MATSUSHITA DOMINATED FROM THE FIRST CORNER TO THE LAST CORNER!
Nobuharu Matsushita started 4th but the Japanese driver got a great start and was leading before the first corner. After that, he just kept extending his gap and won by over 4 seconds and took his 2nd victory of the season!
Oliver Rowland kept up his great weekend by finishing 2nd despite starting down in 8th position. At the start, Rowland managed to get up into 4th position after poor starts from the front row starters. Rowland was then clever by managing his tyres behind Ghiotto and De Vries and then thanks to De Vries pulling off overtake of the weekend on Ghiotto, it enabled Rowland to pass Ghiotto the same lap. Then, with 2 laps to go, Rowland piled on the pressure and passed De Vries into turn 1 to finish a strong 2nd after yesterday’s feature race victory. De Vries would still finish on the podium and like Rowland, De Vries had a double podium weekend.
Championship leader Charles Leclerc had a quieter race than usual but it still didn’t mean there was drama. For the first 19 laps, it was looking like a cool Sunday drive for Leclerc in 5th but then on lap 20, he reported a gearbox issue with his car. For the time being, it looked no problem because he still managed to get pass Luca Ghiotto for 4th position. But, on lap 26, PREMA told Leclerc to try and use 3rd gear as much as he could. This meant that the podium dream was over and the target was to try and keep Norman Nato behind. He managed to nurse the car home in 4th position and his gap to Rowland in the championship is now only 50 points.
Norman Nato was looking like a strong favourite for victory today as he started in the pitlane for yesterday’s feature race and came through to 7th position. This enabled Nato to start from 2nd for the sprint race. However, Nato and pole sitter Alexander Albon both had poor starts and by lap 1, Albon was 6th and Nato was 7th. Nato managed to find a bit of pace in the car compared to Albon as Nato managed to finish in 5th position just behind Leclerc whereas Albon could only manage 7th position.
Nicholas Latifi had a fairly quiet race after starting in 7th position, he could not follow his teammate through the pack at the start and was still 8th by the end of lap 1. However, Latifi managed to pass Albon and Ghiotto to get up to 6th and did get ahead of Norman Nato to get up to 5th but Nato fought back brilliantly and on the restart of a Virtual Safety Car, Nato dived it up the inside of turn 1 and was up to 5th.
Luca Ghiotto on lap 21 was 2nd but dropped off massively due to poor tyre wear and in the space of 7 laps with 2 of them under Virtual Safety Car, Ghiotto lost 6 positions and finished 8th. Ghiotto was just ahead of his teammate Artem Markelov who had a massive crash at the end of the feature race. But Markelov fought through the field well and decided to take a gamble under the Virtual Safety Car and pit onto soft tyres. It worked out alright but Markelov just ran out of laps to make the most of the soft tyres.
Elsewhere, Sergio Canamasas after yesterday’s incident with Robert Visou, was involved in another crash. This time, it was none of the Spaniard’s fault as Nabil Jeffri went wide at turn 4 and rejoined in an unsafe manner and understeered into the side of Canamasas’ Rapax.
The Top 10
- Nobuharu Matsushita- ART
- Oliver Rowland- DAMS
- Nyck De Vries- Rapax
- Charles Leclerc- PREMA
- Norman Nato- Arden
- Nicholas Latfi- DAMS
- Alexander Albon- ART
- Luca Ghiotto- RUSSIAN TIME
- Artem Markelov- RUSSIAN TIME
- Sean Gelael- Arden