THE RUSSIAN TIME DRIVER SAVED HIS TYRES AND TOOK THE LEAD ON LAP 23!
Markelov for most of the race was in 3rd position behind race leader Alex Palou and Nicholas Latifi. However, on lap 23, Markelov passed Latifi into turn 1 and by turn 6, he was into the lead. In the space of 7 laps, he had a lead of 9 seconds and deservedly took victory.
Nicholas Latifi still finished in a strong 2nd position despite not having the pace of Artem Markelov. He passed Alex Palou for 2nd position on lap 24 at turn 6 and stayed there until the chequered flag. Behind Latifi was his DAMS teammate Oliver Rowland who followed Latifi through at turn 6 passing Palou for the final podium spot. Rowland was fairly quiet at the start of the race but the Brit was saving his tyres and started to charge through the firld halfway through the race.
Luca Ghiotto had a chaotic race and it all started on lap 1! He started on the front row alongside Alex Palou but a poor start from Ghiotto meant that he was fighting with Jordan King into the first two corners. The Italian stayed ahead at turn 1 but at turn 2, King locked up and hit Ghiotto which pushed the RUSSIAN TIME driver into the graveltrap and into last position. King would have a terminal engine failure on lap 4 which denied the MP Motorsport driver to challenge for his first win of the season.
Ghiotto would then pit on lap 19 after his medium tyres degraded but soared through the field and passed the 2 PREMA’s on the final lap to finish a strong 4th position.
The first PREMA to finish was Antonio Fuoco who had some very good battles with his teammate Charles Leclerc passing him on lap 4 and jumping him in the pitstops when they both decided to switch to soft tyres halfway through the race. However, Fuoco let Leclerc through both times because PREMA and DAMS are battling it out for the constructors title. Despite letting him through twice, Fuoco passed Leclerc on the final lap to secure a solid 5th position.
The newly crowned champion once again had a very eventful race. On the medium tyres, Leclerc charged through the field and was up to 4th position until on lap 13, he pitted onto the soft rubber as he had chewed through his tyres. Obviously, when he was on the fresh rubber, Leclerc flew and was 5 seconds a lap faster than some of his rivals but on the last lap, Leclerc’s soft tyres were finished and dropped from 4th position to 7th position after Ghiotto, Fuoco and Nyck de Vries all passed the Monegasque driver on the final lap.
Alex Palou after yesterdays feature race was on reverse grid pole and in the first few laps, Palou stormed away and had a lead of 4 seconds. However, his tyres were starting to degrade and despite leading comfortably for 23 laps, he fell down the order and was lucky to come away with a point at the end. A race that deserved so much more for the Spaniard.
The Top 10:
- Artem Markelov- RUSSIAN TIME
- Nicholas Latifi- DAMS
- Oliver Rowland- DAMS
- Luca Ghiotto- RUSSIAN TIME
- Antonio Fuoco- PREMA
- Nyck de Vries- Racing Engineering
- Charles Leclerc- PREMA
- Alex Palou- Campos
- Alexander Albon- ART
- Norman Nato- Arden