Ferrari Driver Academy driver Mick Schumacher, son of the great Michael Schumacher, took his first Formula 2 Feature Race victory yesterday in Italy after a blinding start from 7th on the grid. Schumacher is now 3rd in the Formula 2 standings, just 3 points off the championship lead.
Starting 7th on the grid, Mick Schumacher might have been hoping to reach the podium in the F2 Feature Race at Monza. It’s doubtful he would have expected to be able to win from that position. But he gave himself every chance of victory by rocketing off the line when the lights went out. By the first corner he was 2nd, tucked in behind leader Callum Ilott, ready to challange for the lead.
Schumacher’s one solid attempt at a pass for the lead came a few laps later, but Ilott managed to defend against the attack. After that, Schumacher stayed within just over a second of the leader, possibly waiting for the pitstops to give him some breathing room to pass.
The pass for the lead did come in the pitstops, but not as Schumacher might have expected. Ilott stalled his UNI-Virtuosi car as he attempted to leave his pitbox. Restarting the car cost Ilott about 20 seconds and put him far down the field. It also handed Schumacher the lead of the race.
Ilott’s pitstop disaster was unfortunate not only for him, but for viewers who were hoping to see the battle for the lead continue between two drivers who have shown a great deal of skill throughout the season.
Once Schumacher had stopped for tyres, it became a case of managing his pace to the end of the race, which he did calmly and comfortably. Schumacher crossed the finish line 3.185 seconds ahead of Luca Ghiotto to take his first ever Formula 2 Feature Race win and propel himself up to 3rd in the F2 standings, just 3 points off the championship lead.
Schumacher has previously won a Formula 2 Sprint Race, in Hungary in 2019. His win yesterday at Monza puts him 8th on the reverse grid for today’s Sprint Race. He will doubtless be looking to make another stunning start to put himself in the hunt for Sprint Race victory to make a double-success this weekend.