The race for the title sees Mick Schumacher have a 14-point lead margin over Ilott going into the final round of the campaign next weekend, while Mazepin is third and 43 points off the top, Shwartzman 46 and Tsunoda 48 behind with only a maximum of 48 left on the table.
Robert Shwartzman converted pole position in the Formula 2 sprint race into his fourth victory of the season in Bahrain.
After a run of four races without points, Shwartzman returned to form in Bahrain with a P8 in Saturday’s feature race followed by a comfortable victory in the sprint event.
The Russian held Marcus Armstrong off following the mid-race Safety Car and controlled the race from that moment onwards, running out a comfortable winner ahead of Nikita Mazepin.
Louis Delétraz stormed from 16th on the grid to finish third, inheriting the final podium spot from Pedro Piquet.
FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP – BAHRAIN – SPRINT RACE RESULTS
|1||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Prema Racing||23 laps|
|2||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||+ 5.200|
|3||Louis Deletraz||SWI||Charouz Racing System||+ 6.400|
|4||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||ART Grand Prix||+ 10.600|
|5||Guanya Zhou||CHI||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||+ 15.100|
|6||Christian Lundgaard||DEN||ART Grand Prix||+ 18.500|
|7||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Racing||+ 20.700|
|8||Felipe Drugovich||BRA||MP Motorsport||+ 23.500|
|9||Roy Nissany||ISR||Trident||+ 25.300|
|10||Artem Markelov||RUS||BWT HWA Racelab||+ 31.100|
|11||Marino Sato||JPN||Trident||+ 31.800|
|12||Dan Ticktum||GBR||DAMS||+ 39.800|
|13||Giuliano Alesi||FRA||MP Motorsport||+ 43.900|
|14||Sean Gelael||IND||DAMS||+ 44.400|
|16||Callum Ilott||GBR||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||+ 63.400|
|DNF||Jack Aitken||GBR||Campos Racing||22 laps|
|DNF||Guilherme Samaia||BRA||Campos Racing||22 laps|
|DNF||Pedro Piquet||BRA||Charouz Racing System||21 laps|
|DNF||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Hitech Grand Prix||10 laps|
|DNF||Jehan Daruvala||IND||Carlin||8 laps|
|DNF||Theo Pourchaire||FRA||BWT HWA Racelab||6 laps|
Piquet had enjoyed the best race of his F2 career but suffered a mechanical failure in the closing laps, costing him a shot at his maiden podium finish.
Delétraz opted to start on the medium tyre but switched to the hard under the Safety Car, giving him the freshest tyres of anyone allowing him to cut his way through the field.
It was a decisive race in the battle for the title as Mick Schumacher picked up more points in P7 to extend his lead over Callum Ilott to 14 points with one round remaining.
The race turned on its head on Lap 8 as Ilott locked up heavily into Turn 10, losing the rear of his car and clattering into the Carlin of Jehan Daruvala.
At this point, Schumacher was running in fifth, Ilott just behind in sixth place with the pair set to be embroiled in a fight for points until the end of the race.
Ilott narrowly missed Schumacher as he crashed into Daruvala – forcing the Indian driver to retire from the race, while Ilott was forced to pit for a new front wing and was later handed a drive-through penalty for the incident.
Schumacher was unable to mount a charge from that point on and had to settle for P7, having been overtaken by Louis Delétraz, Guanyu Zhou & Christian Lundgaard in the closing stages.
Delétraz’s decision to pit for fresh rubber under the Safety Car proved to be a masterstroke as he got within striking distance of Mazepin on the final lap, who trailed race winner Shwartzman by 5.2s at the chequered flag.
Armstrong ended the day fourth ahead of Zhou, Lundgaard, Schumacher and feature race winner Drugovich, who completed the top eight.
One round remains in F2 as it will race on Bahrain’s outer circuit next weekend.
f2 sprint race bahrain : shwartzman win his fourth victory f2 sprint race bahrain : shwartzman win his fourth victory
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FORMULA 1 BACK AT ISTANBUL PARK IN TURKEY
THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|