Felipe Drugovich took his third win of the Formula 2 season in the Bahrain feature race, while Mick Schumacher recovered from tenth to fourth to keep his title lead ahead of Callum Ilott.
The feature race had looked like a chance for Ilott to retake the title lead as he qualified on pole with Schumacher down in tenth. But when the lights went out Ilott was passed for the lead by Drugovich from second, while Schumacher jumped up to fourth.
Meanwhile, Dan Ticktum had a slow getaway from third and dropped back to eighth, and Yuki Tsunoda got up to 16th from his back of the grid start.
Across the opening laps Ilott then struggled for pace on his medium tyres. On lap eight he was passed by Marcus Armstrong for second, before Schumacher on hard tyres passed Ilott for third a lap later. Schumacher then improved to second by the end of the lap, when Armstrong locked up and ran wide at Turn 11.
Ilott pitted to swap his mediums for hards on lap 12, but a slow front left meant he came out in 17th. However, by pitting earlier than Drugovich, who stopped on lap 15, Ilott was able to get the undercut advantage and take the net lead on Drugovich’s first lap out of the pits.
Schumacher led the race until his own pit stop on lap 19, where he swapped from his starting set of hards to new mediums. Prior to his stop Schumacher had been losing several seconds a lap to his rivals on fresh hard tyres, and as a result he lost ground in the pits, rejoining in sixth behind Jehan Daruvala, Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman.
On lap 20 Drugovich came back at Ilott, retaking the lead of the race and beginning to open a gap of several seconds once ahead. Meanwhile, Schumacher started coming back through from sixth on his faster mediums, passing Shwartzman on lap 21 and Armstrong on lap 23.
With five laps to go Schumacher caught Daruvala for the final podium position. But despite having the pace advantage on the medium tyre, Schumacher couldn’t find a way past Daruvala’s defence. In the end Schumacher ran out of grip, and Daruvala was able to hold on to third behind Ilott for his first F2 podium.
Schumacher finished fourth ahead of Nikita Mazepin, while Tsunoda came sixth with the fastest lap.
Tsunoda had made steady progress through the field after his rapid start, and by lap 26 was into the points with a pass on Sean Gelael. The Carlin driver then picked off more positions over the closing laps with the help of his fresh medium tyres, passing Luca Ghiotto, Ticktum, Shwartzman and Armstrong before the flag.
Armstrong, Shwartzman and Ticktum finished seventh, eighth and ninth, and Jack Aitken took the final point with a last-lap pass on Ghiotto.
Full race result:
|1||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||25|
|2||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||18|
|4||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||12|
|5||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||10|
|6||Yuki Tsunoda (FL)||Carlin||10|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||6|
|8||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||4|
|10||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||1|
|11||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System|
|12||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix|
|14||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi Racing|
|16||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System|
|17||Giuliano Alesi||MP Motorsport|
|18||Theo Pourchaire||BWT HWA Racelab|
|19||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix|
|21||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing|
|22||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA Racelab|
Feature image by Rudy Carezzevoli / Getty Images, courtesy of FIA Formula 2