Aitken wins his first F2 race in Barcelona

George Russell, Barcelona 2018
Thanks to Aitken’s confident performance, ART won both races in Barcelona

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.

Race Results

Pos. Driver Team Gap Points
1 Jack Aitken ART 26 laps 15
2 Alexander Albon DAMS +1.550 12
3 Lando Norris Carlin +2.864 10
4 George Russell ART +8.106 8 + 2
5 Luca Ghiotto Campos +11.109 6
6 Sean Gelael Prema +13.702 4
7 Antonio Fuoco Charouz +14.837 2
8 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +28.678 1
9 Artem Markelov Russian Time +29.065
10 Louis Deletraz Charouz +29.437
11 Santino Ferrucci Trident +30.996
12 Maximilian Günther Arden +32.428
13 Arjun Maini Trident +33.236
14 Roy Nissany Campos +35.672
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

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
4 George Russell ART 1:30.987 26

Fastest lap points

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
4 George Russell ART 1:30.987 26

Standings

Drivers’ Standings

Pos. Driver Country Points
1 Lando Norris United Kingdom 80
2 Alexander Albon Thailand 67
3 George Russell United Kingdom 62
4 Nyck de Vries Netherlands 46
5 Sergio Sette Camara Brazil 46
6 Jack Aitken United Kingdom 43
7 Artem Markelov Russia 36
8 Luca Ghiotto Italy 22
9 Nicholas Latifi Canada 21
10 Antonio Fuoco Italy 20
11 Maximilian Günther Germany 16
12 Sean Gelael Indonesia 11
13 Ralph Boschung Switzerland 10
14 Arjun Maini India 6
15 Roberto Merhi Spain 6
16 Santino Ferrucci United States 4
17 Tadasuke Makino Japan 4
18 Nirei Fukuzumi Japan 1
19 Louis Deletraz Switzerland 0
20 Roy Nissany Israel 0

Teams’ Standings

Pos. Team Country Points
1 Carlin United Kingdom 126
2 ART France 105
3 DAMS France 88
4 Prema Italy 57
5 Russian Time Russia 40
6 Campos Spain 22
7 Charouz Czech Republic 20
8 Arden United Kingdom 17
9 MP Motorsport United Kingdom 16
10 Trident Italy 10
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