Russell and Camara run away and the Briton wins

George Russell, Paul Ricard 2018
Russell is now second in the championship

Russell and Camara fought to the final corner while outclassing the field, and the poleman scored his third F2 victory.

The formation lap started with a controversial act by a Charouz mechanic: Fuoco had stalled and he ran on track to restart his car, when the lights had already gone out and the cars were moving out of their grid spots. The race direction went down hard on the team, inflicting a ten second stop/go penalty to Fuoco as soon as the race started.

Norris and Markelov stalled as the lights went out: Russell held the lead on Camara and Albon, Ghiotto was behind them and then came Deletraz, Aitken, de Vries and Fuoco. Light rain had started falling and Ghiotto, Latifi and Ferrucci spun on the first lap. While the top three ran away, Russell in particular, the fight was on for fourth place while the rain intensified. Aitken passed Deletraz, Merhi almost ran at full speed into them at turn 8 when he skidded on the wet kerb, then de Vries demoted the Swiss driver. The Dutch suddenly lost his pace and was passed by the Charouz driver and Merhi, the pair then passing Aitken again, while Gelael overtook his team mate and spun out a few corners later. Meanwhile, Aitken, Norris and Günther pitted for wet tyres.

The VSC was deployed while Gelael rolled backwards towards the track side, and as soon as it ended Russell’s engineer told him the rain was easing away. Ghiotto passed de Vries and Latifi while Aitken and Günther fell out of contention as Norris already had.

Albon was the first frontrunner to pit for new slicks: he changed to mediums on lap 11. Ghiotto meanwhile passed Makino and Deletraz and reached net 6th place.

Albon was alongside Makino when a VSC was called because Boschung had come to a halt on the pit straight. No penalty was issued and Albon gained the position. Ghiotto, Deletraz and Makino – who was passed by Fuoco and de Vries – pitted on lap 14. One lap later Albon slowed down with technical problems as his engine entered safety mode, and he was out of the race.

Camara pitted from second on lap 17, and he was over half a minute ahead of de Vries: he rejoined still in second place. Russell covered him up by stopping one lap later, but the Brazilian set fast laps to reduced his lead to just over 2 seconds.

DRS was enabled for the final six laps, and after de Vries stopped Merhi inherited third place. Camara halved Russell’s lead on lap 26, taking a full second away from the Briton, and closed in further, being 0.5s behind the leader on lap 28. Russell squeezed the last bit of life out of his tyres and defended, while Camara learned he was under investigation for running wide at turn 1 and potentially gaining an advantage. Russell crossed the line just over a second clear of Camara, while Merhi was sure of his podium thirty seconds later. Ghiotto finished fourth ahead of Fuoco who passed de Vries on the last lap.

Latifi was passed by Makino on the final lap but the Canadian dived to the inside of turn 11 to take reverse pole back.

Race Results

Pos. Driver Team Gap Points
1 George Russell ART 30 laps 25 + 4
2 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin +1.108 18
3 Luca Ghiotto Campos +37.879 15
4 Antonio Fuoco Charouz +43.655 12
5 Nyck de Vries Prema +45.680 10 + 2
6 Louis Deletraz Charouz +53.226 8
7 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +1:16.951 6
8 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time +1:17.343 4
9 Nirei Fukuzumi Arden +1:20.384 2
10 Arjun Maini Trident +1:30.605 1
11 Jack Aitken ART +1:32.469
12 Maximilian Günther Arden +1:37.469
13 Santino Ferrucci Trident +1 lap
14 Artem Markelov Russian Time +1 lap
15 Roy Nissany Campos +1 lap
16 Lando Norris Carlin +1 lap
Ret Alexander Albon DAMS +12 laps
Ret Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport +18 laps
Ret Sean Gelael Prema +23 laps
DSQ* Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport +33.072

*NOTE: Merhi had finished third, but was disqualified for having all four tyres’ pressures below the minimum.

Fastest lap

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
6 Nyck de Vries Prema 1:47.085 26

Fastest lap points

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
6 Nyck de Vries Prema 1:47.085 26

Standings

Drivers’ Standings

Pos. Driver Country Points
1 Lando Norris United Kingdom 98
2 George Russell United Kingdom 91
3 Artem Markelov Russia 71
4 Alexander Albon Thailand 71
5 Sergio Sette Camara Brazil 64
6 Nyck de Vries Netherlands 58
7 Antonio Fuoco Italy 51
8 Jack Aitken United Kingdom 49
9 Luca Ghiotto Italy 37
10 Louis Deletraz Switzerland 32
11 Nicholas Latifi Canada 32
12 Sean Gelael Indonesia 29
13 Roberto Merhi Spain 23
14 Arjun Maini India 23
15 Maximilian Günther Germany 20
16 Ralph Boschung Switzerland 10
17 Tadasuke Makino Japan 8
18 Santino Ferrucci United States 4
19 Nirei Fukuzumi Japan 4
20 Roy Nissany Israel 0

Teams’ Standings

Pos. Team Country Points
1 Carlin United Kingdom 162
2 ART France 140
3 DAMS France 103
4 Prema Italy 87
5 Charouz Czech Republic 83
6 Russian Time Russia 79
7 Campos Spain 37
8 MP Motorsport United Kingdom 33
9 Trident Italy 27
10 Arden United Kingdom 24

 

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