Carlin’s Daniel Ticktum won Race 1 of Sochi FIA F2 weekend from Hitech GP’s Juri Vips and Prema’s Robert Shwartzman.
After the original start of F2 Race 1 at Sochi was postponed due to rain, with Race 2 cancelled all together, it finally got underway in mixed conditions after F1 qualifying. But the lap to the grid saw some preliminary action already involving both the UNI-Virtuosi cars of Felipe Drugovich and Guanyu Zhou.
While the Brazilian hit the wall, his championship contender teammate Zhou spun and was not able to make it to the grid. Both cars were recovered in the pits and neither were able to start the race and retired. Later, as the cars were pulling away for the formation lap, Charouz Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi stalled and forced into the pits.
The end of the two formation laps saw a rolling start with Carlin’s Dan Ticktum leading the pack, Hitech GP’s Juri Vips behind him in P2, and his teammate Liam Lawson in P3. The first lap saw Vips right on Ticktum’s tail in chase of the lead.
Though Vips was edging close to the Brit, Ticktum was able to defend his P1 position and hold on to it. Unfortunately the same could not be said about Prema’s Oscar Piastri, as he ran wide in Lap 6 and dropped down into P11 after a Virtual Safety Car on Lap 5. Trident’s Bent Viscaal spun at Turn 14 which ended the race for the Dutchman.
The end of the VSC came after Lap 6 but the green flag was short lived, however, as Lap 7 saw another VSC after Lawson tapped the wall, damaging his suspension to retire. The re-start on Lap 9 was unfortunate for Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung, as he was immediately passed by ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire. The ultimate winner in this restart battle was Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, as he passed both Boschung and Pourchaire to move into P5.
That same lap saw a battle for P3 between Prema’s Robert Shwartzman and HWA RACELAB’s Jake Hughes with the Brit taking the P3 after Shwartzman ran over a kerb. The Russian, however, was able to immediately pass him to get the position back. Boschung then had a major lockup into Turn 2 of Lap 12 but held on and saw the turn through, holding onto his P7 position.
But he managed to gain after Lap 16, which was unlucky for Daruvala, whe he dropped his wheel on the wet kerb at Turn 15 and spun on track. Pourchaire and Boschung capitalised on this, moving into P5 and P6 respectively, while the Carlin driver dropped to P12. Ticktum, meanwhile, expanded on his lead from Lap 1 until the chequered flag on Lap 18, where the Brit took his second F2 victory of the season.
Vips was right behind him in second, with Shwartzman rounding off the podium in third. Eventually, Hughes hung on to fourth from Pourchaire and Boschung. ART GP’s Christian Lundgaard was seventh, as MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor with the last of the points in eighth, whereby his teammate Lirim Zendeli was 10th behind Piastri.
The story was written by Selena Aburas