George Russell has had his say on the F2 Championship and believes Callum Ilott and Robert Schwartzman will battle for the title.
Such was Russell’s rapid rise through the higher junior categories his stay in Formula 2 was brief, but very effective.
After winning the GP3 Championship in 2017, Russell went on to then claim the F2 crown in the following year, repeating the achievement of Charles Leclerc one year prior.
Since making it into Formula 1 Russell has struggled to show his true potential with the struggling Williams outfit, though he has come close to making it into Q3 twice this year as the Grove outfit continue their recovery efforts.
So looking at the field of 2020 F2 drivers, Russell has picked out compatriot and current Championship leader Callum Ilott, as well as Robert Shwartzman as the two he believes hill battle it out for the title. Both are Ferrari juniors.
He is also keeping an eye on Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich who has two race wins this season, as well as Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.
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“I am following F2 closely this year. I was really impressed with Drugovich,” he said, as quoted by RaceFans.net.
“I don’t know Drugovich well, I don’t know a lot about his background.
“I think it’s got to be between Schwartzman and Ilott. And I think [Nikita] Mazepin is actually doing surprisingly very well at the moment as well.
“He was very unfortunate to get the penalty [in the Spanish F2 Feature Race], I think that was a little bit harsh for him and he should have finished third.
“[In the Sprint Race] he came from 14th down to sixth and was actually one of the quickest on track.
“I think he’s going to be a surprise driver in the latter phase of this year coming through.
“So it’s going to be tight, but I think Ilott will win it.”
Ferrari have a host of junior drivers in Formula 2 searching for a route into Formula 1.
Kimi Raikkonen’s seat at Alfa Romeo could be up for grabs next year, and ex-F1 driver Mika Salo has already named Schwartzman as the perfect replacement.
“Shwartzman has had bad races lately, but I hope Alfa Romeo will take him as second driver after this season,” he told Ilta Sanomat.
“I have been teaching him ever since he was 13 years old – and I will try to continue to teach. He is one of the drivers of SMP Racing. He has developed a lot over the last couple of years, grown up and started to use more sense in driving.”