- Yuki Tsunoda [Copyright: Red Bull Content Pool]

F2: Tsunoda takes Sakhir feature race pole, Daruvala P3 as Schumacher crashes

The Japanese took pole with teammate third as the German collides with the Israeli later in the session.

Carlin's Yuki Tsunoda took FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship pole for Sakhir feature race after a late collision ended Mick Schumacher's chance of a Top 10 finish.

The start of the final F2 qualifying of the 2020 season in Sakhir saw Prema opt for an alternate strategy, where the team only hit the track when others completed their first run. There were changes at the top but Carlin's Yuki Tsunoda was on top.

The Japanese racer set a 1m02.676s to lead Hitech GP's Nikita Mazepin and Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala as Prema's Robert Shwartzman and Mick Schumacher could only manage 10th and 16th respectively after their first runs.

The start of the second run in F2 qualifying saw Shwartzman improve to fourth when the session was red-flagged for a spin for Hitech GP's Luca Ghiotto with about four minutes remaining. He went over the kerb and spun to beach himself on the gravel.

It went from bad to worse for F2 points leader after Schumacher collided with Trident's Roy Nissany on the approach to the final corner to bring out the red flag with seconds remaining. The German tried to pass the Israeli but hit the left-rear as a result.

Nissany lost balance and went over the rear wing of Schumacher with the German only 18th for the feature F2 race. He was, naturally, put under investigation for the incident. His title rival UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Callum Ilott was ninth with a 1m03.014s.

At the front, though, it was Tsunoda taking a crucial pole in F2 ahead of Mazepin (1m02.798s) and Daruvala (1m02.807s) as Shwartzman (1m02.822s) was fourth. It was not clean in the end of the Japanese driver too after his off moment.

The Top 5 saw MP Motorsport' Felipe Drugovich (1m02.841s) with ART Grand Prix's Christian Lundgaard (1m02.849s) sixth with HWA Racelab's Artem Markelov (1m02.947s) in seventh - the Russian's first Top 10 qualifying finish in F2.

The Top 10 was rounded out by DAMS' Daniel Ticktum, Ilott and Charouz's Louis Deletraz as UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Guanyu Zhou missed out in 11th with Trident's Marino Sato.

Position 13-22: Pedro Piquet, Ghiotto, Marcus Armstrong, Giuliano Alesi, Theo Pourchaire, Schumacher, Nissany, Ralph Boschung, Guilherme Samaia, Sean Gelael.

UPDATE: Following the investigation, the stewards adjudged it to be a racing incident as neither drivers could be wholly responsible for the incident.

"The Stewards examined video evidence. They summoned and heard the drivers and team representatives (documents 11 & 12). Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined that Car 20 who was on a fast lap, caught Car 22 who was on a preparation lap between Turns 9 and 10.

"Car 20 made a pass on the right and the cars collided as Car 20 returned to the racing line. Car 20 had a responsibility to complete the pass without initiating contact. Car 22 could have been closer to the edge of the circuit and could have lifted to facilitate the pass and did not. Therefore, neither driver is judged to be wholly or predominantly at fault," summed up the statement.

[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]

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