The home of British motorsport set the scene for a weekend of racing in spectacular style. Huge crowds welcomed and supported the Formula Two drivers for each of the sessions on offer – this was no more evident than on Friday evening with the grandstands still busy for qualifying even after the Formula One cars had finished for the day. Putting on a show, the Carlin duo of Sargeant and Red Bull backed Lawson fought for position in the 30-minute shoot out to set their starting positions for the coveted Feature Race on Sunday. Sargeant was on fire and blasted his competitors away in fine fashion to take his first pole of the season. Lawson was also on a charge to finish the session in fifth overall.
Saturday’s Sprint Race took place after a huge downpour around the Silverstone circuit. In grey, chilly conditions the race started behind the safety car which took away the chance of Lawson and Sargeant gaining positions off the line in the partially reversed grid. A few laps into the race, Lawson found himself tangled with Theo Pourchaire – the Carlin driver suffered a broken front wing forcing him to pit for a replacement and dropping him to the back of the field.
Despite no further rain, the track conditions remained wet and no one was able to make the gambleto slick tyres. The flag fell with Sargent taking seventh after a handful of great moves in the final laps and Lawson 20th
A dry circuit on Sunday offered the chance to do it all again – and this time it would be Sargeant leading the field away from pole position. As the lights went out, both Carlin drivers enjoyed strong starts with Sargeant maintaining the lead of the race and Lawson immediately swooping his way into third; gaining two places by the first corner.
An early safety car closed the gap between everyone following a scary crash between Dennis Hauger and Roy Nissany from which both drivers thankfully emerged unscathed. When the race could restart, Sargeant focused on pulling a gap and getting out of the DRS zone. Lawson pitted first out of the Carlin duo, with Sargeant following shortly after from the lead of the race. Two fantastic pit stops from the Carlin mechanics ensured that the pair held their net positions in the race as they ran in seventh and ninth behind those who had yet to pit.
From there, the Carlin drivers made sure to keep life in the tyres until the dying stages of the race when the alternate strategy runners began to pit. Sargeant reclaimed the lead of the race and began to push once again as he pulled away from second place Pourchaire. Meanwhile Lawson found himself in a similar position as he also looked to keep Frederick Vesti outside of the DRS zone.
Holding their own brilliantly, the Carlin duo were unable to be rattled and Sargeant took his first FIA Formula Two victory – crossing the line to huge cheers from the Carlin team. Lawson charged across the line shortly after taking third position and ensuring a double Carlin podium.
Speaking about his debut win in the championship, Sargeant said, “What a race! Finally got my first Formula 2 win. It was a long race, Theo [Pourchaire] had me under a lot of pressure but massive thank you to Carlin, they gave me a fantastic car all weekend and I think we maximised everything we had. Hopefully we can keep this going in the next few rounds we have coming up.”
Team mate Lawson added, “Going from fifth to third is a decent recovery after a qualifying session where I felt I had more to show. It’s nice to finally put some good points on the board after some really awful luck in the first half of the season. We’ve had pace all year so we really need to carry this momentum forward now into Red Bull Ring and look forwards.”
The Formula 2 drivers won’t have long to wait until the next round with the team racing at the Red Bull Ring in Austria next weekend.