What happened to Formula 2 in Bahrain?
While we anxiously await the return of Formula 2 at Imola, we suggest you refresh your memory and go back to the first round of the season. A lot of things have changed between the first two rounds of the season…. Do you remember when the standings were led by Pourchaire and Lawson? And Iwasa’s pace?
If the answer is negative don’t worry, in fact today we will use tables and graphs to analyze together the F2 weekend in Bahrain!
Formula 2 in Bahrain: a fresh start
The first qualifying session of the season is held with the favorable weather conditions. However, the average of 17°C in the air and 21°C on the track is accompanied by a persistent humidity of around 45-50%.
Pole was taken by Jack Doohan, who immediately showed that he had earned his Uni-Virtuosi seat. But if the Australian took care of securing the pole with a good distance from the second, the second and third positions were much more contended. As you can see in the fourth column of the table, separating Vips from Pourchaire there are only 72 thousandths of a second, while Sargeant lost the third place for 5 miserable thousandths.
It is clearer than ever that in Formula 2, at such high levels, it is the details that make the difference.
Here we are talking about a hundredth of a second gained or lost in a given sector. For example Doohan scores a 32.00 s in the first sector, losing 2 tenths compared to his opponents who remain on 31.80 s. This delay is however recovered in the second sector where he scores an excellent 43.20 s which remains unbeaten.
Vesti, Bolukbasi and Cordeel are the ones who show the most difficulties: although in the first and in the third sector they keep in line with the group, in the second sector they are the only ones to exceed 44,00 s.
Temperatures rise for Saturday, and the first race of 2022 takes place with an atmospheric temperature of 19/20°C and a track temperature of around 23°C. As for humidity, the recorded values continue to hover around 46%. Even the wind speed seems unchanged from the previous day, and remains around 0.3 mps.
Given the inversion of the first 10 positions of the sprint race qualifying, Drugovich starts on pole followed by Daruvala and Lawson. However, the Brazilian does not have a good start and, not having the pace of his opponents, loses positions finishing fifth. In fact, despite having a good pace, we can see some difficulties in the third sector, where he loses 5 tenths compared to the race leader.
But who is in the lead?
Dutchman Verschoor took the top spot early in the race and never let it slip away again! The driver, as you can see from the table, also managed to build up a good gap of 1.853s between him and his pursuer Daruvala, just to be on the safe side.
Between retirements and penalties, the fastest lap goes to the rookie Cordeel, who scores an excellent 1:43.848 to which none of the other drivers even comes close. The Van Amersfoort driver, however, can not go beyond the seventeenth position, so he does not bring home any points.
Iwasa, on the other hand, has an incredible pace! The Dams’ rookie made a mistake in qualifying on Friday that made him start from the 22nd and last place. However, he is the author of an incredible recovery and, with a display of good technique and good consistent times, he manages to bring his car to eighth place, thus obtaining a point.
Talking about on-track action, we must absolutely mention the fight between Daruvala and Boschung for the second place. Between the two it’s the Indian who gets the better of them, and the Campos driver at the end loses the position even to Lawson. At the end of the race Boschung starts to lose his rhythm and finds himself closer to the fifth position than to the third.
You can also relive in detail the emotions of the first race of the season with our report!
We are approaching the end of this Formula 2 weekend in Bahrain, as the drivers prepare to run the long Feature Race on Sunday morning. The temperatures continue to rise, and in these hours we touch the peaks of the weekend. In fact, we have an atmospheric temperature of almost 29°C and the track that passes 44°C: these are very different conditions from those in which the qualifying and the sprint race were held! In fact, on Sunday the wind rises slightly, while humidity drops to 15%, so what should we expect in these conditions?
Unfortunately Verschoor, after having triumphed in the Saturday race, retires after 26 laps, losing important points in view of the championship. To have his revenge is instead Pourchaire who, helped by the disastrous pit stop of Vips on the thirteenth lap, is able to win the race without a hitch. The ART driver however can’t breathe even a second during the race, having Lawson just 0.925 seconds away for the whole time.
As for the strategy, almost all the drivers chose to start with the Hard compound, the hardest proposed by Pirelli for the weekend, while very few started with the Soft. These were Williams (DNF), Caldwell 17th and Iwasa 16th, so we can’t exactly call it a winning choice. And yet, there is an exception: Armstrong manages to exploit the soft tyres to the maximum, moving from 13th to fifth position, thus gaining important points.
In addition, the numerous problems many drivers had during the mandatory pit stop led to a not indifferent number of pit stops. The two pit-stop strategy has been the most popular, but there are also those who have pitted 3, or even 4 times!
Some small examples…
And while the pit stops haven’t always been the quickest…
We can’t define the Bahrain Circuit as a slow track, thanks to the temperature and the compound of the tires, top speeds were recorded during the race. This data is not always synonymous with a good time in a given sector: traffic, tires and trajectories here play a fundamental role. However, we can see which drivers, under certain aspects, were able to better interpret their cars and get the most out of them.
|INT 1||INT 2||FINISH LINE||SPEED TRAP|
|DAR 215||HAU 229||VER 268||NIS 301|
|DOO 214||DOO 228||SAR 265||NOV 300|
The fastest lap of the Feature Race goes to Juri Vips, who sets a good 1:46.845 on lap 17. The Estonian is the only driver on the grid to go under 1:47.000, and by doing so he gets a little point.
Once again, among the chaos of the pits and the numerous retirements, Pourchaire confirms himself as a formidable opponent, winning the race ahead of Lawson and Vips. Anyway, not even doing it as a joke, once again Boschung is left off the podium, and puts himself comfortably in fourth position.
Formula 2 in Bahrain: but what about the championship?
Strange but true, the final classification of the Feaure Race perfectly reflects the drivers’ classification obtained after the first weekend of Formula 2 in Bahrain! We still see Pourchaire in the lead, followed by the two RedBull Juniors Lawson and Vips, followed by Boschung, who with his two fourth places starts to collect important points.
By now we know that Pourchaire’s leadership will not last long and that there are still many faces to discover in this Formula 2 2022. So we are waiting for you to analyze the rest of the season together!