Gunther takes first F2 win as Russell, Norris charge the field

Formula Two

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After dominating the start of the season, Lando Norris went into his second home race on the back foot with George Russell having pulled out a 27 point advantage over the past two weekends and with Alexander Albon, who started this season without even a guaranteed drive, snapping at their heels.

Because of the two races, a bad weekend in F2 can do much more points damage than in F1. And two bad weekends in a row can do some real harm to a championship attempt, which it had looked like might be happening for the McLaren-backed Carlin driver after a nightmare at Spielberg and a points-free Saturday.

Meanwhile Nirei Fukuzumi continued his own nightmare run – out of the race before he could even start it as, following an on-track retirement yesterday, his engineer radio’d to say a radiator leak had the car unable to start. After a strong third-place finish in GP3 last year, the Honda junior has been subject to the sharp end of reliability issues in the new F2 car, leaving Silverstone still a miserable 19th in the standings.

Maximilian Gunther had taken reverse grid pole, after a strong finish yesterday and managed to get a clean rolling start in what’s supposed to be the final of the safety car starts F2 will see this year, clutch issues hopefully resolved. Artem Markelov and Nyck de Vries were keen to catch him but neither seemed to be able to hold onto the pace, keeping with the German but just out of DRS range.

Sergio Sette Camara continued a run of bad luck by damaging his front wing immediately to the start and having to pit for a replacement, effectively ruining a race that otherwise wouldn’t contain a stop. Similarly, Sean Gelael was penalised for an early overtake before the cars crossed the start/finish line after the safety car went in – the sort of detail drivers would probably know, if rolling starts weren’t a temporary emergency measure.

With three drivers (including stricken Fukuzumi) effectively out of the race at the start, the rest of the 21 laps were very much a story of Gunther holding on to the lead despite pressure and Russell and Norris managing to scythe up the field.

Norris came under investigation around halfway, when a pass on Fuoco saw him run onto the grass, rejoining and knocking Fuoco’s car out of the race. Stewards issued the Charouz driver with a 10-second penalty, on the basis he’d left Norris no room to do anything else but a somewhat bizarre incident, in an otherwise mostly clean race.

Mostly clean, that is, apart from continued trouble in the Trident team. Yesterday, Santino Ferrucci and Arjun Maini collided on the final lap and again they clashed today, once during the race and once on the cool down lap when Ferrucci seemed to deliberately drive into the back of his teammate. Maini, always vocal on the radio, said “There’s something wrong with his brain, I think he should be banned” – awkward, if they’re both called in for Haas simulator work any time soon.

In the end, even Markelov was unable to hold the Russell and Norris charge back, the two British drivers taking second and third place on the podium while Gunther managed to keep a well-held win.

The points standings remain largely unchanged by the result, except that Russell’s lead on Norris now extends to a huge 35 – not that that’s anything a reverse in fortune couldn’t flip back next time out in Budapest, which Russell said he wished was next weekend after he’d gained such momentum.

Russell now stands on 168 points, Norris on 133, Albon on 115, Markelov on 110, Fuoco and Sette Camara are unchanged at 97 and 86 respectively. Gunther’s win brings him to 39 points and pips Roberto Merhi to 11th in the championship.


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    Hazel Southwell
    Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 9 comments on “Gunther takes first F2 win as Russell, Norris charge the field”

    1. Just watched it at the track. It was an inspired drive by Russell! I’m sure Gunther will be glad that there was a VSC, because without it, Russell’s charge could well have resulted in a win, so great was his pace. Norris looked to be getting left behind at first, but then came alive with a fabulous double overtake at Vale. The future of motorsport looks good if these two carry on like this!

    2. I am surprised that you have not followed up your article with the news that Ferrucci was not only disqualified from this race, but also banned from the next two rounds, after the team informed the stewards that Ferrucci did intentionally ram Maini (the team having to go to the stewards meeting after Ferrucci refused to meet them and explain himself). http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/07_July/Ferrucci-handed-multiple-penalties/

      It seems that perhaps Maini’s comments over the radio were indeed justified if the stewards have agreed with him.

      1. Thanks, I was at the race today, with no WiFi and poor signal. This information just doesn’t come out without a data connection.

        Hope that’s the end of Ferrucci’s career in F2, Trident can hopefully drop him from his seat over the summer.

    3. I don’t mean to be over-critical, but I found the writing style of this article quite strange and different from what reports usually are. I get that part of this article was probably trying to inform the uninitiated, but I don’t think it came out well. It’s written like a personal blog piece, which is fine by itself, but doesn’t go well with the usual objective style of the usual racefans/f1fanatic reports. I’m not particularly qualified, though I did use to write articles for Formula Scout.

