RUSSIAN TIME’s Artem Markelov controlled proceedings at the Red Bull Ring to take his second win of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship season.
The Russian started the Sprint Race from pole and stayed clear of all the drama that ensued behind to close in on the title battle as championship leader Charles Leclerc retired after a tangle with his teammate Antonio Fuoco.
Markelov led comfortably from the start and pulled a gap from Alexander Albon with Rowland a close third after Ralph Boschung stalled from second place on the grid. This meant that Feature Race winner Charles Leclerc had to steer clear of the Swiss, costing him a handful of places while series returnee Raffaele Marciello couldn’t avoid Boschung and ultimately crashed into him, deploying the Safety Car.
After the Safety Car, Leclerc overtook Jordan King for fifth and hunted down the battling duo of Oliver Rowland and Fuoco in third and fourth respectively. As Fuoco slid wide at the exit of Turn 4, Leclerc was caught unaware, touching the sister PREMA and spinning into retirement, prompting a Virtual Safety Car.
After the VSC period, Markelov quickly reinstated a consistent lead of about 3 seconds to Albon, who was followed by Oliver Rowland. Behind them, an action-packed race ensued as Luca Ghiotto, who started from 14th, swept through the field one by one, taking fourth from Fuoco on Lap 23 and putting the pressure on Rowland, but to no avail.
Markelov took the chequered flag comfortably ahead of Albon and Rowland, who closed in on Leclerc’s championship lead, while Ghiotto led home a reinvigorated Fuoco in 4th and 5th respectively.
Jordan King took sixth ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Nato who initially finished 7th and 8th respectively but swapped places in the final classification after a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit-lane demoted the DAMS driver to the final points position, behind Nato who turned a P20 start off the grid to a P7 finish.
Formula 2 returns next week in Silverstone on July 13-16.
|FIA Formula 2 Championship 2017 Race of Austria – Sprint Race Provisional Classification (28 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||28||40:32.190|
|2.||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||28||+ 1.458|
|3.||Oliver Rowland||DAMS||28||+ 2.055|
|4.||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||28||+ 5.840|
|5.||Antonio Fuoco||PREMA Racing||28||+ 6.629|
|6.||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||28||+ 10.515|
|7.||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||28||+ 13.656|
|8.||Nicholas Latifi*||DAMS||28||+ 15.922|
|9.||Sergio Canamasas||Rapax||28||+ 15.979|
|10.||Sergio Sette Câmara||MP Motorsport||28||+ 16.282|
|11.||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||28||+ 18.849|
|12.||Nabil Jeffri||Trident||28||+ 20.948|
|13.||Louis Delétraz||Racing Engineering||28||+ 21.301|
|14.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||28||+ 22.443|
|15.||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||28||+ 1:07.922|
|16.||Nyck de Vries||Rapax||26||Collision|
|17.||Robert Vișoiu||Campos Racing||25||Collision|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||15||Damage|
|DNF.||Charles Leclerc||PREMA Racing||4||Collision|
Nicholas Latifi – who was provisionally classified in sixth place – was awarded a 5-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
1- Charles Leclerc, 151 points.
2- Oliver Rowland, 102 points.
3- Artem Markelov, 99 points.
1- PREMA, 174 points.
2- DAMS, 174 points.
3- RUSSIAN TIME, 165 points.
Image via FIA Formula 2 Media