Russian GP Afterthoughts, FIA F2: Brilliantovaya Ruka


All interviews: by Sergio Álvarez. Photography: by Diego Merino

FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race in Sochi lasted for only a handful of laps and here’s why.

Our top 3 finishers were:

  1. Guanyu Zhou (UNI-Virtuosi Racing)
  2. Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix)
  3. Mick Schumacher (PREMA Racing)

Despite the race being a bit of a shorty, it still counts when it comes to winning and stuff. Many congrats to Guanyu then, good timing to win one and impress @cyroul.

As might be expected, we wanted to know if the drivers felt the same way as fans watching at home – are you just happy to wrap up the weekend or you’d rather have it all and race for full 20-something laps and full points?

Mick offered his views on the subject: “I think it’s not really up to me to take the decision, I don’t really know what happened to the barriers.

“I think if the stewards and the Race Control do decide that’s the right way, then it’s obviously something we have to accept. So for me, as everybody else in this room, I would’ve liked to keep going, keep racing because that’s what we like and that’s what we love. It’s that adrenalin rush that we get so…

Mick is quick

Mick is quick

“Actually I would’ve appreciated to keep driving trying to battle with those two in front. I think we had shown good amount of pace yesterday and I think we could’ve probably produced that into at least fighting with the two in front.

“At the end, we’ll never know so I’ll take it as it comes and, uh, I think P3 with half points is still very decent, I’m happy about that.”

The power of German engineering, gotta give it to Mick!

With the Tecpro barriers and Formula 2 cars being tested to the imit for safety in real life conditions in Sochi (plus plenty of F1 drivers complaining about everything under the sun), we felt obliged to pose a question, how much of a contribution do F2 drivers make over the course of a given weekend to the Race Direction, to the organizers about the safety of the track or things they see on the track?

Nikita’s us-and-them approach seemed quite interesting: “I think we make a lot of contribution of course. As you know, there’s only 20 drivers in F1 and another 22 drivers in Formula 2 (Hitech precision from Mazepin, if you’ll pardon the pun). All of them are, let’s say, capable of giving an honest and useful feedback.

“For sure, we don’t contribute as much as the F1 drivers because they’re more experienced and, let’s say, they’re the higher class so, um, the Race Direction believes a little bit more in what they say. We kind of have to get on with certain things.

“But nevertheless, it’s still enough to have people listening to us.”

Guanyu told his (as a team, Ronspeak) tale (how unusual for a young driver these days to remember the Big Ron): “I mean, it’s quite similar.

“At the end of the day, F2 is a high level championship and as most F1 drivers been in this championship before they reach the top level of motorsport.

The "March of the Volunteers"

The “March of the Volunteers”

“I think all the F2 drivers have decent or great experience from the past junior single-seaters all the way coming through here. We are still learning but to be honest I think we all know now the direction we want to be or the direction we want to indicate to the team or the people working around us to be better together.”


“I mean, I guess the two really covered everything.

“Um, it is obviously important to have an open conversation with all the people involved that take the decision. I think in our (F2) case it’s probably that some things work for our cars and some things do not work for the F1 cars or vice versa, y’know.

“I remember sometimes there’s like some sausage kerbs (Ich liebe Wurst!) which we would never take or would never be able to take – and F1 is fine with it! So we kind of have to follow the trend of F1 because they obviously have the priority on what is taking decisions.

“But normally after a while, they either feel the same way that we do and then they change it or we always kind of have to wait for (Formula 1) FP1 to happen before any decision can be taken.”

Folks, I have to tell I love the psychology of these pressers and you can see how different nationalities/cultures shape drivers’ answers. That’s Formula 2 for you, it’s the blending of tea with coffee (don’t try that at home!) if you like, it’s the opposites that collide and make this Championship a truly unique place to be.

In person much better than virtually, but hey – we’re still loving every digital moment of it.

Peeps, Bahrain in two months will decide who will be crowned champ and who will return home to their family estate as a chump. I’m gonna go nuts until then without F2 or F3.

Life’s like that.

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