Alexander Albon claimed his second FIA Formula 2 Championship victory in Saturday’s Feature Race at Silverstone. The DAMS driver took advantage of a pit stop delay and subsequent time penalty for pole-sitter George Russell, who finished second ahead of Charouz Racing System’s Antonio Fuoco.
With the series’ races continuing to adopt a rolling start in light of ongoing concerns over the new Dallara cars’ clutches, Russell was able to maintain his pole position advantage and build a lead over Albon in the opening phase of the race with a succession of fastest laps. Fuoco held station in third place ahead of teammate Louis Delétraz.
Further behind, Artem Markelov, Arjun Maini, and former championship leader Lando Norris disputed sixth place. Markelov passed Maini for seventh through the Maggotts-Becketts sweeps, but lost the place to the Indian driver who then took advantage of a mistake by Norris to pass the Carlin driver at Turn 2 to claim sixth place.
The leading drivers all peeled into the pits at the end of Lap 6 to get rid of their Soft compound tyres. Russell was delayed in his pit bay with a slow right-rear tyre change, gifting the effective race lead to Albon, and his woes were compounded when he was later ruled to have sped in the pit lane which earned him a five-second time penalty. His ART Grand Prix teammate Jack Aitken was also found guilty of pit lane speeding.
Delétraz pitted from a one-lap stint in the lead, followed by Maini and Norris. Both had poor pit stops of their own – Norris stalled his car – and dropped down the order.
Those who started on the harder tyres now led, with Tadasuke Makino and Ralph Boschung holding fort out front as they ran long opening stints.
Albon, meanwhile, found his new Hard tyres to his liking and worked his way forward, passing Roy Nissany before a mid-race Virtual Safety Car was triggered when Nirei Fukuzumi ground to a halt on Hangar Straight.
The interruption hurt Makino the most, with the Japanese driver losing four seconds of his lead to Boschung. The Swiss driver was unable to capitalise as he was quickly passed by Albon after the restart.
Makino lost the lead of the race to Albon at the end of Lap 20, and the Anglo-Thai driver immediately posted a new fastest lap before another VSC interruption caused by contact between Sean Gelael coming together with Norris at Brooklands. The Indonesian driver retired as a result of the contact.
Norris’ teammate Sergio Sette Câmara looked to be having a better race and was on course to challenge for back-to-back podium finishes. The Brazilian’s strong run would come to an end, however, when he retired his car with engine troubles.
Albon continued to extend his lead over Russell to almost five seconds by the end of the race and claimed his second victory of the 2018 season. Russell’s late fastest lap was enough to negate the threat of losing second place to Fuoco on account of his time penalty, limiting the potential damage this could have caused to the championship lead he fought so hard to claim last weekend in Austria.
Delétraz came out on top of an exciting battle with Luca Ghiotto in the final laps to claim fourth, passing the Italian driver on the final tour. Ghiotto finished just 0.1 seconds clear of a fast-closing Markelov, while Nyck de Vries and Maximilian Günther finished seventh and eighth to secure front-row starts for Sunday’s reversed-grid Sprint Race, which takes place at 09:20 (GMT +1).
|2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Great Britain – Feature Race Results (29 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result||Pts|
|2.||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||29||+ 9.783||24|
|3.||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||29||+ 18.507||15|
|4.||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||29||+ 26.689||12|
|5.||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||29||+ 27.016||10|
|6.||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||29||+ 27.107||8|
|7.||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||29||+ 28.034||6|
|8.||Maximilian Günther||BWT Arden International||29||+ 34.020||4|
|9.||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||29||+ 37.227||2|
|10.||Lando Norris||Carlin Motorsport||29||+ 39.620||1|
|11.||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||29||+ 39.971|
|12.||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||29||+ 40.131|
|13.||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||29||+ 42.930|
|14.||Arjun Maini||Trident Racing||29||+ 54.855|
|15.||Roy Nissany||Campos Vexatec Racing||29||+ 58.064|
|16.||Santino Ferrucci||Trident Racing||29||+ 59.394|
|17.||Nicholas Latifi||DAMS||29||+ 59.764|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Sergio Sette Câmara||Carlin Motorsport||23||Engine|
|DNF.||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||20||Spin|
|DNF.||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden International||13||Mechanical|
Points are awarded to the top 10 classified finishers in the Feature Race on a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 scale.
George Russell is awarded an additional 4 championship points for claiming pole position.
George Russell is awarded an additional 2 championship points for posting the fastest lap of the race by a top ten finisher.
- George Russell – who was provisionally classified in 2nd place – was issued a 5-second post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
- Tadasuke Makino – who was provisionally classified in 9th place – was issued a 5-second post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
- Jack Aitken – who was provisionally classified in 10th place – was issued a 5-second post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
- Santino Ferrucci – who was provisionally classified in 15th place – was issued a 5-second post-race time penalty for orcing Arjun Maini off the circuit.
Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship