Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Ghiotto Soars to Monza Sprint Win

Italian reclaims top step in front of home fans
 
Luca Ghiotto has reset his emotional clock after a penalty handed down last night lost his feature race victory to countryman Antonio Fuoco by claiming a dominant victory in this morning’s FIA Formula 2 Championship sprint race, with a formidable drive on his home circuit to claim a popular win ahead of Sergio Sette Camara and Fuoco.
 
When the lights went out poleman Gustav Malja bogged down, leaving a clear run for a fast starting Sean Gelael to blast into the lead ahead of Louis Deletraz, Sette Camara, Malja and Ghiotto, who held station at the start but had big plans for the race: Deletraz cut both chicanes and had to give way to the Indonesian twice as they headed station ahead of the rest of the field.
 
The Swiss driver was looking for more though, and was back through Gelael for the lead at Rettifilo on lap 4, just before Ghiotto dispatched Malja on the inside of Parabolica for P4: the Swede ran deep at turn 1, losing out to Nicholas Latifi and Fuoco as just ahead of them Ghiotto mugged Gelael at the Lesmo complex for 3rd, leaving a line through the Indonesian for Latifi at Ascari.
 
Ghiotto was on a charge to reclaim the home win, and his job was made a little easier when Sette Camara cut Roggia next time through and had to cede position to the Italian, who now had just Deletraz between him and victory: the inevitable pass came on lap 11, when Ghiotto mugged the Swiss driver at Lesmo 1 for a lead which he would hold tight for the remainder of the race as he eased away from the squabbles behind him.
 
Sette Camara was determined to show that his Spa victory was the start of a purple period for him, easing by Deletraz on the front straight for P2 but unable to close down the leader, with the action moving further back in the order: Artem Markelov lost a front wing element as he pushed past Latifi at Lesmo 2 for P7 before undoing his good work by running deep next time through at turn 1, giving Latifi a run back past next time around to reclaim the position.
 
As the laps rolled down Ghiotto pushed on, claiming the chequered flag two seconds ahead of Sette Camara to the delight of the crowd, with another roar greeting Fuoco as he claimed his second podium of the weekend for P3, with a huge contingent of his fans camped on the finish line unable to contain their delight. Deletraz came home alone in P4, with a long gap back to Roberto Merhi who claimed more points for the weekend after dispatching Gelael late in the race, and Nobuharu Matsushita and Alexander Albon swapping places on the final lap after the pair took advantage late on of a clearly struggling Latifi.
 
After a dramatic weekend there was no change at the top of the drivers’ standings, with Charles Leclerc still leading Oliver Rowland by 218 points to 159, with Markelov pushing up by 2 to 152 points just ahead of teammate Ghiotto on 150, while in the teams’ title RUSSIAN TIME (302) have opened a small gap to PREMA Racing (295) and DAMS (291) ahead of the penultimate round of the 2017 championship in Jerez on 6-8 October.
 
Preliminary Sprint Race Classification
 
 
Driver
Team
 
 
1.
Luca Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME
   
2.
Sergio Sette Camara
MP Motorsport
 
 
3.
Antonio Fuoco
PREMA Racing
 
 
4.
Louis Delétraz
Rapax
 
 
5.
Roberto Merhi
Rapax
 
 
6.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Arden
 
 
7.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
 
 
8.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
 
 
9.
Charles Leclerc
PREMA Racing
 
 
10.
Norman Nato
Pertamina Arden
 
 
11.
Oliver Rowland
DAMS
 
 
12.
Nyck De Vries
Racing Engineering
 
 
13.
Ralph Boschung
Campos Racing
 
 
14.
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
 
 
15.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
16.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
 
 
17.
Nabil Jeffri
Trident
 
 
18.
Gustav Malja
Racing Engineering
 
 
19.
Robert Visoiu
Campos Racing
 
 
20.
Jordan King
MP Motorsport
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fastest Lap
 
 
 
 
Jordan King
1:32.921 on Lap 21
 
 
 
Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Ghiotto Wins in Dramatic Monza Feature

Italian claims last gasp victory in wet home race
 
Luca Ghiotto has grabbed a spectacular last lap victory in a chaotic FIA Formula 2 Championship feature race this afternoon at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, sneaking into the lead when Nyck De Vries and Charles Leclerc came together ahead of him for an emotional Italian 1-2 ahead of countryman Antonio Fuoco and Nobuharu Matsushita.
 
