F2 Season Preview 2020

Image: F2 in Barcelona 2019. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

The following article was written by Kieran Mackintosh. You can follow Kieran on Twitter @MrMackintoast.


Images: F2 in Barcelona 2019 - DAMS, Nicholas Latifi. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

Drivers: Sean Gelael, Daniel Ticktum.

DAMS are a team with a rich history in Formula Two, seeing many drivers pass through the ranks into Formula One such as Nicholas Latifi, Alexander Albon, Marcus Ericsson, Jerome D’Ambrosio and many others. The team are also based right in the heart of motorsport being just 2 meters from Le Mans’ infamous Bugatti Circuit. As ever, the team will be carrying the expectation of their legacy in the series and will no doubt be aiming for challenging for both the constructors and drivers championships with their all-new 2020 driver lineup of Sean Gelael and Daniel Ticktum, following Latifi’s promotion to F1 and Camara’s departure to Super Formula.

Sean Gelael- has been a consistent underperformer in F2. In 2019 he finished 17th in the championship with just 15 points as teammate Nyck De Vries took the championship. This lead to his departure from Prema but he managed to find a seat with DAMS for 2020. He will have to prove himself if he stands a chance of getting another seat at a top team, or even any team, on the F2 grid in 2021, with young stars waiting in the wings.

Daniel Ticktum- the controversial Briton signed with Williams following being dropped as a Red Bull Junior in 2019. He made 2 appearances in the series in 2018, filling in for Max Gunther at Arden, however makes his full time debut in 2020 following an unsuccessful Super Formula campaign. The 2018 F3 runner up and 2 time Macau Grand Prix winner will be looking to regain his form in 2020 as he battles Jack Aitken for a potential Williams seat in the near future.

UNI-Virtuosi Racing

Images: F2 in Barcelona 2019 - Callum Illot - New arrival at UNI-Virtuosi Racing. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

Drivers: Guanyu Zhou, Callum Illot.

UNI-Virtousi Racing took over the successful Russian Time, who had won the constructors championship in 2013 and 2017,  in 2019 having previously been partners with the team from 2015. The team achieved 2nd overall with Luca Ghiotto grabbing 8 race wins. Ghiotto’s departure from the team will no doubt be a big loss to them however they are hoping that, with an extra year of experience under their belts, they will be able to go one step further in 2020 and win the constructors championship, as well as potentially challenging for the drivers’ championship in the process.

Guanyu Zhou- 2020 is all set up to be a big year for young Renault driver Guanyu Zhou. The Chinese driver surprised everyone in his 2019 campaign, finishing 7th overall and bagging 5 podiums along the way, 3 in feature races and 2 in sprints. He performed well throughout the season last year and could potentially be looking at a Renault seat in the near future if he can challenge for wins this year and generally outperform fellow Renault junior Christian Lundgaard.

Callum Illot- saw improvement throughout 2019, finishing the season strong with a podium in Sochi and 4th place in both Monza and Abu Dhabi for the Charouz team. He moves to the competitive UNI-Virtuosi team for the 2020 campaign and will no doubt be looking to continue his good momentum challenging for more podiums and potentially wins throughout 2020 to prove his potential in the very talented Ferrari pecking order.

ART Grand Prix

Image: F2 in Barcelona 2019 - ART Grand Prix. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

Drivers: Marcus Armstrong, Christian Lundgaard.

ART Grand Prix lineup with an all-rookie lineup in 2020, as they did with George Russell and Jack Aitken in 2018. The last two seasons have seen one ART driver take the championship whilst the other has struggled massively and this lack of consistency has seen the team fail to win the constructors championship since 2015. They will want to try and maintain their drivers’ championship streak in 2020, making it 3 in a row and 7 all time, but at the same time bringing an overall more consistent performance with both cars to try and claim their 5th constructors championship in Formula 2 in 2020.

Marcus Armstrong- has proved that he is a fast driver, finishing second in last year’s Formula Three with Prema Powerteam however overall lack consistency throughout the season and will struggle to improve his consistency in 2020 as he will be simultaneously undertaking the difficult task of making the large jump from Formula Two to Formula Three. He could still challenge for podiums and wins, with ART providing the machinery to do so.

