PREMA’s Charles Leclerc has bagged his fourth win of the season after taking a dominant victory in Saturday’s feature race at the Red Bull Ring. The Monegasque drove a controlled race on the alternate strategy to extend his lead to 59 points in the drivers’ standings.

Leclerc started from pole and led away from team mate Fuoco as he ran a longer first stint on the Prime tyres, losing the lead for just one lap during the pit-stop phase to Nobuharu Matsushita after pitting for Options. He still ran comfortably on Options but his lead was shrunk at the latter stages of the race as he was hunted by Nicholas Latifi, eventually winning by only 1.3 seconds from the Canadian.

Latifi, who had started from eighth on the grid, got as high as fifth after the start and was the first driver on Option tyres to pit, with his team mate Oliver Rowland pitting just one lap later and emerging behind him. However, Latifi had no answer for Rowland’s pace as the Briton surged past him on Lap 13.

Rowland’s best efforts were undone as his tyres got away from him and he was passed by both Fuoco and Latifi, before the latter also passed Fuoco for second place and started pushing Leclerc in the lead but to no avail. Latifi eventually finished second while Fuoco secured his first podium in F2 and only his third points finish in third.

Rowland held on to finish fourth, losing further points from Leclerc while the ART pair of Albon and Matsushita ran an Option/Prime strategy to come home fifth and sixth.

Ralph Boschung took an impressive seventh ahead of Artem Markelov in eighth who starts Sunday’s Sprint Race from reversed-grid pole while Jordan King and Sean Gelael completed the top ten.

The sprint race starts on Sunday at 10:20 local time (GMT+2).

2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Austria – Feature Race Final Classification (40 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 40 52:21.629
2. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 40 + 1.345
3. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 40 + 5.160
4. Oliver Rowland DAMS 40 + 5.682
5. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 40 + 9.846
6. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 40 + 12.179
7. Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 40 + 19.400
8. Artem Markelov Russian Time 40 + 20.385
9. Jordan King MP Motorsport 40 + 30.481
10. Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 40 + 33.662
11. Robert Vișoiu Campos Racing 40 + 35.636
12. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 40 + 36.011
13. Nyck de Vries Rapax 40 + 44.145
14. Luca Ghiotto Russian Time 40 + 46.896
15. Sergio Canamasas Rapax 40 + 48.883
16. Sergio Sette Câmara MP Motorsport 40 + 50.940
17. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering 40 + 53.423
18. Nabil Jeffri Trident 40 + 56.881
19. Raffaele Marciello Trident 39 1 lap behind
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 6 Mechanical

Post-Race Penalties:

  • None

Drivers’ Standings:

1- Charles Leclerc, 151 pts.
2- Oliver Rowland, 92 pts.
3- Artem Markelov, 82 pts.

Teams’ Standings:

1- PREMA Racing, 168 pts.
2- DAMS, 163 pts.
3- RUSSIAN TIME, 140 pts.

Image via FIA Formula 2 Media

The following two tabs change content below.

Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8