MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich survived three safety cars to clinch a dominant maiden F2 sprint victory from Charouz’s Louis Deletraz.
Drugovich led from lights to flag with fastest lap ahead of Deletraz who settled into a comfortable second, without really challenging the Brazilian for the win throughout this incident filled race.
Dan Ticktum rounded out the podium with his maiden third-placed F2 finish, after riding his luck to take advantage of reliability issues forcing drivers ahead of him out of the race.
Speaking about his victory, Drugovich said; “I am really happy with it. We had some issues yesterday and we were expecting a lot more after the Quali that we had, but today , I think that we got the job done.”
Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong retired with reliability related issues, either side of a spin for Luca Ghiotto as all three incidents brought out the safety car on three separate occasions.
Drugovich got a great start to blast off into the lead which he never conceded ahead of Deletraz, with Ticktum passing Alesi round the outside of turn one only for Armstrong to sweep round the outside of both into turn four to snatch third.
Alesi’ race then came to a dramatic end just two laps later when his power unit failed in spectacular fashion, sending a puff of smoke across the track on the run to turn four and requiring a four lap safety car in which Sean Gelael also retired with mechanical issues.
Drugovich then nailed the restart to retain his lead for only three laps when the safety car was deployed once again, as Luca Ghiotto beached his Hitech at turn four in the gravel after being spun by Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala and forced Guanyu Zhou wide in process.
Racing then resumed on lap 11 with Daruvala handed a five-second time penalty for hitting Ghiotto, as Jack Aitken fended off Roy Nissany with an excellent switchback after conceding position into turn four on lap 12.
Armstrong then hit mechanical trouble two laps later with safety car deployed for the final time on lap 15, after Armstrong came to a halt on the run to turn three which caused the car to briefly roll back down the hill as Artem Markelov avoided an accident.
Drugovich once again nailed a third safety car restart to race off to victory ahead of Deletraz and Ticktum who completed the podium, ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Christian Lundgaard who completed the top five.
Mick Schumacher meanwhile found himself tussling for sixth with Nobuharu Matsushita of MP Motorsport, in which the Japanese driver held on until the checkered flag.
Jack Aitken meanwhile snatched the final point from yesterday’s Feature Race winner and fellow British compatriot, Callum Ilott with a move into turn three on lap 26.
In terms of the championship standings, Ilott leads Shwartzman by 27 points to the Russian’s 23 whilst Drugovich sits a further two points behind in third.
|1||Felipe Drugovich*||MP Motorsport||28||42:05.526|
|4||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||28||+ 3.330|
|5||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||28||+ 5.396|
|6||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||28||+ 9.177|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema||28||+ 9.741|
|8||Jack Aitken||Campos||28||+ 14.041|
|9||Callum Ilott||Uni-Virtuosi||28||+ 14.272|
|10||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech||28||+ 15.395|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||28||+ 17.528|
|12||Roy Nissany||Trident||28||+ 18.471|
|13||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||28||+ 19.118|
|14||Guanyu Zhou||Uni-Virtuosi||28||+ 19.668|
|15||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||28||+ 22.082|
|16||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||28||+ 24.290|
|17||Marino Sato||Trident||28||+ 24.909|
|18||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||27||+ 1 lap|
|19||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||14||Power|
|22||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||2||Power|
- Felipe Drugovich set fastest lap of 1m 17.277