The start of the race was extensively delayed by a heavily rain-affected Formula 1 qualifying session, and with the rain continuing as the F2 teams made it to the grid the decision was made to run a series of formation laps behind the safety car until it was clear enough to make a standing start, reducing the race length in the process. After 6 laps the safety car eventually pitted, but another formation lap was required when Santino Ferrucci stalled, dropping the lap total to 23 for the race.
 
When the lights went out the field got gingerly underway, with poleman Matsushita slower than his immediate rivals off the line: De Vries cut across the track to cover him off, with the Japanese clattered by Artem Markelov at turn one while behind them Ghiotto was squeezed between Alexander Albon and Roberto Merhi. Leclerc attacked Matsushita at the end of the back straight, almost spinning before collecting his car and running inside at Parabolica to sit behind De Vries but ahead of Matsushita, Louis Deletraz, Merhi, Oliver Rowland, Ghiotto, Nicholas Latifi and Fuoco.
 
Deletraz was soon dropping back down the ranks as Merhi and Rowland started a fierce battle, while further forward Leclerc was setting a string of fastest laps as he looked to get on terms with the race leader: Rowland eventually dispatched the Spaniard and was looking for more, putting himself in a podium position by outdragging Matsushita at the Curva Grande on lap 7, with Ghiotto following the Briton through at Ascari a few corners later.
 
Leclerc was clearly faster than De Vries but struggled with the first chicane: the Monegasque driver ran deep a number of times to undo his good work, with De Vries making the most of it each time by pulling away. By lap 16 Fuoco joined the others in the top 6, just in time for the pitstops: Matsushita came in next time by, one lap ahead of Leclerc, which forced De Vries, Rowland, Ghiotto and Fuoco to stop next time through to cover, with Racing Engineering making a great stop to help De Vries maintain his lead as he emerged ahead of Leclerc.
 
Rowland came out in P3, but unfortunately for the Briton his stop was just too fast: his left rear came loose at the second chicane as he limped into retirement and brought out the safety car with 4 laps remaining, bringing everyone together for a late charge for the line. The race ran live on lap 22 with Leclerc getting a good jump on De Vries but running too deep at turn 1 and taking to the escape road, while Ghiotto snuck past the Dutchman before De Vries got a good tow and ran inside the Italian at Parabolica, reclaiming the lead for the final lap.
 
The trio ran tightly together all the way round the circuit before returning to Variante Rettifilo for the final time: Ghiotto was slow through the chicane, Leclerc attacked De Vries for the lead at the exit but the pair came together with Leclerc running wide, De Vries picking up a puncture, and Ghiotto inheriting the lead before pulling away from Fuoco for the win by 2 seconds, with Matsushita just behind in P3 ahead of Latifi, Albon (who made a strong recovery drive after an early spin), Sean Gelael, and Sergio Sette Camara, with Deletraz picking up the reverse pole ahead of Gustav Malja and Markelov, who also recovered well after a very early stop for a new front wing for the final point of the race.
 
Preliminary Feature Race Classification
 
 
Driver
Team
 
 
1.
Luca Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME
   
2.
Antonio Fuoco
PREMA Racing
 
 
3.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
 
 
4.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
 
 
5.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
 
 
6.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Arden
 
 
7.
Sergio Sette Camara
MP Motorsport
 
 
8.
Louis Delétraz
Rapax
 
 
9.
Gustav Malja
Racing Engineering
 
 
10.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
11.
Jordan King
MP Motorsport
 
 
12.
Roberto Merhi
Rapax
 
 
13.
Nabil Jeffri
Trident
 
 
14.
Norman Nato
Pertamina Arden
 
 
15.
Ralph Boschung
Campos Racing
 
 
16.
Robert Visoiu
Campos Racing
 
 
17.
Charles Leclerc
PREMA Racing
 
 
18.
Nyck De Vries
Racing Engineering
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
Not Classified
 
 
 
 
Oliver Rowland
DAMS
 
 
 
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fastest Lap
 
 
 
 
Luca Ghiotto
1:47.151 on lap 23
 
Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Matsushita Soars to Monza Pole

Japanese driver claims maiden pole
 
Nobuharu Matsushita has grabbed his first pole position at this level in this afternoon’s FIA Formula 2 Championship qualifying session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, soaring to the top spot early in the session and holding on through two red flag periods for pole by 0.089s ahead of Nyck De Vries and Louis Deletraz.
 