Christian Lundgaard- was ART’s strongest performer in 2019 despite the team struggling to match Prema overall. The Dane outperformed teammates David Beckmann and Max Fewtrell leading to his promotion to ART’s Formula 2 lineup. He will be looking to be competitive once again in 2020 and, amongst an overall fairly inexperienced field, perhaps challenge for the championship and knock on the door for an F1 seat in the near future.

Carlin Motorsport

Drivers: Yuki Tsunoda, Jehan Daruvala.

Carlin struggled to match the success of their 2018 returning campaign, which saw them take the drivers’ championship with Lando Norris as well as the constructors championship, as the team finished 4th in 2019. They go with an all-new lineup in 2020, as they did in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, however this year runs with an all-rookie lineup with both drivers coming from the Red Bull academy. The capability for challenging podiums and wins in 2020 is possible, however the lack of experience will most likely hinder the team’s progress in the constructors championship in 2020.

Yuki Tsunoda- joins Carlin’s F2 lineup following his strong performances for Jenzer in last year’s F3 campaign where he picked up 3 podiums and even a race win at the sprint race in Monza. His main focus for 2020 will be beating his teammate, who is also a rookie from Formula 3 and a member of the Red Bull Junior Team.

Jehan Daruvala- joins the Formula Two grid having finished third with Prema in his 2019 F3 campaign. He finished below teammates Schwartzman and Armstrong however despite that proved that he can compete for wins and podiums and will be aiming to prove to new backers Red Bull that he is first in line, should a seat become available at Alpha Tauri in the future.

Campos Racing

Image: F2 in Barcelona - Campos Racing, Jack Aitken. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

Drivers: Jack Aitken, Guilherme Samaia.

Campos relied heavily on Jack Aitken in 2019, with the British driver scoring 159 of the team’s 189 points leading to their highest finish in the constructors championship since 2015. The team will mostly likely be relying on the British driver for points again in 2020 as they lack the machinery to competitively challenge the likes of ART and DAMS in the constructors championship. The team, however, will hope that they can increase the 4 wins that Jack Aitken scored them in 2019, with rookie teammate Guilherme Samaia looking to learn from him throughout the season and improve steadily based off of that.

Jack Aitken- heavily outperformed his Campos car in 2019 however despite that was unable to find a seat elsewhere for 2020 and was dropped by Renault. He was signed on by Williams and will be looking to put in another strong performance despite the machinery to try and put himself first in line should either Russell or Latifi leave Williams at the end of 2020.

Guilherme Samaia- comes into Campos’ 2020 lineup with little to show for outside of his native brazil, his best being a 6th place finish in his 2018 Euroformula Open campaign with a competitive RP Motorsport. He will be looking to capitalize on the experience of teammate Jack Aitken and learn from him in order to improve his own performances as the season progresses.

Charouz Racing

Drivers: Louis Deletraz, Pedro Piquet.

Having been known as ‘Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’ in 2019, the Czech outfit revert back to the ‘Charouz Racing System’ name for 2020. The team have been mediocre since coming into the series in 2018, with Antonio Fuoco getting the team’s only two wins in their 2018 campaign. However, they showed signs of promise in 2019 with the team scoring four  wins and a pole position through Ilott and Correa. Following their split from Sauber they will be looking to return to their race winning form of 2019 with a mix of experience with Louis Deletraz and youth with Pedro Piquet.

Louis Deletraz- returns to Charouz, the team he raced for in 2018, following a difficult 2019 campaign with the Carlin team. He will come into the 2020 season as one of the more experienced drivers on the grid and will be looking to use his experience and knowledge of the Formula 2 car to give him an edge over the Formula 3 rookies also looking to be competitive in 2020.

Pedro Piquet- joins the Formula 2 field after racing for Trident in last year’s Formula 3. Despite the team overall not proving to be as competitive as the likes of Prema and Hitech, Piquet managed to finish a highly respectable 5th in the standings as well as getting a win and 2 further podiums during the season. He will be looking to be competitive in 2020 as he learns from his teammate and adjusts to the gap between Formula 2 and Formula 3.

MP Motorsport

Drivers: Nobuharu Matsushita, Felipe Drugovich.

