was in a good position to keep his then-closest title rival Lando Norris in sight. With Norris out of the race in the early stages, George drove maturely to secure fourth at the flag. The next day, he moved up to second from fifth on the grid and muscled his way past Nirei Fukuzumi to claim the lead. When the rain came, he dived into the pits and remerged behind the Charouz duo who elected to brave the conditions on slick tyres. They were easy targets for the charging Russell who overtook them easily to retake the lead. From then on, he cruised to a sixth victory setting the fastest lap of the race along the way, and he now enjoys a 37 point advantage over Alexander Albon. The pressure is still on, but he is looking mighty strong ahead of the final round of the season!

ALEXANDER ALBON

Alexander Albon has taken a page from Artem Markelov’s motto – “Never give up!” The amiable Thai driver came to Sochi third in the standings. While all eyes were glued on the Russell/Norris fight, Albon started the Feature Race in fifth place before charging past Russell in the early stages. On the same Option/Prime strategy as race leader Nyck de Vries, both drivers came into the pits and DAMS were quick to switch to the soft tyres. This helped Albon steal an advantage over de Vries, re-emerging ahead of the rest of the pitted cars. When Antonio Fuoco – the last driver on the Prime/Option strategy – pitted, Alex took the lead and was followed home by teammate Nicholas Latifi with 11 seconds in hand. Albon’s win was his fourth of this season, helping him move past Norris in the Championship standings.

On Sunday, he kept his title hopes alive after carving his way through the field from P8 on the grid to P3 at the chequered flag. That’s 35 points added to his tally– his strongest result in 2018. He solidified his second place in the standings, but he will have to do even better if he wants to crush Russell’s spirits in Abu Dhabi!

NYCK DE VRIES

Quick Nyck struck back in Sochi. The Dutchman from PREMA had another point-filled weekend starting with pole position on Friday. In the Feature Race, he took a flawless start to keep the lead, but a problem at the pit stop meant he saw Alexander Albon overtake him in the pitlane. He lost another position to a charging Nicholas Latifi and later had to defend from Russell. It was a disappointing P3 at the flag. In the Sprint Race, he made the most of the Dry/Wet conditions to finish fourth. He scored a total of 29 points in Russia – the same amount as Championship leader Russell. He leapfrogged Artem Markelov in the Standings with his eyes set on Lando Norris who lies 13 points ahead.

ALESSIO LORANDI

The Trident driver had made a lasting impression at the Autodromo di Monza in 2017, winning in the Feature Race before losing victory following a penalty. He It all started rather well for Alessio Lorandi: he qualified P13 – his best result in the four rounds he’s been in F2 – and went on to claim his first Championship points with a strong seventh place in the Feature Race. Thanks to the reverse grid, the Trident driver started from P2 on Sunday, targeting a maiden podium finish. Unfortunately he caused a collision at the start at Turn 2 with Latifi which led to an early retirement for the two men. After the dust settled, the Stewards gave Alessio a 5 place grid drop for the next race.

LANDO NORRIS

What is the opposite of a dream scenario? McLaren F1’s next star arrived at Sochi with his future secured and with every intentions to add the F2 crown to the list of his impressive accomplishments. Quickest in free practice and then P2 on the Feature Race grid, Lando made a poor getaway and dropped in the order. He made some strong moves to recover a few places until his mandatory pit stop. He first went through Trident’s pitbox and, once he eventually reached Carlin’s berth, a mess-up led to Lando having to retire from the pits. Sunday was more of the same: after contact with Arjun Maini, he sustained a puncture and retired prematurely. It was zero points at the end of the weekend and all hopes for the crown gone. Lando is looking to finish his F2 career on a high – so expect him to bounce back in Abu Dhabi!

BAD WEEK

Category:
  Issue 23 F2 Feature
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