The McLaren Honda development driver stopped the clocks at 1:30.982 on his first flying lap, taking advantage of the F1 rubber laid down in the previous session to set a target to which his rivals could only aspire.
 
The session opened under warm and mostly sunny conditions, with the promised rain holding off throughout despite some ominous looking clouds looming overhead. The entire grid was straight out on track when the lights went green, with Alexander Albon leading Charles Leclerc out: the pair both briefly claimed the top spot with their first competitive laps, but further back Matsushita ran faster, setting the pace in sector 1 and 2 while missing the top spot in sector 3 by a thousandth.
 
De Vries pulled up to P2 on the next time through with Leclerc trying to get a tow but unable to stay with the Dutchman through the Parabolica, while Deletraz slid in behind them for his best qualifying performance of the year in 3rd before the whole field returned to the pits for fresh rubber.
 
With 9 minutes remaining the whole field re-emerged again, but a spin and a stall by Nabil Jeffri at turn 2 brought out the red flags: Matsushita, Oliver Rowland and Gustav Malja were unable to pit in time and were forced to do another outlap while their rivals waited for them return.
 
Deletraz and Leclerc were the first 2 drivers back on track, with Artem Markelov overtaking them both on their first push lap but Leclerc squeezing back past to have a clear track for his fast run: it was to no avail as Santino Ferrucci ground to a halt on track, bringing out the red flags once again with no time to restart the session.
 
Behind the top 3 Markelov will be disappointed not to have repeated his free practice performance while Roberto Merhi grabbed his best qualifying performance to put 2 cars into the top 5 for Rapax, ahead of Jordan King, Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Ferrucci and Albon in a session which saw 17 drivers finish within a second of pole.
 
Preliminary Qualifying Classification
 
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:30.982
9
2.
Nyck De Vries
Racing Engineering
1:31.071
9
3.
Louis Delétraz
Rapax
1:31.239
9
4.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:31.266
9
5.
Roberto Merhi
Rapax
1:31.323
9
6.
Jordan King
MP Motorsport
1:31.355
9
7.
Charles Leclerc
PREMA Racing
1:31.378
10
8.
Antonio Fuoco
PREMA Racing
1:31.426
8
9.
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
1:31.482
8
10.
Alex Albon
ART Grand Prix
1:31.511
9
11.
Luca Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME
1:31.529
9
12.
Sergio Sette Camara
MP Motorsport
1:31.653
8
13.
Oliver Rowland
DAMS
1:31.711
8
14.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
1:31.747
9
15.
Norman Nato
Pertamina Arden
1:31.772
9
16.
Ralph Boschung
Campos Racing
1:31.878
8
17.
Gustav Malja
Racing Engineering
1:31.942
8
18.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Arden
1:32.171
9
19.
Robert Visoiu
Campos Racing
1:32.267
8
20.
Nabil Jeffri
Trident
1:32.373
7
 
Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Formula 2 Reveals Next Generation of Dallara Chassis

More Dallara-based cars will have a different look to them following the introduction of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series universal bodywork, with the Italian manufacturer building a new chassis.

Formula 2 revealed their new machine, named the F2 2018, replacing the GP2-11 that heads for the retirement home after seven years of service.

The series is set to follow the old rules of GP2 and GP3 in having this last three years, racing until the end of 2020.

The announcement follows F1 in moving to a longer vehicle with a pointed front wing, developing from 5065 to 5224 millimeters and its wheelbase extending to 3135 mm – an increase of 15. Its width is unchanged at 1900mm, with the height moving to 1097 mm from 1072. It also contains more front wing elements – two instead of the previous one – and a lower, sloping nose.

FIA director of F1 and director of single-seater department Charlie Whiting explained how this helps the sport in making a better transition from national F4 championships all the way up to the ‘pinnacle.’

“The plan for a more structured junior formula ladder is designed to feature cars that better prepare drivers for the next step,” he said. “For F2, that means we needed a car that will not only educate but will also allow the drivers that are most ready for F1 to shine brightest. The car has been developed to include improved aesthetics, as well as bringing the safety level up to the highest standards for single-seater cars.”

