After being second for most of the race, the DAMS driver overtook Luca Ghiotto to win the last race before the summer break.
Unlike yesterday, when a drying track made it harder to race for the drivers, sunny and rather hot weather provided very decent conditions for the grid.
Artem Markelov, who started from pole, immediately lost his position to Luca Ghiotto, Alexander Albon and Sergio Sette Camara followed in P2 and P3, the Russian suddenly was fourth. The race action was interrupted after turn 3 as Roy Nissany, Alessio Lorandi and Ralph Boschung all went side-by-side between turn 2 and 3. The Swiss and the Italian were out of the race as a consequence, therefore a Virtual Safety Car was deployed to ensure a safe environment for the marshalls.
At the restart, Antonio Fuoco reacted faster than Sette Camara in front of him, but as the Ferrari Academy driver couldn’t complete the move properly, he damaged his front wing. Things went from bad to worse when he entered the pits: He stalled after his pit crew released him followed by a five second time penalty he was handed for speeding in the pitlane.
Markelov tried to regain P3 at the restart, which eventually didn’t work out. Throughout multiple laps, the Russian Time driver pushed harder and harder to overtake Sette Camara, but the Brazilian showed great defensive driving to stay ahead. Ghiotto set a series of fastest laps and pulled away from Albon.
Things got a little messy, when yesterday’s race winner Nyck de Vries closed the gap to Markelov, but at the same time, Lando Norris and Roberto Merhi could be found just behind the Dutchman. De Vries kept Norris behind, but when he attempted to overtake Markelov on the outside of turn 1, the Russian defended well. As a result, de Vries stayed behind the Renault protégé: A perfect opportunity for Norris, who passed both drivers with an audacious move into turn 2!
Just moments later, Merhi was just behind de Vries and overtook the Dutchman as well: The Prema driver was suddenly 7th instead of 4th! The Spaniard on the other hand continued his smart driving, almost overtook Markelov on the inside of the last corner and finished his manoeuvre on the start-finish straight. Eventually, de Vries could complete a very similar move on the struggling Markelov a lap later.
While most of the time, Ghiotto kept Albon at bay, the Thai driver suddenly could be found within a second to the Italian with five laps to go. Albon didn’t hesitate to try a move which worked out strikingly well. He was forced to the outside line into turn 1, however, he benefited from his better traction to stay ahead, use DRS once again and finish the move.
Artem Markelov’s tyres completely gave up in the final stages as he lost several positions in the last couple of laps. In the end, the Russian could be found in P13. Jack Aitken dropped as well and lost P8 (the final point) to his teammate George Russell, who started in P20.
Albon however secured another win thanks to outstanding tyre management, a great move on Ghiotto as well as pure speed, which led to a gap of 16.5 seconds in the end. Ghiotto could keep Sette Camara behind to take P2; Norris, Merhi, Fukuzumi, de Vries and Russell completed the point-paying positions.
The next race (after a summer break) will take place in Spa in four weeks’ time.
UPDATE: Fuoco has been given a three-position grid penalty for the next race for failing to serve a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane when he pitted.
|1||Alexander Albon||DAMS||28 laps||15|
|2||Luca Ghiotto||Campos||+16.508||12 + 2|
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||+20.752||10|
|5||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||+23.077||6|
|7||Nyck de Vries||Prema||+29.099||2|
|12||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||+38.336|
|13||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||+39.120|
|Ret||Maximilian Günther||Arden||+1 lap|
|Ret||Alessio Lorandi||Trident||+5 laps|
|Ret||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||+23 laps|
Fastest lap points
|1||George Russell||United Kingdom||171|
|2||Lando Norris||United Kingdom||159|
|5||Nyck de Vries||Netherlands||114|
|7||Sergio Sette Camara||Brazil||106|
|10||Jack Aitken||United Kingdom||61|
|19||Santino Ferrucci||United States||7|
|8||MP Motorsport||United Kingdom||54|