Callum Ilott took his second win of the season in the Silverstone feature race, taking advantage of a low finish for title rival Robert Shwartzman to assume the lead of the championship.
Ilott started the race from pole and got away well to hold the lead into Turn 1. Behind him, Dan Ticktum also got a good launch from fourth to jump both Jack Aitken and Christian Lundgaard into second.
Ticktum pressured Ilott for the lead over the opening laps, but a mistake on lap 3 sent him wide and dropped the DAMS back behind Lundgaard and Aitken. Two laps later Ticktum then lost another three positions, to Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and Louis Deletraz respectively.
On lap 6 Lundgaard and Aitken both pitted from the podium positions to change to hard tyres, and Ilott made his own stop a lap later and came out in P12. Schumacher, running the alternative strategy having started on hards, assumed the lead ahead of Mazepin and teammate Shwartzman, who started outside the points.
While Ilott and the former leaders cut their way through the traffic, Schumacher and Mazepin engaged in a fierce battle at the front of the field. Mazepin looked to be faster at first but couldn’t find a way through, and after a few laps stuck behind the Prema his tyres began to blister and he dropped to over a second behind Schumacher on lap 11.
Schumacher became the first of the alternate runners to pit on lap 19, handing the lead to Mazepin who stayed out for another three laps. When Mazepin did come in his longer stint looked to have paid off as he rejoined the track ahead of Schumacher in sixth, but Schumacher was able to get back ahead of Mazepin while the Russian was on cold tyres.
After all the pit stops had been completed, Ilott was back in the lead ahead of Lundgaard and Aitken, with Deletraz and Yuki Tsunoda in fourth and fifth having passed Ticktum as they made their way through the traffic.
The top three remained the same for the rest of the race, despite Lundgaard running off track on lap 26 and dropping back towards Aitken. However, Deletraz and Tsunoda came under pressure in the closing laps from Mazepin on fresh soft tyres. Having already taken sixth place back from Schumacher on lap 25, Mazepin then passed Tsunoda two laps later and caught and passed Deletraz for fourth on the final lap.
Deletraz just about hung on to keep fifth place from Tsunoda. Schumacher was unable to find the same late-race speed as Mazepin despite running on the same strategy and stayed in seventh, and will share the front row of tomorrow’s sprint race with eighth-place finisher Shwartzman. Guanyu Zhou and Felipe Drugovich rounded out the points, while Ticktum finished in P15 after plummeting down the order in the closing stages.
Ilott’s victory with Shwartzman only eighth means the UNI-Virtuosi driver retakes the lead of the championship with 102 points.
Full race result:
|1||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||25|
|2||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||18|
|3||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||15|
|4||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||12|
|5||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||10|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||6|
|8||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||4|
|9||Guanyu Zhou (FL)||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||2|
|10||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1|
|11||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport|
|13||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix|
|14||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix|
|16||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA Racelab|
|19||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA Racelab|
|21||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System|