Mick Schumacher benefitted from a costly mistake by Callum Ilott to take victory in the 2020 Italian Feature Race and blow the Formula Two title race wide open.
Ilott made a great start to fend off Schumacher who made a lightning getaway from seventh to jump up to second, only to stall at his pit stop on lap 12, which gifted Schumacher a maiden F2 Feature Race win when he stopped one lap later.
Luca Ghiotto survived a scary three abreast moment into Variante to jump Yuki Tsunoda at his stop before passing Christian Lundgaard with inside move into Variante on lap 28.
Tsunoda clung onto fourth whilst Guanyu Zhou executed the alternative strategy to a fifth-placed finish ahead of Ilott, who fended off Dan Ticktum at the flag.
Louis Deletraz finished eighth to clinch reverse grid pole ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala who round out the top ten.
In terms of the championship standings, Shwartzman still leads Ilott by virtue of three victories to the Brit’s two with Schumacher sat three points behind in third, ahead of Tsunoda who is 11 points behind in fourth.
Ilott made a clean getaway from Tsunoda as Ghiotto got bogged down from third whilst Schumacher made a superb launch to sweep through into second ahead of Lundgaard by the time everyone reached Variante.
Schumacher soon set about chasing down Ilott who produced a solid defence until Schumacher dropped away
Tsunoda claimed third from Lundgaard on lap five but the Dane recovered the position a lap later into Variante as Ghiotto ran wide down the escape road after the trio went three abreast into the tight first corner, with Ghiotto getting squeezed onto the grass by Tsunoda in the process.
Pit stops soon began with Ilott holding out until lap 12 but his UNI-Virtuosi suddenly stalled as he re-joined the race which sent him crashing to second last and behind Shwartzman who had dropped to 17th at the start, which gave Schumacher the net lead when he stopped a lap later.
Ilott tweeted post race that he was ‘Flat out during the pit stop and releasing the clutch as normal, so don’t really understand what to do differently.’
For those also wondering, I was Flatout during the pit stop and releasing the clutch as normal. So don’t really understand what to do differently. C’est la vie 🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/I4iY2hwpmq
— Callum Ilott (@callum_ilott) September 5, 2020
Nissany meanwhile squeezed Mazepin wide into the gravel on the exit of Variante that same lap to ultimately ruin the Russian’s alternative strategy before he eventually retired a few laps from the end.
Ghiotto leapfrogged Tsunoda for net third when he stopped on lap 15, three laps later than the Japanese driver who found himself driving a solid race to an eventual fourth placed finish.
Ticktum consequently inherited the lead from Zhou and stopped on lap 19 after the latter made his stop a lap earlier as both drivers found themselves passed by Ilott on their outlaps on fresh soft tyres, with Juri Vips being the last to stop on lap 20 to allow Schumacher back through into the lead which he held to the flag.
Ghiotto meanwhile set about chasing Lundgaard down for second and got his reward on lap 28 with the help of DRS into Variante.
Ilott meanwhile was on a charge through the pack after his disastrous stop as he reeled off fellow Ferrari juniors in Marcus Armstrong and Shwartzman for sixth, before getting Deletraz for fifth into Variante on lap 24.
Ilott’s tyres however began to hit the cliff as Zhou followed through on the softer compound and eventually snatched fifth from his teammate as Ilott found himself fending off Ticktum to the flag, whilst Deletraz just clung onto reverse pole ahead of Shwartzman and Daruvala.
Deletraz therefore starts the Sprint Race from pole with Ticktum and Ilott just behind him, as Schumacher starts eighth just ahead of Shwartzman in what should be a mouth-watering battle that could be key in the title race between the Ferrari juniors of Ilott, Schumacher and Shwartzman.
|1||Mick Schumacher||Prema||30||48m 24.641|
|2||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||30||+ 3.185|
|3||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||30||+ 7.321|
|4||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||30||+ 9.279|
|5||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||30||+ 12.553|
|6||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi||30||+ 15.145|
|7||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||30||+ 15.291|
|8||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||30||+ 17.561|
|9||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||30||+ 18.238|
|10||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||30||+ 21.154|
|11||Juri Vips||DAMS||30||+ 23.947|
|12||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||30||+ 25.004|
|13||Jack Aitken||Campos||30||+ 27.859|
|14||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||30||+ 28.379|
|15||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||30||+ 28.666|
|16||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||30||+ 29.257|
|17||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||30||+ 29.927|
|18||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||30||+ 30.343|
|19||Roy Nissany||Trident||30||+ 33.081|
|20||Marino Sato||Trident||30||+ 51.408|
|22||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||27||Mechanical|