Hubert seals fourth place as Arden pick up early reward

Anthoine Hubert on his way to fourth place in his debut Formula 2 race for BWT Arden NNL-190204-094101002
Anthoine Hubert on his way to fourth place in his debut Formula 2 race for BWT Arden NNL-190204-094101002

BWT Arden started the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship with a strong points return at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain.

Reigning GP3 champion Anthoine Hubert impressed on his debut for the Banbury team in the feature race.

The new line-up of Hubert and Tatiana Calderon made their Formula 2 debuts for BWT Arden in Bahrain for the opening round of the season.

Saturday morning saw the 32-lap feature race begin with Hubert making a superb start to move himself immediately into the points-paying positions in seventh, running with the front runners and managing his tyres through the early phase of the race.

Calderon also made a great start, however she was crowded out at turn one and stuck on the outside so she held position in the opening stages, before moving up a position on lap five and settled into her first race in F2.

Hubert made his way up to fourth position in the opening stint, making his tyres last longer than a majority of his rivals, pitting on lap 17 for the soft option.

Calderon pitted two laps later to run the same strategy as Hubert until the end of the race.

Both BWT Arden drivers now had fresher tyres towards the end of the race but had the task of overtaking their earlier stopping rivals.

Hubert scythed his way through the field, showing excellent pace to move himself up to fourth position, including a brilliant double overtake on the Carlin pair of Louis Deletraz and Nobuharu Matshushita on the run down to turn four on lap 27.

The Renault Sport Academy driver held this position to the flag, bagging an excellent result on his debut in F2.

Calderon replicated Hubert’s charge in the latter stages of the race, finishing a solid 13th likewise on her debut.

Sunday’s sprint race saw Hubert start from fifth on the grid with the reserve grid taken into account with Calderon starting from 13th.

A messy start saw a collision ahead of Hubert as cars jostled for position early on with the Frenchman completing the opening lap in seventh position.

Calderon held station in the manic start, running in 14th position in the early stages.

Hubert crossed the line in ninth position, taking the position in dramatic style on the run down to the chequered flag. Calderon finished the race in 15th position, rounding out both driver’s debut weekends in F2.

The next round of the FIA F 2 Championship takes place at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan later this month.