Piastri maintains F2 title lead with feature podium, Shwartzman wins Silverstone Sprint

Oscar Piastri maintained the lead of the FIA Formula 2 championship after a gritty defensive drive held of Richard Verschoor in Sunday’s Silverstone feature race.

Piastri had started on pole position but eventual race winner Guanyu Zhou got the jump on the Australian driver at the start before Dan Ticktum also applied pressure behind. And with the British driver pitting first on lap 7, Piastri was left vulnerable when pitting a lap later and emerging on colder tyres, Ticktum sweeping past into Brooklands.

With the set up not entirely to Piastri’s liking, it took a mighty effort to keep Verschoor behind him in the closing couple of laps, but a podium was the least he deserved and means he still leads the drivers’ standings by 5 points from race winner Zhou.

“It was a struggle pretty much the whole race, to be honest,” said Piastri afterward. “We just didn’t have the pace we had yesterday for some reason, it was definitely hard work at the end keeping Richard behind but I got on the podium, qualified on pole and hadn’t had a trophy this weekend so I made sure I got one.

“In general it’s been a really fun weekend, our pace has been mega all weekend and just not today unfortunately when it counted the most but I think we (Prema) have scored the most points out of everyone this weekend, so a lot of positives and still the championship leaders.”

Helping the dominant Prema team maintain that championship lead was in no small measure due to Robert Shwartzman’s victory in the opening sprint race of the weekend, the Russian star driving brilliantly to catapult himself from fourth place to the top step of the podium.

“I’m extremely happy with the win in race 1 when we got our redemption from last year,” commented Shwartzman. “The start was really good, even better than expected. The set-up and warm-up were great, and the tyres got into temperature, so I moved to the inside, and I realized that I was P1. I opened up a bit of a gap, and then the re-starts after the safety car situations went well too, so the car behind never got the opportunity to get close enough.”

 

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Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.

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