MP Motorsport’s true pace was never really shown during 2019 with strong performances from Jordan King alongside poor performances from Mahaveer Raghunathan. Artem Markelov also performed well as he filled in for King at the Monaco Grand Prix. This shows that MP Motorsport have a car capable of getting respectable points finishes, without necessarily challenging for wins or podiums. The team are looking to make the step up and challenge for these in 2020, they have a new lineup for 2020 with Raghunathan and King being replaced once again by a mix of experience and youth with Nobuharu Matsushita and Felipe Drugovich respectively.

Nobuharu Matsushita- despite this being his 5th season of Formula 2 and the Japanese driver being 26, Matsushita has stated that he is still fighting for his F1 dream, even turning down the chance to race in Super GT and Super Formula with Honda to race in Formula 2 with MP Motorsport in 2020. Much like Jordan King a year earlier, Matsushita will be looking to lead MP Motorsport and challenge for podiums and wins, as he has proven he is capable of at Carlin and ART.

Felipe Drugovich- joins Formula 2 off of the back of finishing 16th with Carlin Buzz in last year’s F3 campaign. Whilst the team’s campaign was disappointing overall, Drugovich outscored teammates Teppei Natori and Logan Sargeant (albeit only 3 points higher than the latter) and will be looking to adapt quickly to the Formula 2 environment and to learn from experience teammate Nobuharu Matsushita.

BWT HWA Racelab

Images: F2 in Barcelona - BWT HWA Racelab. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

Drivers: Artem Markelov, Giuliano Alesi.

HWA bought out household F2 name Arden International, who had fielded the likes of Sergio Perez, Heikki Kovalainen and Sebastian Buemi, to become BWT HWA Racelab ahead of the 2020 F2 season. The team had made a debut in F3 in 2019 where they finished 5th overall in the standings and saw Jake Hughes grab a win as well as 4 podiums during the season. They will be looking to keep the momentum going and challenge podiums and a win this year in their first outing in Formula 2 especially with the experienced and proven Artem Markelov leading the team.

Artem Markelov- only made 6 appearances in 2019, filling in both at MP and Arden, however showed overall consistency getting 16 points. In 2020 he returns to a full time seat with the new HWA Racelab team who will be relying on his experience to get good results this season. Markelov has proven time and time again that he is capable of winning races and getting podiums in Formula Two and the Russian will want to make a name for himself after a poor 2019 Super Formula campaign.

Giuliano Alesi- his opening campaign in Formula 2 last season will overall be labeled as a disappointment. However, the Frenchman did finish the season on a high scoring points in 5 of the last 6 races and getting 5th at the sprint race of the closing round in Abu Dhabi.

Prema Racing

Images: F2 at Monza 2019 - Prema Racing, Mick Schumacher. Copyright: JakerSports/Motor Witness.

Drivers: Mick Schumacher, Robert Schwartzman.

Prema have opted for familiarity in their 2020 lineup with drivers Mick Schumacher and Robert Schwartzman having driven for Prema since 2016 and 2017 respectively in F4, F3 and F2, as well as the two being teammates in Prema’s 2018 F3 setup. The team will be looking to return to the winning ways of their opening two campaigns, which saw Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly crowned drivers’ champions, following more difficult campaigns in 2018 and 2019. The team have made the most of their strong ties with Ferrari to secure themselves a lineup capable of bringing home a second constructors championship in 2020, with the pair both looking to an F1 seat in the near future and subsequently a strong campaign this season.

Mick Schumacher- 2019 was a learning curve for Mick Schumacher with the German showing some promise in his first season in Formula Two, most notably winning the sprint race in Hungary from reverse grid pole position. However overall he will be disappointed with finishing 12th overall in the standings. He proved that he has the ability to compete in F2 and is hoping that, now he has a year of experience in the series under his belt, he will be able to truly show Ferrari his abilities and fight for podiums and wins for the Prema team.

Robert Schwartzman- remains in the Prema setup in 2020, having been promoted from their Formula 3 lineup. The Russian put in a dominant display in 2019 finishing 54 and 55 points ahead of championship rivals and teammates Marcus Armstrong and Jehan Daruvala respectively. He will be looking to continue this into 2020, especially with George Russell and Charles Leclerc both proving in recent years that rookie champions in Formula 2 are a definite possibility.

