It was clear from the start of the weekend that the weather would play its part as storms passed overhead, however the Formula Two field managed to get a clear run during Friday as they completed their standard 45-minutepractice session before qualifying which saw Daruvala take second and Ticktum tenth. However, the storms began to move in closer and it was clear that the weekend was going to be disrupted.
Despite heading over to the Formula One pit lane for the opening race of the weekend on Saturday morning, the cars returned to the F2paddock shortly after and the schedule was re-jigged to allow for then to run their race later that afternoon – while cancelling the second race of the weekend to make way.
When the race was able to get underway, Ticktum lead the field from pole position behind the safety car as everyone got a feel for the damp, tricky conditions on their slick tyres. Ticktum pushed hard throughout to pull a gap, avoid the slippery parts and take his second victory of the season. Daruvala had made some brilliant moves however lost out in the conditions in the final laps to take 12th.
Ticktum said, “It wasn’t easy at all. We started the race with a damp track on slick tyres and as the first car out there you know that you’re setting the reference for everyone else and hitting the damp patches first. So pretty tough to be honest but I’m very happy to get the win out there today.”
It was dry when the Feature Race got underway on Sunday morning. Daruvala started on the more difficult side of the grid and as the lights went out, he fell back slightly into the clutches of those around him and was fourth by the end of the first lap. Meanwhile Ticktum was lining up to put in another one of his storming drives as he started from tenth – he overtook both Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou before pitting for fresh tyres.
After the round of mandatory pit stops, the positions started to clear up. Daruvala, running in fourth, began to apply the pressure on Ralph Boschung ahead who was struggling on his tyres. The Indian racer was sure to capitalise on this as he took third place as his own, and the final step on the podium as the flag fell. Ticktum meanwhile moved brilliantly up to fifth.
Daruvala said, “I hit the damp patch at the start of the race and I started to immediately wheel spin. I didn't think I did too bad of a job because I was still alongside Théo [Pourchaire] into Turn 2 and at one point we were four abreast and I was on the inside. I broke as late as I could and luckily we all came around cleanly. After that it wasn't straightforward, I didn't really have a lot of pace on the option but the prime sprint was definitely better. The backmarkers were tough to navigate but once I went through them the pace was pretty good.”
A break in the calendar is on the cards until the final two rounds of the season get underway in December.