Hello Again, Halo

The other notable change is the adoption of the controversial Halo head protection system like F1, which will no doubt continue to be a talking point in motorsport.

This system has not been tested in F2, but some youngsters such as GP3 leader and Mercedes junior driver George Russell have. The competition could be one of his future options if he goes onto win the title.

Some could be concerned that this may be an obstacle for racing – especially in a rookie learning phase – but Russell was pleased with the device at F1’s Budapest in-season test.

“I had a much better view with the Halo than I expected,” he said. “When the sun was coming down at the end of the day, it blocked the sun from my eyes. I actually saw more than I would usually see when the sun is low. From a driver’s perspective, the visibility is completely fine. The only hindrance could potentially be seeing the start lights. Getting in and out of the car with the Halo takes a bit of experience. I struggled initially, but after a few trial runs I was fine.”

The new machine will first be tested privately twice in December before one is delivered to the competitors in January, and the second given a month later. Teams will be given a shakedown session before 2018 pre-season testing begins, an event which usually happens in Spring.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Sette Camara Flies to Maiden Win

Brazilian leads from lights to flag in Spa sprint race
 
Sergio Sette Camara has claimed his first FIA Formula 2 Championship victory in fine style with a storming drive in this morning’s sprint race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, making an astonishing getaway when the lights went out and running off into the distance to win from Nyck De Vries and Luca Ghiotto.
 
The result was made at the start: when the lights went out the Brazilian made a barnstorming escape from P3, slicing between poleman Norman Nato and Roberto Merhi to have a clean run into La Source. De Vries’ start was almost the equal of it, but the Dutchman was slightly squeezed by Nato on the inside of turn 1, forcing him to hold position until he could pass the Frenchman at Les Combes, ahead of Merhi, Ghiotto and Gustav Malja.
                                     
Oliver Rowland and Charles Leclerc made their customary strong starts from the back of the grid, with the Briton leading his rival from P12 at the end of the first lap, with the positions swapping next time through after the Monegasque mugged Rowland at the Bus Stop: the pair changed positions all the way to Les Combes before Leclerc finally made it stick.
 
The Ferrari Academy driver was soon tearing through the field into the points, looking to make up for his disappointments of yesterday: he dispatched Santino Ferrucci and Robert Visoiu for 10th on lap 4, and Louis Deletraz and Gustav Malja two laps later, to put himself behind teammate Antonio Fuoco, with the Italian unable to delay Artem Markelov for long as the Russian looked to stay away from Leclerc to help with his championship fight.
 
The 3 were soon in a fierce battle for P6: Fuoco mugged the Russian at the Bus Stop before being outdragged by Markelov and Leclerc at Kemmel: the Russian looked to have the fight under control before a mechanical gremlin slowed him and forced his imminent retirement a few laps later. Ahead of them Ghiotto had taken the appearance of his teammate as a hurry up, and started leaning on his tyres to dispatch Merhi as he hunted down another podium finish.
 
On lap 15 the Italian clinically dispatched Nato on the Kemmel straight and was closing on De Vries, who in turn was closing on Sette Camara, but a potentially explosive finish was defused by a big crash at the top of Eau Rouge for Nobuharu Matsushita, with the resultant safety car shutting down the race as the marshals looked to replace the barriers.
 
But with time (and laps) running out Sette Camara was delighted to claim his maiden win ahead of De Vries, who was greeted with a roar of approval from the thousands of countrymen surrounding the circuit, and Ghiotto, who had hoped for more but was nevertheless satisfied with another podium. Nato just held on from Leclerc, who mugged Merhi before the safety car, for P4, with Fuoco and Rowland filling the final points positions.
 
 
Preliminary Sprint Race Classification
 
 
Driver
Team
 
 
1.
Sergio Sette Camara
MP Motorsport
 
 
2.
Nyck De Vries
Racing Engineering
 
 
3.
Luca Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
4.
Norman Nato
Pertamina Arden
 
 
5.
Charles Leclerc
PREMA Racing
 
 
6.
Roberto Merhi
Rapax
 
 
7.
Antonio Fuoco
PREMA Racing
 
 
8.
Oliver Rowland
DAMS
 
 
9.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
 
 
10.
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
 
 
11.
Gustav Malja
Racing Engineering
 
 
12.
Louis Delétraz
Rapax
 
 
13.
Ralph Boschung
Campos Racing
 
 
14.
Jordan King
MP Motorsport
 
 
15.
Nabil Jeffri
Trident
 
 
16.
Robert Visoiu
Campos Racing
 
 
17.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Arden
 
 
18.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
Not Classified
 
 
 
 
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
 
 
 
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fastest Lap
 
 
 
 
Jordan King
1:59.965 on lap 11
 
 
 
Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Front Runners DQ’d, Penalized Following Belgium

The Formula 2 drivers’ championship battle is now headed in a new direction, in due part to post-race developments at Spa-Francorchamps.

