Jack Aitken claimed a superb victory at the Formula 2 Championship’s Sprint Race at Silverstone, with the Campos Racing driver snatching victory from Carlin’s Louis Delétraz with a late overtaking move on the Swiss driver.

It was the Anglo-Korean’s second win of the 2019 season; his first was a similarly aggressive drive to victory in the Baku Feature Race.

Aitken powered away at the start to jump into third place by Turn 1 behind Delétraz and championship leader Nyck de Vries (ART Grand Prix), while reversed-grid pole-sitter Callum Ilott (Sauber Junior Team) was slow off the line and fell to fourth.

Delétraz quickly pulled clear of de Vries and out of DRS range, leaving de Vries to defend against Aitken. On Lap 7, Aitken made a late lunge on the Dutch driver at Village to claim second place.

Delétraz was running comfortably in front and looked on course to finally break through and claim a maiden Formula 2 victory. Aitken wasn’t about to follow Delétraz’s script, however, and quickly began eating into his lead.

Jack Aitken (Campos Racing) and Louis Deletraz (Carlin) - 2019 Formula 2 Race of Britain

A relentless pursuit: Aitken chases down race leader Delétraz. He would pass the Swiss driver for victory with five laps to go.

With five laps to go he had closed to being one second behind the race leader and as the pair approached Brooklands, Aitken threw his car up the inside of Delétraz. The leader tried to cover the move, but it was too late – Aitken was now in the lead and quickly pulling away.

In the final five laps Aitken had pulled out a five-second margin to Delétraz, shifting the focus on the battle for the final podium position between de Vries and Ilott. Once again, de Vries’ Achilles Heel – tyre management – was threatening to prove his downfall. Ilott was all over the back of his car, but struggled to stay close enough through the Silverstone circuit’s high-speed sweeping corners to get a DRS-assisted slipstream along either the Wellington or Hangar Straights.

De Vries’ closest championship rival, Nicholas Latifi, finished fifth in his DAMS. The Canadian inherited the place after Feature Race winner Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi) suffered a slow left-rear puncture in the closing stages of the race and was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop.

Hot on his heels was a charging Mick Schumacher, who was replicating his similar climb through the field from two weeks’ ago in the Sprint Race at the Red Bull Ring. The PREMA driver had carved his way to sixth from eleventh on the grid, with his race featuring two leery launches off the exit kerbs at Stowe as he attempted to use every inch of the track limits.

Honda junior Nobuhara Matsushita (Carlin) claimed seventh place with a late overtake on Feature Race pole-winner Guan Yu Zhou after a botched attempt by the Chinese driver to pass Schumacher.

The luckless Giuliano Alesi (Trident) was the race’s sole retiree. The French youngster appeared to suddenly slow at Luffield on Lap 2 and was unavoidably punted into a spin by Campos Racing’s Arjun Maini.

2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Britain Sprint Race Final Classification (21 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result Pts
1. Jack Aitken Campos Racing 21 36:47.822 17
2. Louis Delétraz Carlin Motorsport 21 + 4.997 12
3. Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 21 + 8.194 10
4. Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 21 + 8.850 8
5. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 21 + 16.203 6
6. Mick Schumacher de Prema Racing 21 + 19.222 4
7. Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin Motorsport 21 + 19.666 2
8. Guan Yu Zhou UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 21 + 20.181 1
9. Jordan King MP Motorsport 21 + 21.731
10. Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 21 + 25.820
11. Anthoine Hubert BWT Arden 21 + 34.309
12. Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 21 + 37.426
13. Arjun Maini Campos Racing 21 + 40.581
14. Dorian Boccolacci Trident Racing 21 + 47.259
15. Luca Ghiotto UNI Virtuosi Racing UNI-Virtuosi Racing 21 + 57.696
16. Tatiana Calderón BWT Arden 21 + 59.998
17. Sérgio Sette Câmara DAMS 21 + 1:09.991
18. Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 21 + 1:10.157
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Reason
DNF. Giuliano Alesi Trident Racing 1 Collision
WD. Sean Gelael Prema Racing Personal

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.
  • Jack Aitken is awarded two bonus championship points for posting the fastest lap of the Sprint Race by a top-ten finisher.

Post-Race Penalties:

  • None.

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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