Schumacher holds off Nobuharu Matsushita to claim maiden F2 win

A happy Mick Schumacher
A happy Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher became the second rookie winner of this season’s FIA Formula 2 campaign with a commanding performance from lights-to-flag in the Sprint Race that required every inch of his defensive abilities.

The PREMA racing man beat out the experienced Nobuharu Matsushita to earn his maiden F2 win and a first taste of champagne for PREMA this season. DAMS’ Sergio Sette Camara came home in third, having pushed and prodded Matsushita all the way, in the tightest of front threes.

The German had been handed reverse grid pole for the second time this season, thanks to a strong 8th place finish in yesterday’s Feature Race and he got away smoothly off the line, despite the Carlin attached to his rear wing.

Matsushita, starting P2, waited until the first turn to make his move and skidded around the outside of the German, but he ran out of track and remained second. Sette Camara had forced his way ahead of Jordan King when the lights went out for third, while Nikita Mazepin rose four places to break into the points’ paying places.

Schumacher set the fastest lap in his attempts to put space between himself and Matsushita, but the Japanese driver reacted by beating his time around the Hungaroring and slicing into the distance between them. Less than a second behind him was Sette Camara, in an intense three-wary tussle for first.

With thick clouds appearing above, the track temperature fell from 41 to 35 degrees, adding a further challenge to Schumacher’s defense of P1. Still, he clung on, but Matsushita remained within five tenths of him and refused to let the German breathe.

The Brazilian in third had the same tactic, but couldn’t find a way through at Turn 3 when the two went side-by-side and the Carlin came out ahead.

Championship contender Luca Ghiotto had been one of the fall guys in Mazepin’s rise to 8th, but he was able to regain the spot when the ART man lost pace on lap 18. Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou both followed the Italian through, after the Russian had warned his team that he was in trouble. Ghiotto’s overtake of the Russian put him in a 1-2-3 with title rivals Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries in a three-way fight for 6th.

Schumacher gets the middle podium for the first time in F2
Schumacher gets the middle podium for the first time in F2

Matsushita remained in the shadow of Schumacher in the chase for P1 and was lapping two tenths faster than the German, beating him in both sectors 1 and 2, but could still not find a way through. The battling Ferrari F1 junior fought the Honda Dream driver all the way to the checkered flag and came out on top, thanks to a defensive masterclass.

Following closely behind was Sette Camara, who beat out British duo Jordan King and Jack Aitken. De Vries, Latifi and Ghiotto finished 6th, 7th and 8th, as Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott completed the top ten.

De Vries remains ahead in the Driver’s Championship, with 30 points more than Latifi in second, who has 166. Sette Camara climbs back to third on 141 thanks to his podium finish, while Ghiotto has 135 and Aitken 134. In the Teams’ Championship, DAMS still lead on 307, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 242 and ART Grand Prix on 202. Campos Racing are 4th with 164 and Carlin 5th with 145.

The F2 Championship takes a brief break ahead of Round 9 in Spa-Francorchamps, when the drivers should return refreshed and ready to battle it out in the final four rounds of 2019. Having returned to winning ways in Budapest, Latifi will hope to further chop into De Vries’ Championship lead when racing returns at the end of August.

Results

POS NO DRIVERS TEAMS LAPS GAP INT.
1 9 M. Schumacher PREMA Racing 28 0.000 0.000
2 2 N. Matsushita Carlin 28 1.453 1.453
3 5 S. Sette Camara DAMS 28 3.396 1.943
4 16 J. King MP Motorsport 28 4.177 0.781
5 15 J. Aitken Campos Racing 28 4.960 0.783
6 4 N. de Vries ART Grand Prix 28 11.428 6.468
7 6 N. Latifi DAMS 28 12.314 0.886
8 8 L. Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi 28 12.930 0.616
9 7 G. Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 28 13.821 0.891
10 11 C. Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 28 23.877 10.056
11 19 A. Hubert BWT Arden 28 26.891 3.014
12 20 G. Alesi Trident 28 29.527 2.636
13 1 L. Deletraz Carlin 28 35.741 6.214
14 12 J. Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 28 38.514 2.773
15 3 N. Mazepin ART Grand Prix 28 39.932 1.418
16 14 A. Maini Campos Racing 28 40.093 0.161
17 10 S. Gelael PREMA Racing 28 40.737 0.644
18 21 R. Boschung Trident 28 42.857 2.120
19 17 M. Raghunathan MP Motorsport 28 59.688 16.831
18 T. Calderon BWT Arden 7 DNF

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