Title contenders Charles Leclerc and Oliver Rowland were disqualified following the Belgian feature.

Their Dallara GP2-11 cars could not pass scrutineering after the competition because the planks at the bottom were badly worn and not enough of the wood remained for a suitable sample.

Leclerc had dominated, finishing 26.6 seconds ahead of Artem Markelov, who narrowly beat Rowland at the final corner of the event.

The Brit was in second before dropping well behind the Monegasque racer and could not hold off the Russian, who avenged his self-made crash while fighting with him the month previous at Hungary.

Stewards gave both a five-second time penalty for their behavior during the overtaking phase, as Rowland was deemed to have forced his rival off track, and Markelov gained an advantage by speeding through the run-off area and claiming second.

Final Classification

This result now shows Markelov as the winner, his third of 2017, ahead of Russian Time teammate Luca Ghiotto. The victor finished 5.9s ahead of Ghiotto on track, with the amended gap now just 0.9s.

Antonio Fuoco inherits the final spot on the podium, with Racing Engineering’s Gustav Malja and Nyck de Vries fourth and fifth.

Sergio Sette Camara moves up to sixth, as Roberto Merhi takes seventh and Norman Nato’s eighth. Connecticut’s Santino Ferrucci finishes in the points for the second time in three races in ninth, ahead of Campos’ Robert Visoiu.

It doesn’t do much for title competitiveness – with Leclerc’s lead still a massive 54 points with just 161 remaining in the season. The interesting note is the contest for second as Rowland and Markelov are now separated by just eight.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Leclerc Soars to Feature Victory in Spa

Monegasque dominates from lights to flag for 6th win
 
Charles Leclerc put in a crushing display of dominance for victory in this afternoon’s FIA Formula 2 Championship feature race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, storming off from pole when the lights went out and leaving his rivals floundering in his wake as he brought home his sixth win of the season by almost half a minute, ahead of Artem Markelov and Oliver Rowland.
 
The start was the best chance his rivals had of stopping the Monegasque driver, who sat alone on the front row when P2 man Nicholas Latifi failed to make the grid: a storming start by Oliver Rowland saw the title rivals run side by side through La Source before touching, with an element of the Briton’s front wing detaching as he watched Leclerc pull ahead and away when the pair headed towards Eau Rouge, ahead of Antonio Fuoco, Luca Ghiotto, Gustav Malja, Nyck De Vries, Markelov and Alexander Albon.
 
Further back Jordan King picked up a puncture after complaining of debris, with the tyre slowly disintegrating around the circuit, while Louis Deletraz and Sergio Sette Camara came together to the Swiss driver’s detriment: he was soon limping back to the pits as a VSC period opened to remove the debris and get the race underway once more, with Markelov soon lining up behind his teammate until Ghiotto slid past his countryman Fuoco to put himself on course for a podium.
 
Markelov was filling the Italian’s mirrors while further forward Rowland was the first driver to pit for fresh rubber, on lap 7: Malja followed him in next time around, with Ghiotto and De Vries repeating the process on lap 10, but all eyes were on the leader, who stopped next time by and re-emerged ahead of the one-sided fight between Norman Nato and Rowland in P3, with the Briton soon dispatching the Frenchman but unable to get close to Leclerc, who was simply faster than everyone else on track.
 
Markelov was now in the lead, on the alternate strategy ahead of Fuoco, and the Russian was clearly looking to bring home a strong result following his Budapest disappointments: he could pull away from Fuoco but the Italian’s teammate was relentlessly closing the gap, shrinking it to just 7 seconds when Markelov finally pitted on lap 16, coming out in P5 and hoping his better tyres would propel him forward again.
 
