Renault junior Christian Lundgaard took his second win of the F2 season with a dominant performance in the Mugello sprint race, ahead of Louis Deletraz and maiden podium finisher Juri Vips.
Starting from third, Lundgaard got a rapid launch to get ahead of polesitter Artem Markelov and second-placed Vips into Turn 1. Deletraz also made up several places at the start to go from sixth to third ahead of Vips, Mick Schumacher and Felipe Drugovich.
Lundgaard started breaking away from Markelov and the chasing pack almost immediately. By the end of lap 4 he was already over three seconds ahead of Markelov, which only kept increasing as Markelov struggled to keep pace.
Markelov’s difficulties saw him lose second place to Deletraz on lap 6, then third to Vips a lap later. But despite Deletraz finding clear air ahead of the HWA, he was unable to make up any more ground to Lundgaard than Markelov was. By the halfway stage of the race Lundgaard had increased his gap to almost seven seconds, which swelled to 14.5s by the chequered flag.
As Lundgaard flew clear, Deletraz came under pressure from Vips later on in the race. In the final laps the gap was just a few tenths and Vips made several attempts to get by into Turn 1. But ultimately Deletraz was able to keep ahead and take second place, while Vips finished third for his first podium in F2.
Mick Schumacher finished just off the podium in fourth, taking valuable points to extend his new championship lead over Callum Ilott. Guanyu Zhou took fifth place after a superb charge through the field from near the back after his retirement in yesterday’s feature race. After making steady progress through the backmarkers early on, Zhou found his way into the points on lap 17 and continued moving forwards with a late burst of pace.
Ilott finished behind his UNI-Virtuosi teammate in sixth ahead of Jehan Daruvala, while Trident’s Marino Sato picked up his first point of the season in eighth. Markelov continued to struggle for pace throughout the race and eventually finished in last place, while Drugovich also slipped back out of the points and down to 15th by the flag.
After taking a 1-2 finish in yesterday’s feature race, Hitech had a complete reversal of fortunes in the sprint race. By the halfway stage Nikita Mazepin and Luca Ghiotto were running fifth and sixth, but on lap 15 they collided at Turn 1 as Mazepin locked up while Ghiotto tried to pass him on the outside.
The crash saw Ghiotto retire on the spot. Mazepin was able to continue in fifth initially, but shortly after was given a ten-second penalty and then forced into a pit stop by damage concerns, which saw him finish in 18th.
After Mugello, Schumacher leads the championship by eight points from Ilott, while Lundgaard moves into third place ahead of Shwartzman by five points. In the teams’ standings, Prema now has a 40-point lead over UNI-Virtuosi.
Formula 2 returns in two weeks’ time at Sochi in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
Full race result:
|1||Christian Lundgaard (FL)||ART Grand Prix||17|
|2||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||12|
|4||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||8|
|5||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||6|
|6||Callum Ilott||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||4|
|9||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing|
|11||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix|
|12||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System|
|13||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing|
|14||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport|
|15||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport|
|16||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing|
|18||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix|
|20||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA Racelab|
|Ret.||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix|
|Ret.||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA Racelab|