Van Amersfoort’s Charles Leclerc earned his second win of the year after passing Felix Rosenqvist in the wet, incident riddled race. Antonio Giovinazzi got his 6th podium in a row with a third place finish ahead of Mucke Motorsport duo Jensen and Gunther.
The race began under safety car, which went back in after 1 lap. Rosenqvist lead a good restart, maintaining his gap over Leclerc, who in turn immediately began to pull out a gap over Maximillian Gunther. Further back Callum Illot was fighting hard with Antonio Giovinazzi, the Brit getting himself just ahead but then spinning at the hairpin, falling back into the clutches of Jake Dennis.
Alessio Lorandi brought his VAR machine into the pits, the first retirement of the race. Meanwhile, the leaders were pulling away from the rest of the pack, the gap from Leclerc to Gunther being at 8 seconds by lap 6. Gustavo Menezes and his Jagonya Ayam teammate Ryan Tveter were battling fiercely; ultimately Tveter ended up behind his compatriot and dropped down to the very back of the field.
Leclerc was pushing behind Rosenqvist, narrowing the gap between the two of them to under a second, a completely different story to yesterday’s dominance from the Swede. Alex Albon was being caught by Menezes, a fight which lasted pretty much the whole race.
There were battles and off track antics all over the place, with Kang Ling over the gravel and grass, Dennis and Illot having a close fight, closely followed by the Albon Menezes duel. Giovinazzi upped his pace, setting fastest laps in his efforts to beat Gunther into P3.
A mistake from Rosenqvist allowed Leclerc to catch right up to the back of him, but a tap on the Prema driver caused the Monegasque to drop back slightly. The battle was far from over though, as Leclerc caught right back up to Rosenqvist. One lap later Leclerc was exceedingly close once more, going around the outside where he’d previously touched Rosenqvist to switch back inside and past the Swede.
Hongwei Cao vs Pietro Fittipaldi sent Cao into a spin, and while he could carry on, Fittipaldi had to retire. Leclerc was just pulling away from Rosenqvist when the safety car was called out, sending the race down to time rather than laps.
With 3 and a half minutes remaining the safety car went in. It was a great restart for Leclerc, leaving the rest of the field behind. Giovinazzi followed closely behind Gunther, who received a warning flag for dropping back before catching up to the leaders again prior to the restart.
There was plenty of action, Ferrucci and Stroll dicing resulted in the Canadian being pushed out. Calderon and Rao ventured into the gravel, along with Li.
In the final lap Gunther spun, letting Giovinazzi past and on track for his 6th consecutive podium of the season.
With a 2.9 second gap, Leclerc crossed the line victorious, ahead of Rosenqvist in P2 and Giovinazzi in P3. Jensen followed next, the Ferrucci in P5 although a drive through penalty demoted him to 28th. Gunther ended up classified 5th, then Stroll, Pommer, Dennis, and Alex Albon rounding out the points.