From pole to win for Aitken in Hungary

Written by | Photo: Fanni Váradi

Jack Aitken grabbed pole position on Saturday morning’s qualifying session which was halted by 2 minutes following Arjun Maini stopping on track just before the end taking away the chance for a second fast lap by most of the drivers.

The Briton started the 22 laps long feature race from first place ahead of his disappointed rivals George Russell and Nirei Fukuzumi. Unfortunately, the luck was not by the championship leader Geroge Russell’s side who got technical problems and was unable to even complete the formation lap at the Hungaroring. The Mercedes junior had to give up the race just before the start which made all the drivers behind the poleman step one position forward.

When the green lights went on, ART drivers Aitken and Fukuzumi took both great starts getting into a battle for the first place ahead of Boccolacci who set off well on P3.

The first lap turned to a bit problematic when two cars stopped on track due to mechanical failures. First Arjun Maini stopped in Sector 1, who had issues during qualifying session as well, followed by Tatiana Calderon with DAMS who was hoping a good race after scoring her best start position of the season but got stuck in the exit of Turn 3.

The incident caused a Safety Car session for 2 laps. Anthoine Hubert came up to Boccolacci and battled for P3 after the restart. The race was not live for a long time, as another car, now Steijn Schothorst stopped suddenly causing Virtual Safety Car period.

In the fifth lap the race went on again with tense battles formed by Boccolacci, Hubert and Kari for the last podium stage.

Alessio Lorandi got the restart a bit slow which gave Kevin Jörg pace to pass by him for P7. The Italian driver took back his position two laps later, when the Swiss messed up brake line at Turn1 and run too wide. Lorandi then went to chase Giuliano Alesi who was only a second away.

Lap 9 brought an exciting battle for second place, when Anthoine Hubert attacked Boccolacci with Niko Kari right behind. The Finnish driver put his car on the outside line, with opened DRS trying to take over P3 when he missed the brake point and run out of track losing 4 positions and fall back to P8.

Jenzer Motorsport’s only driver in race closed up to Alesi on lap 16 with 4 DRS remained half a second behind the Frenchman. At Turn1 Lorandi took inside line and passed by Alesi seeing already his next rival Boccolacci ahead. 

Nirei Fukuzumi was chasing his teammate in front but took Turn4 a bit too wide running out on track and spreading some debris around.

When only 5 laps remained, Aitken was still leading the race running fastest laps continuously ahead of his teammates Fukuzumi and Hubert having a big battle behind them for P4 between Boccolacci and Lorandi which brought some excitements for the final laps.

The Italian had two DRS uses to go. First, he tried to overtake from inside in the end of final straight on lap 19. Then he activated the system again for the last time on the same place a lap later taking the ideal line against Boccolacci. The Frenchman did not want to give P4 that easy, and continued the fight till the second turn where finally Alessio Lorandi won the battle.

Meanwhile, Jack Aitken crossed the final line taking his first victory of the season by more than 4 seconds over his teammate Nirei Fukuzumi with Anthoine Hubert a similar gap behind in third place ahead of Alessio Lorandi, who started from P9 and finished on P4 completing one of the strongest race of his career so far. Boccolacci followed him before the Trident teammates Alesi, Jörg and Ryan Tveter getting P8 and pole position on reversed grid for the sprint race.

Race 1 Classification

  Driver Team   
1. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix   
2. Nirei Fukuzumi  ART Grand Prix   
3. Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix   
4. Alessio Lorandi  Jenzer Motorsport   
5. Dorian Boccolacci Trident   
6. Giuliano Alesi Trident   
7. Kevin Jörg  Trident    
8. Ryan Tveter Trident   
9. Niko Kari Arden International    
10. Bruno Baptista  DAMS   
11. Marcos Siebert Campos Racing   
12. Matthieu Vaxivière  DAMS    
13. Julien Falchero  Campos Racing   
14. Raoul Hyman Campos Racing   
15. Leonardo Pulcini Arden International   
  Not Classified      
  Steijn Schothorst Arden International   
  Tatiana Calderon DAMS   
  Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport   
  George Russell ART Grand Prix   
  Fastest Lap:
Jack Aitken 1:34.440 on lap 21
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