Leclerc claims fourth win of the season

Written by: Fanni Váradi | Photo: F2 Media

Nobody could beat Prema Racing’s driver on the feature race of Formula2 at the Red Bull Ring this morning. The Monegasque driver controlled the race right from the start and claimed his fourth win of the season, increased his vantage in the championship.

Charles Leclerc was the quickest on yesterday’s qualifying and was waiting for the green lights to go off from pole position on the first race in Spielberg. The Dutch Nyck de Vries stayed on the and could not complete the formation lap, which meant a box start for the Rapax driver.

Leclerc got a nice start and managed to save his leader position in spite of being attacked by his teammate Antonio Fuoco who tried to overtake in the first corner, where he made a better initial getaway. Leclerc was quicker in the second phase and showed he will not give away his position that easy.

The DAMS driver Oliver Rowland got a poor start and fall back to P6 behind the ART pair of Alexander Albon and Nobuharu Matsushita. 

The PREMA drivers swapped fastest laps and increased their vantage before their pursuers, but Antonio Fuoco could not respond to his teammate’s pace as the gap grew between them.

Nicholas Latifi was the first driver to pit on lap 7, followed by his teammate Rowland coming  a lap later. Rowland showed up behind the Canadian driver on the track and blasted inside him on lap 13 for P8 aiming to victory if his strategy works.

Leclerc was maintaining the gap back to Rowland lead the option drivers and kept an eye on a net victory. He overtook prime drivers and tried to close the gap on Leclerc. Fuoco pitted on lap 31 and emerged between the DAMS drivers, while his teammate Leclerc pitted from P1 and came back to the leader position thanks to his huge gap in the front.

Unfortunately Rowland’s effort was had taken a toll on his tyres and let his rivals overtake. Fuoco passed the Briton on lap 33, Latifi dispatched him 3 laps later, remarkably given the age difference in their tyres. The Canadian also pushed past Fuoco on lap 38 to form the podium and targeted Leclerc. There remaining time was not enough to catch him.

The PREMA Racing driver easily controlled to run to the line for his fourth victory of the season ahead of Latifi and Fuoco. Rowland finished fourth followed by Albon and Matsushita. Ralph Boschung had an impressive 7th from P11 and Artem Markelov ont he reverse pole from P14 ahead of Jordan King, Sean Gelael and Robert Visiou.

Feature Race Provisional Classification

  Driver Team     
1. Charles Leclerc  PREMA Racing     
2. Nicholas Latifi  DAMS     
3. Antonio Fuoco  PREMA Racing      
4. Oliver Rowland DAMS     
5. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix     
6. Nobuharu Matsushita  ART Grand Prix     
7. Ralph Boschung Campos Racing     
8. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME     
9. Jordan King MP Motorsport     
10. Sean Gelael  Pertamina Arden     
11. Robert Visoiu  Campos Racing     
12. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering     
13. Nyck De Vries  Rapax     
14. Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME     
15. Sergio Canamasas  Rapax     
16. Sergio Sette Camara  MP Motorsport     
17. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering      
18. Nabil Jeffri  Trident     
19. Raffaele Marciello Trident     
  Not Classified        
  Norman Nato  Pertamina Arden     
  Fastest Lap        
  Nobuharu Matsushita  ART Grand Prix 1:15.854   on Lap 34
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