MRF Challenge: Double win gives Mick Schumacher the lead

With wins in Race 2 and Race 4 in Round I of the MRF Challenge 2016 on Saturday, Mick Schumacher secured an early lead in the championship with 75 points in Round I.

In the fourth race, Mick Schumacher was back to his best after a blip in the Race 3, where he finished third.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

After a disappointing start to his campaign, Mick Schumacher bounced back to win the Race 2 and Race 4 in Round I of the MRF Challenge 2016 at the Bahrain International circuit here on Saturday. The German also took the early lead in the championship after Round I with 75 points ahead of Ralf Aron (72) and Joey Mawson (61).

The German, who finished fifth in Race 1 on Friday, turned on the heat against his rivals in Race 2 when he came up with a commanding performance to win it. Mick Schumacher had a good start and took the lead at the first turn.

He had little difficulty in maintaining it to win in 20:18.365s. The fight for the second place was a close affair with Race I winner Harrison Newey, Joey Mawson and Ralf Aron engaged in an interesting duel.

Joey overtook both Newey and Aron to finish second (20:20.243s) while Ralf Aron pipped Newey in the last lap to finish third in 20:25.917s.

In the fourth race, Schumacher was back to his best after a blip in the Race 3 where he finished third. Juri Vips was ahead of the pack at the start but Schumacher took the lead overtaking Vips at the ninth turn and pulled away from the field.

He came first 20:20.843s while Juri Vips came second in 20:23.145. Pedro Cardoso, who warded off the late challenge from Harrison Newey and Ralf Aron, came third in 20:24.452s.

The third race was eventful with pole sitter Harrison Newey retiring after the first lap which brought out the safety car for the first time this season.

At the restart Ralf Aron wasted no time in snatching the lead from Mawson and pulled away from the pack. Mick Schumacher warded off a late challenge from Felipe Drugovich for a podium finish.

Ralf Aron won in 21:09.925s while Joey Mawson was second in 21:16.493 and Schumacher third in 21:20.470s. Harrison Newey finished a disappointing fourth.

"I am happy with the overall start to the championship. In the last race I felt it was important to get past Juri Vips in order to win. The circuit was enjoyable to drive and now I look forward to the next race in Dubai," he said.

The results (10 laps)

Race 2: 1. Mick Schumacher (20:18.365s), 2. Joey Mawson (20:20.243), 3. Ralf Aron (20:25.917), 4. Harrison Newey (20:25.933), 5. Felipe Drugovich (20:31.973)

Race 3: 1. Ralf Aron (Est) (21:09.925s), 2. Joey Mawson (Aus) (21:16.493), 3. Mick Schumacher (Ger) (21:20.470), 4. Fellipe Drugovich (Bra) (21:20.718), 5: Juri Vips (Est) (21:23: 848).

Race 4: Mick Schumacher (Ger) (20:20:843), 2. Juri Vips (Est) (20:23.145), 3. Pedro Cardoso (Bra) (20:24.452), 4. Harrision Newey (GBR) (20:25.027), 5. Ralf Aron (Est) (20:27.138).