Nicholas Latifi delivered a stellar performance at Silverstone to take his first ever Formula 2 victory after controlling proceedings in Sunday’s sprint race.
Latifi started from pole and easily held on to the lead off the line ahead of Luca Ghiotto as Oliver Rowland was all over the track defending his third place from Jordan King, the pair touching into Turn 3 and King running wide, before Rowland topped this up with another move to push now charging Markelov into the grass on the Wellington straight. The stewards eventually decided they’d had enough and handed Rowland a five-second time penalty.
Latifi was easing into the distance ahead of Ghiotto while Leclerc was cutting through the field, reaching as high as 4th place as Rowland and Ghiotto were in a fierce battle for 2nd, just ahead of Markelov who sat patiently behind looking for his chance.
This all ground to a halt 3 laps from the finish line as Ralph Boschung’s effort to overtake Alexander Albon at Stowe ended up in the wall and prompted a safety car, ultimately vanishing Latifi’s comfortable lead.
The stricken Campos was swiftly retrieved allowing one last lap of racing. As green-flag racing resumed, Latifi made a perfect restart to hold on to the lead and take victory ahead of Luca Ghiotto while Rowland’s attempts to delay his rivals behind cost him a place to Artem Markelov and put him under investigation with the stewards. Despite taking the line in fourth behind Markelov, Rowland’s initial penalty dropped him to 10th after the safety car nullified his chances to minimize the penalty’s effect and behind him, Canamasas retook fourth from Leclerc at the restart while Norman Nato took 6th place.
Nyck de Vries continued to impress as he raced his way from last on the grid to take points from seventh while Nobuharu Matsushita took the last of the points.
After Rowland’s catastrophic showing, Leclerc extended his drivers’ championship lead to 67 points ahead of Markelov while Rowland dropped to third in the standings, 4 points behind the Russian.
- Oliver Rowland was judged to have impeded rivals at the restart and was handed an extra 20-second penalty which -in addition to his original 5-second penalty- drops him to 17th in the final classification
1- Charles Leclerc, PREMA, 188 pts.
2- Artem Markelov, RUSSIAN TIME, 121 pts.
3- Oliver Rowland, DAMS, 117 pts
1- PREMA, 211 pts.
2- DAMS, 208 pts.
3- RUSSIAN TIME, 207 pts.
Formula 2 returns in Hungary in two weeks, July 28-30th.
Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship
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