And so it proved: while Leclerc pulled away from Rowland out front Markelov started to dispatch the drivers between them, mugging Malja on lap 18 and easing past teammate Ghiotto at the end of the Kemmel straight on lap 21, before hunting down Rowland as the laps counted down. Out front Leclerc took the plaudits for a sparkling win, while Markelov attacked Rowland at the Bus Stop, was pushed wide, and out-dragged Rowland to the line for P2.
 
Just behind the podium Ghiotto held off a huge attack from Fuoco for P4, while Malja won the first battle with new teammate De Vries by a second for 6th, with Sette Camara grabbing the reverse pole for tomorrow’s sprint race after finishing ahead of Roberto Merhi and Norman Nato, who claimed the final point after mugging Robert Visoiu on the penultimate lap for P10.
 
Preliminary Feature Race Classification
 
 
Driver
Team
 
 
1.
Charles Leclerc
PREMA Racing
 
 
2.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
3.
Oliver Rowland
DAMS
 
 
4.
Luca Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
5.
Antonio Fuoco
PREMA Racing
 
 
6.
Gustav Malja
Racing Engineering
 
 
7.
Nyck De Vries
Racing Engineering
 
 
8.
Sergio Sette Camara
MP Motorsport
 
 
9.
Roberto Merhi
Rapax
 
 
10.
Norman Nato
Pertamina Arden
 
 
11.
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
 
 
12.
Robert Visoiu
Campos Racing
 
 
13.
Nabil Jeffri
Trident
 
 
14.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
 
 
15.
Ralph Boschung
Campos Racing
 
 
16.
Louis Delétraz
Rapax
 
 
17.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Arden
 
 
18.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
Not Classified
 
 
 
 
Jordan King
MP Motorsport
 
 
 
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fastest Lap
 
 
 
 
Charles Leclerc
1:58.721 on lap 12
 
Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Deletraz, de Vries, Merhi in New Seats For Belgium

Fitting into new surroundings will be a theme of the Belgian Formula 2 round as three drivers find themselves with different teams.

Monaco Sprint winner Nyck de Vries moves to Racing Engineering to partner Gustav Malja.

The McLaren junior racer has finished on the podium four times since graduating from GP3 and is in eighth in the drivers’ championship with 72 points.

“Perhaps this move is a surprise in the middle of the season, but I am very excited to join Racing Engineering,” he said. “We have been in touch since 2015, and it is great to finally get the chance to work together as they have a very high level of professionalism and a great track record. I hope we will be able to turn around their momentum and score the successes they have always had.”

Louis Deletraz swaps with the Dutchman, going to Rapax, where Roberto Merhi joins him for the weekend.

Deletraz claimed his only point last time out in Hungary’s feature after a post-race penalty. He has completed all-but-one event, outqualified Malja 4-3, but the Swede outperformed him 8-4 in the 12 races they have both finished and scored 27 more points.

Sergio Canamasas – who has been at the team since moving from Trident for Austria – said on Twitter that he is currently having ‘personal issues’ preventing him from competing.

Merhi previously made his F2 debut in Spain for Campos, having a best result of 12th in the sprint contest.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Ferrucci Makes Points in First F2 Race

After weeks of stand-in drivers, Trident finally announced someone for the remaining Formula 2 rounds of 2017 before the Hungarian contest.

Raffaele Marciello and Callum Ilott deputized in Austria and Britain after Sergio Canamasas’s switch to Rapax, but Connecticut’s Santino Ferrucci stepped up from GP3 for the first of five events.

The move has already paid off for the Italian team as he finished 10th on his F2 race debut – moving up to ninth in the final results for two points after others were penalized.

Ferrucci qualified 11th and was promoted to 10th on the grid after a penalty for top qualifier Charles Leclerc before his first racing laps. His lap time was only 0.408 seconds behind polesitter Oliver Rowland and 1.109s faster than teammate Nabil Jeffri.

Despite losing three places at the start, and missing the chicane a couple of times when battling for position, he had a steady drive to avoid drama.

It is a great result for him considering he claimed three points in six events for DAMS in GP3 in 2017 and Trident only had three points from 10 in this series before this weekend.

“The 10th place [on track] is a well-deserved reward,” team manager Giacomo Ricci said. “The American racer quickly found great chemistry with Trident and I was really impressed by his speed, potential, and smart race management on a challenging track that caught out many series regulars. His results provide us with confidence and motivation looking forward to the next rounds of the series.”

