Nyck de Vries claimed his first Formula 2 Championship win as an ART Grand Prix driver with victory in the reversed-grid Sprint Race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Front-row starters Callum Ilott (Sauber Junior Team) and Jordan King (MP Motorsport) both made poor starts, allowing Anthoine Hubert (BWT Arden) to vault into the lead of the race from third on the grid, with de Vries slotting into second place from his fourth-placed starting position.

The race was soon neutralised behind the Safety Car when Nobuhara Matsushita’s Carlin spectacularly caught fire, forcing the Japanese driver to park his stricken car at the exit of Turn 10. The Honda protégé was the race’s sole retiree.

Nobuhara Matsushita, Carlin Racing - 2019 Formula 2 Race of Spain

The unlucky Matsushita was forced to retire on the opening lap when his Carlin Racing car caught fire.

Hubert was able to defend against de Vries at the restart but once DRS became available the reigning GP3 Series champion was easy meat for de Vries, who swept past the Frenchman into Turn 1 on the eighth lap. De Vries steadily eked out a lead from there on, while behind Hubert struggled to keep the chasing pack at bay.

Ilott was Hubert’s next assailant, passing him at Turn 1 on Lap 11. Six laps later, Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi) dispatched Hubert and set about chasing down Ilott.

The Italian caught Ilott and on the penultimate lap he made a bold lunge into the braking zone at Turn 1, sweeping around the outside of the Ferrari academy driver to snatch a well-earned second place. Ilott hung on over the remainder of the lap to earn his first Formula 2 Championship podium.

Hubert lost another place on the final lap to Ghiotto’s teammate Guan Yu Zhou, with the pair finishing ahead of Saturday’s Feature Race winner Nicholas Latifi (DAMS). The Canadian also scored two bonus points for the fastest lap of the race, helping to consolidate his lead over Ghiotto in the Drivers’ Championship standings to 26 points.

King couldn’t recover from his poor start and finished the race in seventh place, nearly tangling with his British compatriot Jack Aitken (Campos Racing) while they battled for position at Turn 1.

Aitken lost eighth place to PREMA’s Mick Schumacher on the final lap, but the German was ruled to have cut Turn 2 in his attempts make the move stick and was handed a five-second penalty which promoted Aitken back to the final points’ position.

The next round of the Formula 2 Championship takes place at the Circuit de Monaco in support of the Monaco Grand Prix on May 24-25.

2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Spain Sprint Race Final Classification (26 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result Pts
1. Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 26 42:25.916 15
2. Luca Ghiotto UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 26 + 2.399 12
3. Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 26 + 4.382 10
4. Guan Yu Zhou UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 26 + 11.183 8
5. Anthoine Hubert BWT Arden 26 + 12.567 6
6. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 26 + 13.088 6
7. Jordan King MP Motorsport 26 + 21.419 2
8. Jack Aitken Campos Racing 26 + 26.644 1
9. Sean Gelael Prema Racing 26 + 27.445
10. Ralph Boschung Trident Racing 26 + 28.169
11. Louis Delétraz Carlin Motorsport 26 + 28.535
12. Mick Schumacher de Prema Racing 26 + 30.908
13. Tatiana Calderón BWT Arden 26 + 32.269
14. Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 26 + 35.061
15. Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 26 + 37.852
16. Giuliano Alesi Trident Racing 26 + 40.394
17. Sérgio Sette Câmara DAMS 26 + 40.538
18. Dorian Boccolacci Campos Racing 26 + 44.210
19. Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 26 + 1:07.701
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Reason
DNF. Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin Motorsport 0 Fire

Championship Points:

  • Championship points are awarded on the results of the Sprint Race’s top-eight finishers on a 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 sliding scale.
  • Nicholas Latifi is awarded two bonus championship points for posting the fastest lap of the Sprint Race by a top-eight finisher.

Post-Race Penalties:

  • Mick Schumacher – who provisionally finished 8th – was issued a five-second post-race time penalty for leaving the track and failing to rejoin safely.
  • Sérgio Sette Câmara – who provisionally finished 15th – was issued a five-second post-race time penalty for leaving the track and failing to rejoin safely.

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.