Marcus Armstrong Wins 2021 Saudi Arabian Sprint Race One

(Image credit: @Formula2)

Marcus Armstrong claimed a maiden F2 victory as he survived a late scrap to win 2021 Saudi Arabian Sprint Race One from Liam Lawson by 0.563 seconds.

Armstrong made an inside dive into Turn One at the start to take the lead which he held to victory after surviving two Safety Cars following incidents involving Guilherme Samaia and Marino Sato then Theo Pourchaire.

Lawson settled into second but a last lap charge was unsuccessful as Armstrong clung on to snatch victory with Juri Vips rounding off the podium in third.

Felipe Drugovich finished fourth ahead of Jehan Daruvala, Robert Shwartzman, Christian Lundgaard, Dan Ticktum, Oscar Piastri and Bent Viscaal who rounded out the top ten, until Daruvala got a five second time penalty for overtaking Ticktum off track and dropped to tenth.

At the top of the drivers’ standings, Piastri now leads Shwartzman by 40 points after the Russian leapfrogged Guanyu Zhou who had finished outside of the points in 17th.

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At lights out, Lawson got a clean start but Armstrong dived up the inside to claim the lead as Ralph Boschung leapfrogged Vips for third.

The Safety Car was first deployed after the opening four corners as Samaia got clipped by rookie – Ollie Caldwell and collected Marino Sato upon impact after smashing into the inside wall to end their races, whilst Caldwell was punished with a five-second time penalty.

Racing resumed on Lap Four with Zhou seeing his title chances massively dented after he was spun by Lundgaard, as the Chinese driver tried an inside move into Turn Two but Lundgaard shut the door and Zhou lost his front wing.

Zhou consequently finished second-last on the road after pitting for a new front wing which now leaves him with a 40 point deficit to overturn, if he is to win the title ahead of his move to F1 next season.

Ticktum meanwhile found himself in a massive scrap with Viscaal as he passed the Dutchman through Turn One on Lap Six, only for Viscaal to fight back with both drivers running wide at Turn Four and Ticktum handed the position back at the start of Lap Eight.

Boschung meanwhile pushed his medium tyres too hard in the opening laps and paid the price as he lost third on Lap 10 and quickly fell down the order as he found himself outside of the top ten on Lap 13.

Just behind Boschung’s scrap with Vips on Lap 10, Shwartzman forced his way past Pourchaire as both drivers ran wide through Turn Four, with Pourchaire dropping behind Lundgaard as a consequence whilst Shwartzman was penalised 5s for his off-track overtake.

Pourchaire eventually ended his race in the barriers at Turn 22 after losing his rear end on entry and spun off, which triggered a second Safety Car, from which Armstrong controlled the restart as he took victory from Lawson by 0.563s with Vips completing the podium.

Drugovich finished fourth ahead of Daruvala after Shwartzman’s penalty was applied post-race as the Russian finished sixth ahead of Lundgaard, Ticktum, Piastri and Viscaal who initially claimed reverse-pole for the second sprint race.

Post-session, Daruvala received a five-second time penalty which demoted him from fifth to tenth and reverse-pole for the second Sprint Race.

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 20 41m 44.102
2 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 20 + 0.563
3 Juri Vips Hitech GP 20 + 2.044
4 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 20 + 2.826
5 Robert Shwartzman PREMA 20 + 8.278
6 Christian Lundgaard ART GP 20 + 8.377
7 Dan Ticktum Carlin 20 + 8.452
8 Oscar Piastri PREMA 20 + 8.613
9 Bent Viscaal Trident 20 + 10.468
10 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 20 + 10.484
11 Jack Doohan MP Motorsport 20 + 10.566
12 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz 20 + 10.965
13 Roy Nissany DAMS 20 + 12.977
14 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 20 + 13.104
15 Ralph Boschung Campos 20 + 14.332
16 Logan Sargeant HWA Racelab 20 + 15.308
17 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 20 + 17.343
18 Olli Caldwell Campos 20 + 24.652
RET Theo Pourchaire ART GP 13 Crash
RET Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 13 Mechanical
RET Marino Sato Trident 0 Collision
RET Guilherme Samaia Charouz 0 Collision

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