Mick Schumacher became the second rookie winner of this season’s FIA Formula 2 campaign with a commanding performance from lights-to-flag in a Sprint Race at the Hungaroring that required every inch of his defensive abilities.
The son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher held off the experienced Nobuharu Matsushita to earn his first career F2 win and a first taste of champagne for the PREMA team this season. DAMS’ Sergio Sette Camara came home in third, having pushed and prodded Matsushita all the way.
Schumacher had been handed reverse grid pole for the second time this season, thanks to his eighth-place finish in Saturday’s Feature Race, and he got away smoothly off the line, despite the Carlin attached to his rear wing.
Matsushita, starting P2, waited until the first turn to make his move and skidded around the outside of the German, but he ran out of track and remained second. Sette Camara had forced his way ahead of Jordan King when the lights went out for third, while Nikita Mazepin rose four places to break into the points’ paying places.
Schumacher set the fastest lap in his attempts to put space between himself and Matsushita, but the Japanese driver reacted by beating his time around the Hungaroring and slicing into the distance between them. Less than a second behind him was Sette Camara, in an intense three-wary tussle for first.
With thick clouds appearing above, the track temperature fell, adding a further challenge to Schumacher’s defense of P1. He clung on, but Matsushita refused to let the German breathe. The Brazilian in third had the same tactic, but couldn’t find a way through at Turn 3 when the two went side-by-side and the Carlin came out ahead.
Championship contender Luca Ghiotto had been one of the fall guys in Mazepin’s rise to eighth, but he was able to regain the spot when the ART man lost pace on Lap 18. Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou both followed the Italian through, after the Russian had warned his team that he was in trouble. Ghiotto’s overtake of the Russian put him in a 1-2-3 with title rivals Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries in a three-way fight for sixth.
Matsushita remained in the shadow of Schumacher in the chase for P1 and was lapping two tenths faster than the German, beating him in both sectors 1 and 2, but could still not find a way through. The battling Ferrari F1 junior fought the Honda Dream driver all the way to the checkered flag and came out on top, thanks to a defensive masterclass.
Following closely behind was Sette Camara, who beat out British duo King and Jack Aitken. De Vries, Latifi and Ghiotto finished sixth through eighth, as Zhou and Ilott completed the top 10.
De Vries remains ahead in the driver’s championship, with 30 points more than Latifi in second, who has 166. Sette Camara climbs back to third with 141 thanks to his podium finish, while Ghiotto has 135 and Aitken 134.
The F2 Championship now takes a summer break alongside F1 before resuming at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of August.