His weekend ended with the sprint event, where he finished 14th after starting from pit lane due to a problem on the formation lap. He was ahead of Jeffri in all sessions and jumped to 18th in the drivers’ championship, passing eight rivals.

Ferrucci continues his driving development during the week for Haas in F1 tests at the same circuit.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
F2 Open Wheel

Matsushita Dominates Budapest Sprint

Japanese driver soars to victory at Hungaroring
 
Nobuharu Matsushita has crushed his rivals with a stunning start before flying off into the distance to easily win this morning’s FIA Formula 2 sprint race at the Hungaroring, building a gap seemingly at will as he left the rest of the field behind to win by over 4 seconds from Oliver Rowland and Nyck De Vries.
 
The win was set up at the start, which took place under gloriously sunny conditions: teammate Alexander Albon made a good start from pole but Matsushita’s was incredible from P4, zipping past Norman Nato and grabbing the inside line to lead into turn 1, while Luca Ghiotto went outside Albon and De Vries ran inside, squeezing the Thai driver and handing a line past for title rivals Rowland and Charles Leclerc as they headed down the hill towards turn 2.
 
Matsushita simply built a lead over the rest of the field for lap after lap, with the others unable to make any headway on his pace. Further back a few squabbles resulted in place changes – Nicholas Latifi mugged Albon for P7 on lap 11, Artem Markelov squeezed inside Sean Gelael at turn 1 for P9 – but it was clear that, with the increasing temperatures, everyone was deeply into tyre management mode for the end of the race.
 
It was lap 20 when the tyre differences began to show: De Vries sliced inside Ghiotto at turn 2 when the Italian went slightly wide for P2, and when Rowland and Leclerc also mugged him in the tight middle sector it was clear he had a problem, but it was smaller than Robert Visoiu’s: the Romanian slid into Nabil Jeffri before spinning into retirement, prompting a VSC period to clean up behind him.
 
Just after the restart Jeffri was under pressure from Sergio Canamasas and ran wide over the large turn 4 kerbs before slicing back onto the track and into the back of the Spaniard, spinning him into retirement and bringing the VSC boards out once again, picking up a 10s penalty for his efforts. Ghiotto continued his slow descent after the restart, with Nato and Latifi (who came together on lap 24, damaging the Canadian’s front wing) running past the Italian as the laps ticked down.
 
On the penultimate lap Rowland ran outside De Vries at turn 2 to grab the inside line for turn 3 to move up to P2, but the pair were unable to do anything about the superior pace of race winner Matsushita, who crossed the line to the applause of the paddock. Behind them Leclerc hung on despite a car problem and late pressure from Nato for 4th, with Latifi right behind them in P6, while Albon mugged Ghiotto late in the race for 7th position.
 
Pole, a win and a second saw Rowland close the gap in the drivers’ championship to Leclerc, who now leads on 208 points to 158, with Markelov holding on to P3 on 123 points ahead of Latifi on 115, Ghiotto on 95 and Matsushita on 91, while in the teams’ championship DAMS have pulled away from PREMA Racing by 273 points to 231, ahead of RUSSIAN TIME on 218 and ART Grand Prix on 165 as they head into the summer break before the next round at Spa-Francorchamps.
 
Preliminary Sprint Race Classification
 
 
Driver
Team
 
 
1.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
 
 
2.
Oliver Rowland
DAMS
 
 
3.
Nyck De Vries
Rapax
 
 
4.
Charles Leclerc
PREMA Racing
 
 
5.
Norman Nato
Pertamina Arden
 
 
6.
Nicholas Latifi
DAMS
 
 
7.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
 
 
8.
Luca Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
9.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
 
 
10.
Sean Gelael
Pertamina Arden
 
 
11.
Jordan King
MP Motorsport
 
 
12.
Louis Delétraz
Racing Engineering
 
 
13.
Sergio Sette Camara
MP Motorsport
 
 
14.
Santino Ferrucci
Trident
 
 
15.
Nabil Jeffri
Trident
 
 
16.
Ralph Boschung
Campos Racing
 
 
17.
Antonio Fuoco
PREMA Racing
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
Not Classified
 
 
 
 
Gustav Malja
Racing Engineering
 
 
 
Sergio Canamasas
Rapax
 
 
 
Robert Visoiu
Campos Racing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fastest Lap
   
 
 
Antonio Fuoco
1:29.121 on lap 23