Trident Racing

Drivers: Roy Nissany, Marino Sato.

Trident have struggled to show the level of performance which they have shown in elsewhere, having finished 2nd in GP3 in 2015, 2017 and 2018 as well as 4th in last season’s Formula 3 campaign. Their struggles in Formula 2, which saw them pick up just over a third of the points of next nearest team Prema, have left them scrambling for options in 2020 and their lineup of Roy Nissany and Marino Sato does not provide the talent needed to push the team into regular or even semi-regular points scoring positions in 2020. The team will be hoping for an improvement on last season, however this may be difficult as the field, and the teams around them, are gaining strength in 2020.

Roy Nissany- returns to the Formula 2 grid in 2020, having had a difficult 2018 campaign with Campos which saw him score just 1 point. Whilst his experience with F2 cars will come in useful for Trident this year, in 2019 he only competed in Williams tests and his year away from competitive motorsports will leave him needing to refamiliarise himself in 2020, something which might not be easy to do due to the uncompetitive nature of the Trident car.

Marino Sato- joins the Formula 2 grid full time for 2020 having made 6 appearances for Campos at the back end of 2019. As well as these 6 appearances, Sato comes into the season off the back of being crowned Euroformula Open champion with Motopark in 2019 scoring 307 points throughout the season, 128 more than next nearest rival and 2020 Formula 3 driver Liam Lawson. Sato will be looking to prove himself as a points scorer despite being on the back foot with the struggling Trident team.

Hitech Grand Prix

Images: F2 in Barcelona 2019 - Luca Ghiotto, new arrival at Hitech Grand Prix.. Copyright: Daniel Gonzalez Photography.

Drivers: Nikita Mazepin, Luca Ghiotto.

After a competitive campaign in the inaugural FIA formula 3 season, finishing 2nd overall and obtaining 4 race victories, Hitech Grand Prix make the step up and also join the Formula 2 grid for 2020, becoming the series’ 11th team. They will be looking to the experience of Luca Ghiotto in order to help them learn and understand the Formula 2 cars, as they will know from Trident that being competitive in Formula 3 is not a guarantee of doing the same in Formula 2. Likewise, teammate Nikita Mazepin will need to prove his own competitiveness as a failure to do so could hinder the Hitech team in the constructors championship come the end of the season.

Nikita Mazepin- comes into 2020 with a point to prove after struggling to find his feet with ART in his 2019 campaign. The Russian only managed to score 11 points all season as teammate Nyck De Vries took 266 points and a commanding championship victory. He once again finds himself with an experienced and proven teammate in 2020 in Luca Ghiotto and will have to significantly close the gap to his teammate this season if he wants to remain on the Formula 2 grid.

Luca Ghiotto- remains on the Formula 2 grid with new team Hitech Grand Prix in 2020, however has began to shift his focus elsewhere making a one-off appearance for Team LNT in WEC in October and competing for Aston Martin in this season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge. Ghiotto showed his capability in 2019 getting 4 wins and 9 podiums with then-debutants UNI-Virtuosi. However, a title challenge for the Italian looks unlikely and he should be looking to get as many podiums as he can this year to help Hitech start off their Formula 2 adventure on a high note.

Kieran's F2 Driver's Championship Prediction:

  1. Robert Schwartzman

  2. Guanyu Zhou

  3. Christian Lundgaard

  4. Mick Schumacher

  5. Callum Ilott

  6. Marcus Armstrong

  7. Jack Aitken

  8. Artem Markelov

  9. Nobuharu Matsushita

  10. Luca Ghiotto

  11. Daniel Ticktum

  12. Louis Deletraz

  13. Jehan Daruvala

  14. Giuliano Alesi

  15. Yuki Tsunoda

  16. Sean Gelael

  17. Nikita Mazepin

  18. Pedro Piquet

  19. Marino Sato

  20. Felipe Drugovich

  21. Roy Nissany

  22. Guilherme Samaia

Enjoyed this article? Click here to read Kieran's F3 Season Preview for 2020!

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