Formula 2 rookie Maximilian Günther claimed his first victory in the series in an action-packed Sprint Race at Silverstone, holding off championship leaders George Russell and Lando Norris.

The German youngster held his reversed grid pole position at the race’s rolling start from Nyck de Vries and ran less than a second ahead of the Dutch driver until a brief Virtual Safety Car period interrupted proceedings.

The race’s resumption allowed Günther to break free of de Vries. The Prema Racing driver found himself under attack by an impressive Russell, who had put in an impressive charge from seventh on the grid.

After finishing a frustrated second place behind Alexander Albon in Saturday’s Feature Race thanks to a slow pit stop and a speeding penalty, Russell was on a charge. Successful moves on Luca Ghiotto, Charouz duo Antonio Fuoco and Louis Delétraz at Brooklands, and Artem Markelov in the Arena section, propelled him to third place.

De Vries could do little on his worn tyres and fell prey to Russell, before falling down the order to finish a disappointed seventh.

Russell tried to close down on Günther and got to within one second of the Arden driver by the final lap, but was unable to get by to claim victory.

The podium was completed by Lando Norris, who had an eventuful race. The McLaren junior driver survived a rough battle with Antonio Fuoco, which ended when the hotheaded Italian driver tried to force Norris off track one too many times and was sent into the fence when the pair touched.

That released Norris to catch and then pass Fuoco’s teammate Delétraz, before subsequently getting by Ghiotto and the gripless De Vries in a single move through Vale and Club.

Markelov followed Norris through to finish fourth ahead of Delétraz, Ghiotto and De Vries. Saturday’s Feature Race winner Albon had to settle for eighth place.

Ghiotto was later handed a post-race time penalty for speeding during the Virtual Safety Car period, promoting De Vries into sixth, Albon into seventh and Ralph Boschung into the final points position in eighth.

There was a bizarre post-race incident between Trident teammates Arjun Maini and Santino Ferrucci, with the latter seeming to deliberately collide with the former while on their slow-down lap back to the pits.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Great Britain – Sprint Race Results (21 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result Pts
1. Maximilian Günther de BWT Arden International 21 37:09.802 15
2. George Russell uk ART Grand Prix 21 + 0.520 12
3. Lando Norris uk Carlin Motorsport 21 + 2.504 10
4. Artem Markelov Russian Time 21 + 9.924 8
5. Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 21 + 12.005 6
6. Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 21 + 14.006 4
7. Alexander Albon DAMS 21 + 14.684 2
8. Ralph Boschung ch MP Motorsport 21 + 16.487 1
9. Roberto Merhi es MP Motorsport 21 + 18.051
10. Luca Ghiotto it Campos Vexatec Racing 21 + 18.929
11. Tadasuke Makino Russian Time 21 + 19.632
12. Jack Aitken uk ART Grand Prix 21 + 23.653
13. Arjun Maini in Trident Racing 21 + 24.040
14. Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 21 + 32.165
15. Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 21 + 33.318
16. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 21 + 34.042
17. Sergio Sette Câmara Carlin Motorsport 21 + 47.912
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DQ. Santino Ferrucci Trident Racing 21 Disqualified
DNF. Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 14 Accident
DNS. Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden International Radiator

Championship Points:

  • Points are awarded to the top 8 classified finishers in the Sprint Race on a 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 scale.
  • George Russell is awarded an additional 2 championship points for posting the fastest lap of the race by a points’ finisher.

Post-Race Penalties:

  • Luca Ghiotto – who was provisionally classified 6th – was issued a 5-second time penalty for failing to maintain the minimum delta time at the end of the Virtual Safety Car period.
  • Santino Ferrucci – who was provisionally classified 14th – was excluded from the race and banned from participating in the next four races for multiple breaches of the Sporting Regulations.

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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