Despite promising qualifying results in which Aitken lined up seventh on the starting grid, tire wear and degradation had a massive impact on the results in both races and neither the Anglo-Korean driver nor his teammate Samaia could translate it into good results
Campos Racing experienced a hard weekend at its home round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which hosted the sixth round of the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship season. Heavy tire degradation was an extremely difficult issue for everybody in Barcelona and both Jack Aitken and Guilherme Samaia struggled to repeat another podium result as the Anglo-Korean driver achieved just a week ago at Silverstone.
Aitken and Samaia completed 32 productive laps in free practice before heading into the single qualifying session, which took place on Friday afternoon. There, Briton Aitken clocked the seventh-fastest time with a lap of 1m28.979s, which was a morale booster of two expected closely-fought races. Brazilian Samaia posted a lap time of 1m30.093s in his Campos Racing-run Dallara F2 2018.
Both Aitken and Samaia chose to start on the soft compound in race 1. Aitken moved up to sixth before making his mandatory pit stop on lap 6 for a fresh set of hard tires. Samaia pitted three laps later. The question was if a second pit stop would be necessary or not. Aitken set a solid pace in his second stint while saving as much tires as possible for the closing stages. Two more safety cars were deployed in the second half of the race, the last one with just a few laps to go. Aitken had moved up to sixth but a frantic last lap, in which he was hit by Sean Gelael, ruined his chances to take the checkered flag. Samaia, who also was hit by Roy Nissany, ended up in 16th place.
There was another chance to shine on Sunday with sprint race. Aitken gained three places in the opening lap. His goal was to save tires for the end of the race but, just like Samaia, simply wasn’t possible running nose-to-nail with 15 other cars. Aitken pitted on lap 16 for soft tires and lowered his lap times a lot. Unfortunately, his late charge just served to finish 18th. Samaia crossed the finish line in 20th place.
After a two-week hiatus, the FIA Formula 2 Championship will resume at Spa-Francorchamps for another exciting double header on the Belgian rollercoaster.