Trident Motorsport scored its first points of the season with a 8th place achieved by Marino Sato in Sprint Race 2. Bent Viscaal experienced a positive F2 debut as he barely missed the top-10 in both today's races.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship opened its 2021 season at Sakhir today with the running of Sprint Race 1 and 2, which will be followed by the Feature Race tomorrow, a few hours before the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Bahrain. Trident Motorsport started the series in a promising fashion, scoring two points, with Japanese racer Marino Sato ending up seventh in the second heat, held in the afternoon. The 21-year-old from Yokohama was coming from 15th place in the opening race. Bent Viscaal had an undoubtedly positive Formula 2 debut. The Dutchman barely missed the top-10 in his first career race and secured the 12th spot in the final run of the day, which favoured the drivers who opted to make a pit-stop. In qualifying, Viscaal and Sato had scored results that did not reflect their potential, with a 15th and 18th place on the grid for the first sprint race. At the start, both drivers suffered a temperature issue which cost him some positions. Viscaal managed to fight back from the 17th position to the top-10, which only went away on the final lap. A five-second penalty for passing during a yellow-flag situation then pushed him back to P13, two spots in front of teammate Sato.
Sprint Race 2, held with lower temperatures in the afternoon, was characterized by the different strategies adopted by the drivers. The outcome eventually helped the drivers who gambled on a tire change. Sato, who dived to the pits to get a set of new tires, was thus able to recover up to P8 in the end. It was his best Formula 2 result, which enabled Trident Motorsport to score its first points of the season. Viscaal, who had fought back to fourth place in the middle stint of the race, eventually finished in P12. Unfortunately, the strategy didn't turn out in his favour.
The team's drivers and technical staff will start the preparation work for the Feature Race, starting tomorrow at 13:50 local time, 11:50 Central European Time.
Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager:
“We are quite satisfied with the seventh place that Marino Sato scored in Sprint Race 2, which is also the best result in the category for him and allows Trident Motorsport to claim the first points of the season. The gamble of changing tires paid off for him. On the other hand, we made the mistake of not calling Bent Viscaal back into the pit lane too, while the race was in safety-car condition. As for Sprint Race 1, our drivers started in arrears because they didn't get results in line with their potential in qualifying, and they also experienced temperature issues at the start. Viscaal was a protagonist of a decent race earning a thirteenth place position. Also in Sprint Race 1, Sato improved from P22 to 15th place at the end. Now we aim to leave Bahrain with a convincing performance in tomorrow's Feature Race ”.