Luca Ghiotto denied new Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries a double victory at Sochi in a sprint race shortened as a crash hospitalised two drivers.
On lap one a huge crash between polesitter Nikita Mazepin and Honda junior Nobuharu Matsushita triggered a shake-up in the order, after they hit the barriers at the exit of Turn 2.
After a lengthy red flag period to extract Matsushita and repair the barriers, Virtuosi Racing’s Ghiotto restarted in the lead ahead of Ferrari junior Callum Ilott and newly-crowned F2 champion Nyck de Vries, ART Grand Prix team-mate to Mazepin.
The three ran line astern with Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott able to stick with the batting lead duo, and the fighting meant the top six were able to close in to form a train.
The top six were together for the last two laps, de Vries leading the charge, but every time he tried to pass with DRS, Ghiotto placed his car perfectly and the turbulent air produced by is machine trouble de Vries.
It was the Italian’s third win of the year and extends his gap in third in the championship – vital for the 40 super license points it provides – ahead of de Vries and another strong run from Ilott.
McLaren development driver Sergio Sette Camara finished fourth on the road but a five second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage – which he detested on the radio – dropped him back to sixth.
Instead, second in the championship Nicholas Latifi took fourth ahead of Ghiotto’s Virtuosi team-mate Guan Yu Zhou.
Sean Gelael fought hard to earn his best result since Baku in seventh for Prema Racing, with a comfortable gap to the last points scorer, Giuliano Alesi.
Jordan King passed Artem Markelov for ninth late on, the duo having started 12th and 20th respectively. Markelov got a demon start and ran as high as eighth in his debut with Arden after retiring on the first lap of the feature race one day before.
Matevos Isaakyan scored 13th for his best result of his debut F2 weekend with the Sauber Junior Team.
Result – 15 laps
|2||Nyck de Vries||ART Grand Prix||Dallara/Mecachrome||0.712s|
|3||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Dallara/Mecachrome||1.672s|
|6||Sergio Sette Camara||DAMS||Dallara/Mecachrome||7.336s|
|7||Sean Gelael||Prema Racing||Dallara/Mecachrome||10.343s|
|9||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||Dallara/Mecachrome||14.851s|
|10||Artem Markelov||BWT Arden||Dallara/Mecachrome||16.769s|
|11||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||Dallara/Mecachrome||23.898s|
|13||Matevos Isaakyan||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||Dallara/Mecachrome||27.414s|
|15||Marino Sato||Campos Racing||Dallara/Mecachrome||36.472s|
|16||Tatiana Calderon||BWT Arden||Dallara/Mecachrome||43.057s|
|17||Mahaveer Raghunathan||MP Motorsport||Dallara/Mecachrome||1m01.506s|
|–||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||Dallara/Mecachrome||Retirement|
|–||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix||Dallara/Mecachrome||Retirement|
|1||Nyck de Vries||266|
|4||Sergio Sette Camara||165|