      I m not trying to troll the writer, it’s just that as a big fan of junior single-seaters including F2, I found this being a very odd read.

      1. Would you mind giving a couple examples (like re-write a sentence or two) because I don’t see anything ‘odd’ about this article. I actually found it refreshing, as almost every other site just either re-posts exactly what appears on the official series website, or basically re-writes the official account with a few words changed.

        Also don’t see how this is considered writing for casuals, any more so than general coverage of junior category races, since few people follow it religiously. Example: this is one of the few times I’ve seen a writer even mention Honda junior (and formerly certain future STR driver) Fukuzumi’s horror season.

        1. Sure, I’ll list out the elements that popped out. Bear in mind, this is a personal point of view, and yes, like you said, it does cover quite a few things in detail, but at the end of the day it is supposed to be a race report, not a series round-up, or a collative piece.
          Most of the second paragraph seems oddly-placed, like a descriptive clarifier, which is not usually seen in news reports unless the focus is on making that particular point.
          Mention of Fukuzumui’s all-season woes at the third paragraph seems jarring in its detail, given its placement high up in the article. It has also been written in an anecdotal form. If you’re writing the report as a chronologocial piece, you should keep out the details. If the details really ARE that important, it is preferable to write about it after the meat of the reporting is done.

          in an otherwise mostly clean race.

          Mostly clean, that is, apart from continued trouble in the Trident team

          This is far too conversational in its tone to be in a report.

          not that that’s anything a reverse in fortune couldn’t flip back next time out in Budapest, which Russell said he wished was next weekend after he’d gained such momentum.

          The content here is actually fine and could work in a report, especially given its placement (near the end), but the tone is off. You don’t usually start a long phrase in such a conversational and informal way in a news report.

          I have not mentioned the few grammatical errors, such as inconsistent use of the tenses (Especially the past perfect) as I think that the article suffers as an overall read even without those issues. Once again, an article like this as a personal blog piece is perfect, and there are elements of this article which would do well in an analysis/insight piece as well. But if I’m not mistaken, it is to inform people how the race went and so the conversational/2nd-order reporting should be kept to a minimum.

          1. Thanks, you bring up valid critiques, though I personally don’t have a problem with casual anecdotes injected for levity, or deeper details on certain points but not others. I could go into more detail, but it’s best to just say what we’re each looking for in an article like this, is quite different.

            If you write for Formula Scout, it’s not surprising that you’d take the subject very seriously, but it does seem like you’re half expecting the final draft of a college term paper, when I’m not sure anyone’s even proof-reading or editing these posts before they’re published (checked out some of the paddock articles). IMHO, as long as they get the point across, and are not just re-posted press releases, it’s better than what the mainstream and larger sites can offer for the lower formulas.

            Also, I was under the impression that this place is a blog, just ultra popular and with better access. It certainly was a blog before the re-brand.

          2. Hello,

            I didn’t notice this comment at the time – and normally wouldn’t respond – but one point here is I think you’re confusing style and objectivity. Which is important; what you’re saying is that I’m not using (Autosport, which this isn’t) house style.

            I understand that’s what people are used to in a lot of motorsport writing (and there’s nothing wrong with it) but not using it doesn’t make an article non-objective. Picking what to report in a race is always a subjective choice of the writer; given it would be impossible to offer a second-by-second breakdown of each drivers’ performance it will always be a case of choosing what’s most relevant to the championship, regardless of the style of the writing. Suggesting that a different grammar style would somehow make the reporting more objective is …pretty off, to be honest.

            I do take your point that it bounces around the timeline a fair amount – I think I must have had to do this while something else was happening, looking back at it and the paragraphs could certainly use a re-jiggle. But that doesn’t mean any of it isn’t factual.

            Not trying to be fight-y, just having been a journalist for fifteen years I’m a bit alarmed if anyone’s selling grammar as the measure of objective/subjective.

            Anyway, cheers for the feedback, I guess?

    4. Great to see Maxi Gunther get his first F2 win, superb drive from pole to flag.

      Fantastic drive today from George Russell, the local crowd really appreciated his effort (speaking as a Brit) and look forward to his entry into F1!

      After an indifferent few weeks and average start to the sprint race, from club corner we watched Lando Norris’s double overtake at Vale – superb!

      However, I completely missed the shenanigans from Ferrucci on the cooldown lap, that behaviour has no place in motorsport and hopefully brings his European open wheel racing career to an end.

    Comments are closed.