Trident helped Marino Sato doubled his career Formula 2 points tally in Sprint Race 2 at Bahrain. Admittedly this was finishing P8 and scoring 1 point. But achieving this in the first weekend of the year is a good sign of improvement from the Japanese driver. Sato qualified 18th on the grid with new teammate Bent Viscaal 15th. Trident have worked so hard in the winter. It shows when they say they felt the drivers had underperformed in qualifying.
Trident in the races
Trident report that both drivers suffered unspecified temperature issues during the opening stint of the race. However, they have not clarified if this was tyre or engine related. Viscaal rocketed into the top 10 and stayed there until the final lap when tyre degradation saw him fall away from that coveted reverse grid pole for Race 2. A five-second penalty for passing under yellow flags relegated him to 13th. Sato meanwhile remained further back for the whole race eventually finishing in 15th.
With both drivers starting from their respective finishing positions in the evening second Sprint race, Trident mirrored race winner Piastri in pitting Sato under the safety car for fresh tyres. Fortune favoured the brave and Sato scored that all-important point. Unfortunately for Viscaal, Trident elected to split the strategies on the two cars. Viscaal stayed out on his worn tyres. Eventually, he would finish the race in P12.
In the Feature Race, Trident again split strategies. Sato was put on the prime strategy, similar to race winner Guanyu Zhou. Viscaal was on the familiar option strategy. As we all now know, thanks to the late safety car among other reasons, the prime strategy was the one to be on. Unfortunately, both Trident drivers were hit with penalties for safety car violations. Sato received 5 seconds, Viscaal 10, and the latter would also have to pit twice.
Trident in Formula 2 for 2021: View from the Grandstand
We’re always going to be rooting for the underdog on this site, it is just who we are. Trident are part of the fabric of Formula 2 and the championship would be poorer for their absence. It is a delight to see them bagging a point this weekend. And furthermore, in Bent Viscaal, we actually think they might have a driver with some serious potential as well. The season is still going to be hard work for them, that’s sadly the reality. But if they get P10 in Race 1 on a Saturday, a tidy haul of points surely awaits in Race 2.