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.
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||26||+ 2.399||12|
|3.||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||26||+ 4.382||10|
|4.||Guan Yu Zhou||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||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 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.
- 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