A strong start from Campos’ Luca Ghiotto wasn’t enough for him to win the sprint race as DAMS’ Alexander Albon took it from him in later stages in Round 8 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at Hungaroring on Sunday.
It was a slow getaway from pole-sitter Russian Time’s Artem Markelov in a sunny Hungaroring which helped Ghitto to shot into the lead from DAMS’ Albon as there was contact at the back of the grid.
MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung, Campos’ Roy Nissany and Trident’s Alessio Lorandi which resulted in Boschung and Lorandi retiring from the race as Nissany continued on after needing a pit stop.
Ghiotto started to stretch his lead from Albon and Markelov with Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara and Charouz Racing’s Antonio Fuoco right behind. As the VSC ended, Fuoco jumped on the power as he hit the back of Camara on the pit straight.
The Italian lost his front wing and any chance of points as Ghiotto continued to lead Albon. Camara made it through to third demoting Markelov into the clutches of Race 1 winner Prema’s Nyck de Vries and Carlin’s Lando Norris.
The Russian kept on the gas for as long as possible but his tyres started to give in as de Vries pressured him along with Norris. The Dutchman tried for a move in Turn 1 but it was Norris who made a bold move around the outside in Turn 2.
The British driver passed both de Vries and Markelov in one corner to move into fourth. Behind, de Vries lost another place to MP Motorsport’s Roberto Merhi who made his up to sixth from 11th on the grid.
Meanwhile, tyre issues started to hit Ghiotto as well and the Italian soon came under pressure from Albon who looked much better. The Thai-British driver made it stick easily in Turn 1 to take over the race lead.
Once in front, Albon built a dominating 9.4s lead to win his third race of the season with Ghiotto scoring his third podium as Camara rounded out the rostrum positions – a fine comeback after losing his third place on Saturday.
Norris ended up fourth to score more points for his championship charge with Merhi doing well in fifth. It was a dogfight for the rest of the points scoring positions as Arden’s Nirei Fukuzumi just beat de Vries on the line to take sixth by 0.001s.
The Dutchman had to settle with seventh as ART’s George Russell fought back from last to score the final point in eighth after several drivers suffered through tyre issues in front of him. He keeps the points lead with 171 against Norris’ 159.
Charouz Racing’s Louis Deletraz also made the most of the tyre situation to finish ninth but missed on a points finish with ART’s Jack Aitken rounding out the Top 10. Markelov eventually finished 13th being chased by Trident’s Arjun Maini on the line.
Position 11-17: Sean Gelael, Tadasuke Makino, Markelov, Maini, Nissany, Nicholas Latifi and Fuoco. DNF: Maximilian Gunther, Lorandi and Boschung.