Callum Ilott, the main rival of Robert Schwartzman, who, according to the results of the previous stages, took the second position in the individual competition, started from pole at Silverstone on Saturday.
When the traffic lights went out, Ilott, the UNI-Virtuosi driver, started well and retained the lead, but Dan Tiktum started even better, breaking through from fourth position to second, and began to put pressure on his compatriot. Jack Aitken closed the top three, but Pedro Piquet did not manage to start normally for some reason. However, when the entire peloton was already far ahead, the Brazilian still got under way.
Robert Schwartzman, a Russian driver of the SMP Racing program, managed to win back a couple of positions, he rode 9th, and his Prema teammate Mick Schumacher made his way into the top five. Nikita Mazepin occupied the sixth position in the first laps.
On the fourth lap, Tiktum made a mistake, found himself outside the track, which was used by Christian Lundgard and Jack Aitken, moving to the second and third positions, respectively. On the sixth lap, a struggle began between Tiktum and Schumacher, who caught up with him. The DAMS driver resisted, but could not hold back Mika, and then Nikita Mazepin was ahead of him, and we saw another example of a beautiful fight.
Tiktum continued to lose ground, letting in Deletraz, and Schwartzman immediately began to attack him, who, in turn, was overtaken by Guan Yu Zhou. But Robert did not let the Chinese driver pass (which he was unhappy with and complained on the radio that the opponent almost pushed him off the track) and beat Tiktum. When several riders went to the pits, Schwarzman moved to fifth position, but he still had a mandatory pit stop.
Mazepin at this stage of the race was driving third, ahead of him were only the leader of the race, Callum Ilott, and Mick Schumacher. Nikita was in a very belligerent mood and was clearly preparing to attack the German.
When Ilott turned into the pits, Schumacher took the lead in the race, Mazepin was driving just four tenths behind, Shvartsman lost about three seconds to them.
Mazepin reduced the gap from the leader to three tenths, and it seemed that he was about to rush into a decisive offensive, but, unfortunately, made a mistake at the exit from the Copse turn, after which the interval between cars increased again.
In the meantime, Schwartzman had already begun to catch up with them, who clearly rode faster than the duo of leaders, but those who had already visited the pit stop were still capable of higher speeds. In particular, Ilott had already fought Roy Nissan for seventh position and was ahead of the Trident rider on lap 16. It was clear that when those who had not yet been in the pits went for fresh tires, Callum would lead the race again.
Outside the top ten, events also developed in their own curious way. Tiktum and Louis Deletraz simultaneously outstripped Markelov, who had not yet been to the pit stop, bypassing it from both sides, and started a fight for 12th position, the winner from which was the Swiss.
By the 18th lap Mazepin again caught up with Schumacher, getting close to him at a distance of attack, but he had not yet been able to bring the matter to an end.
Markelov visited the pits, after which he returned to the track only 20th.
Tiktum was never able to get ahead of Deletraz, but Yuki Tsunoda caught up with him, and the Briton had to defend himself against the attacks of Honda’s protégé and participant in the Red Bull youth program. As a result, the Japanese beat him.
On lap 19, Schumacher finally turned into the pit lane, got fresh tires and returned to the track outside the top ten.
Mazepin was temporarily in the lead, Shvartsman was driving second, although almost four seconds behind, but on the 22nd lap, Robert turned into the pit lane, like Guan Yu Zhou, who was pursuing him.
Robert returned to the track ninth, behind his partner, who fought with Tiktum and immediately took advantage of the speed advantage that the new tires gave – the Briton was behind. Thus, Schwartzman took 8th place, which at least provided a start from pole position in the Sunday sprint.
On the next lap, Mazepin went to the pits, but he managed to return to the fight in 7th position, right behind Schumacher. Nikita conducted the race with inspiration: he caught up with Mick and was so dashing ahead of him at the expense of DRS that the British commentators of the Sky Sports TV channel simply applauded!
Three laps before the finish, Lundgard, who was driving second, made a mistake, found himself outside the track, but since his lead from Aitken was several seconds, he did not lose his position.
Mazepin caught up with Tsunoda and on the 28th lap overtook the Japanese driver, taking 5th position.
Schwartzman practically ran into the gearbox of his partner’s car, but Guan Yu Zhou had already caught up with them, so Robert had to hold back the onslaught of the Chinese driver.
Mazepin at the beginning of the last lap tried to overtake Deletraz, but he repulsed the first attack; then, when both were on a straight line, Nikita used DRS and in a second or two was already driving 4th.
Callum Ilott was the first to cross the finish line, and 8.5 seconds ahead of Christian Lundgard; Aitken took the third place, Nikita Mazepin earned points for the 4th.
Robert Shwartzman managed to repel the attacks of Guan Yu Zhou and finish eighth, and this is pole position in the sprint with a reverse start order, which is important in order to try to correct the situation in the individual standings of the series, because the Russian driver was outstripped not only by the winner of today’s race, but also by Lungard. Before the second race of the fifth stage of the season, Robert has 85 points, Lundgard has two more, and Callum Ilott leads with 102 points.