Jack Aitken dominates the Barcelona sprint race to grab his first win at this stage.
In a race that got started under damp conditions, the front row started had a good getaway but still didn’t manage to keep Jack Aitken behind who started from third on the grid.
The slightly wet track caused a chaotic first lap with pole man Artem Markelov losing multiple positions, Roberto Merhi spinning all over the track in turn 5 and Nyck de Vries driving into the gravel.
ART experienced a great start to the session as Aitken flew away from his opponents and Russell passing both Markelov and Fuoco at the same corner.
However, a first Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was called for de Vries spun car just one and a half lap before the Dutchman’s first incident. At the restart, Sette Camara missed the breaking poit of turn 10, as a consequence, both Alexander Albon and Lando Norris passed him.
Aitken showed again that he was the fastest man of the race by leading second-placed Albon by over 11 seconds by the end of lap 5. Shortly afterwards, this advantage was eroded as the Safety Car emerges the pits until the end of lap 7. The reason for this decision was a heavy crash between Japanese drivers Tadasuke Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi. The latter one stayed on the inside of turn 5 and Makino had nowhere to go.
The restart didn’t change the standings apart from Sean Gelael taking P7 from Antonio Fuoco. Half a lap later however, Aitken had his only mistake of the race as he missed the breaking point of turn 5 and barely remained in first place. While the top 3 were separated by only 1 second at this moment, the ART was able to increase his speed again to set a provisional fastest lap.
His teammate Russell used DRS, which turned out to be not as effective as yesterday, to move past Sette Camara, who had to stop his car three corners later. The fire extinguisher went off and compromised his view. As his car had to be removed from the track, another VSC had been deployed.
At the restart, Ralph Boschung completed a move against his teammate Roberto Merhi, which worked out unlike yesterday, when they touched. Jack Aitken pulled away once again, while Albon created a gap to Norris in P3. Russell completed his second DRS-supported move; this time to get past Luca Ghiotto.
With five laps to go, double trouble arrived for MP Motorsport (again): Merhi experienced engine problems and Boschung had a lock up at the end of the main straight which destroyed his front left tyre. The Swiss driver stopped his car on track, hence another VSC emerged until 2 laps before the session ended.
Despite having many interruptions again, the entire grid struggled with worn tyres at the final stages of the race, which led to close battles until the end. Race leader Aitken who seemed to be out of reach for Albon lost a second to his closest rival in the penultimate lap but in the end pushed enough to win his first F2 race. Norris completed the rostrum, Russell came home in fourth, followed by Ghiotto, Gelael, Fuoco and Latifi, who took the final point of the race.
The next round will take place in the Principality of Monaco in two weeks’ time.
|1||Jack Aitken||ART||26 laps||15|
|4||George Russell||ART||+8.106||8 + 2|
|9||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||+29.065|
|Ret||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||+4 laps|
|Ret||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||+6 laps|
|Ret||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||+14 laps|
|Ret||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||+22 laps|
|Ret||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden||+22 laps|
|Ret||Nyck de Vries||Prema||+25 laps|
Fastest lap points
|1||Lando Norris||United Kingdom||80|
|3||George Russell||United Kingdom||62|
|4||Nyck de Vries||Netherlands||46|
|5||Sergio Sette Camara||Brazil||46|
|6||Jack Aitken||United Kingdom||43|
|16||Santino Ferrucci||United States||4|
|9||MP Motorsport||United Kingdom||16|