Carlin’s Dan Ticktum clinched victory at 2021 F2 Russian Sprint Race with a controlled drive ahead of Juri Vips and Robert Shwartzman.
This race was delayed almost six-and-a-half hours after its original start time due to torrential conditions, which meant that the second Sprint Race was cancelled due to a lack of room during the remainder of this weekend’s schedule.
UNI-Virtuosi caused further pre-race drama after Guanyu Zhou spun and stalled his car on the way to the grid, whilst Felipe Drugovich crashed heavily on his outlap to rule both drivers out of this race.
Once the race began following two laps behind the Safety Car, Ticktum sped away to victory largely unchallenged from Vips, whilst Shwartzman benefitted from a suspension failure for Liam Lawson to snatch third.
HWA Racelab achieved their highest-ever F2 finish as Jake Hughes finished fourth ahead of Theo Pourchaire, Ralph Boschung, Christian Lundgaard and Richard Verschoor, who rounded out the top eight points finishers.
For Ticktum, this was his first on-track win of the season after being handed victory in the second Monaco Sprint Race following Lawson’s post-race disqualification in the Principality.
In the driver standings, Oscar Piastri’s championship lead stayed at 19 points from Zhou after both drivers failed to score points, with Shwartzman and Ticktum now within 15 points of Zhou, as Vips leapfrogged Pourchaire on countback into fifth.
Drama unfolded on the way to the grid for UNI-Virtuosi after Guanyu Zhou spun and stalled his car at Turn Two, whilst Felipe Drugovich suffered a heavy smash on the run towards Turn 13 which ruled him out of the race and caused a ten minute delay as both cars were removed from the track.
Stewards consequently opted for two warm-up laps with Ticktum eventually leading the field away on a rolling start, as everyone held position on the opening two laps until Marino Sato passed Roy Nissany for 16th and David Beckmann passed Enzo Fittipaldi for 19th on Lap Three.
The first Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed two laps later after Bent Viscaal spun at Turn 16 on Lap Four and stalled his Trident, with racing quickly resuming on Lap Six when Lawson pushed too hard into Turn 14 and broke his rear suspension by striking the barrier with the left side of his Hitech.
Just prior to Lawson’s incident which caused a second VSC, Piastri who sat ninth at the time attempted a lunge on Jehan Daruvala which cost him three positions as he fell behind Lundgaard, Marcus Armstrong and Verschoor.
Once racing resumed on Lap Nine, Boschung was caught napping on the restart as Pourchaire overtook him, although both drivers found themselves usurped by Daruvala who leapt from seventh to fifth.
Boschung went on to suffer lock-ups of his front left tyre on laps 12 and 15 although on the latter lap, Daruvala suffered a spin at Turn 16 after clipping the inside kerb which dropped the Carlin driver down to 12th where he finished.
Up front, Shwartzman made a mistake into Turn 12 on Lap Nine which handed Hughes a huge run on the outside of Turn 13, but the Russian held on for what proved to be third-place ahead of Hughes who delivered HWA Racelab’s best-ever F2 result.
With the second Sprint Race cancelled, drivers and teams will now switch attention to the Feature Race from which Piastri will start on pole position tomorrow from 9:20am BST UK Time.
|1||Dan Ticktum||Carlin||18||36m 37.195|
|2||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||18||+ 4.422|
|3||Robert Shwartzman||PREMA||18||+ 6.638|
|4||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||18||+ 8.894|
|5||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||18||+ 9.824|
|6||Ralph Boschung||Campos||18||+ 12.994|
|7||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||18||+ 13.669|
|8||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||18||+ 14.172|
|9||Oscar Piastri||PREMA||18||+ 14.921|
|10||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||18||+ 17.268|
|11||Marcus Armstrong||DAMS||18||+ 18.179|
|12||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||18||+ 28.131|
|13||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz||18||+ 28.764|
|14||Marino Sato||Trident||18||+ 40.661|
|15||David Beckmann||Campos||18||+ 57.671|
|16||Roy Nissany||DAMS||18||+ 1m 10.465|
|17||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||21||+ 1m 11.672|
|18||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||21||+ 1m 33.339|
|RET||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||5||Suspension|