The 2021 Formula 2 season starts exactly where last season ended, in Sakhir, Bahrain. Red Bull Juniors Jüri Vips, Liam Lawson and Jehan Daruvala aim to match Yuki Tsunoda’s end of season Feature Race victory that preceded his graduation to F1 with Scuderia AlphaTauri and Daruvala’s own superb win in Race 2.
There is a new race format with two Sprint Races held on Saturday and the Feature Race with mandatory pit stop on Sunday. Qualifying will determine grid of the Feature Race and the first sprint race; the grid for the first Sprint Race will be set by reversing the top ten Qualifying positions. The grid of the second race will be formed by results of the first SprintRace, with top ten finishers reversed.
Daruvala on form :“We pretty much picked up at the test where we left off, winning the last race of the 2020 season,” asserted the 22-year-old Indian. “Carlin are very strong here and the team had an incredible end of season.”
“The test went very well. I love the track, it has to be probably my favourite place. It is great to be in the same team again, they are not just strong but very supportive so we are looking forward to a great season.”
“I would say that the only unknown is how the new format will work out. Of course it is new to everyone, two Sprint Races with reverse grids and then the Feature Race on Sunday. It will be interesting.”
Lawson revelling in the F2 challenge: “I think that the test was very positive,” stated the 19-year-old New Zealander who has stepped up from F3. “It is always hard to tell in preseason where you are, but we were pretty happy with how it went.“
“We know what we have to focus on, what I have to focus on. The consistency in the race runs is something that for me is a new learning curve. With the F2 and this tyre it is a different sort of driving style to the F3.”
“I think our Quali pace was strong but again it’s hard to tell, everyone is on their own run program, doing their own thing.”
“The car is a lot faster and a lot different to drive. I didn’t expect it to be so different, It’s been a learning curve but I like it. Obviously it’s longer, bigger, heavier, so the way that you take corner speed is different. Compared to the F3 car you’ve got to stop this a little bit more, be careful on exits with all this power, you’ve got to be straighter, you can’t expect it to handle the combined corner forces and a lot of acceleration. Especially in the race run, that’s where you’ve got to be really careful.”
“Then the carbon brakes, braking was probably the biggest thing that I wasn’t expecting so much was how much force and energy the brake pedal with the carbon brakes puts through you,” explained the Hitech driver.