ARDEN TAKE THEIR FIRST WIN SINCE 2012 BUT IT WAS OVERSHADOWED BY A STUNNING DRIVE FROM CHARLES LECLERC!
Oliver Rowland took the lead on lap 1 into turn 2 and looked in control until Lap 8 when his car was stuck in 1st gear and was forced to retire.
This meant that Norman Nato took the lead however, he had a charging pack behind him. Nyck De Vries was the first driver to chase after Nato but 1 lap after Rowland’s issue on Lap 9, De Vries went straight on at turn 3 and it looked like a suspected brake issue as he had to stop at turn 3 after the issue.
This was the queue for Charles Leclerc to get the hammer down. When De Vries had his issue, Leclerc was in 8th position and all of a sudden, Leclerc was passing cars for fun! It only took Leclerc 5 laps to get up to 2nd position. All of a sudden, it looked like Leclerc could do the rare double which only drivers like Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have accomplished. However, despite Leclerc taking 1 second out of Nato every lap, Leclerc was handed a 10 second time penalty for not slowing enough for yellow flags so despite passing Nato with 3 laps to go and crossing the line in 1st, he finished 2nd with the time penalty added. Despite the penalty, it was a stunning drive from Leclerc who extends his championship lead due to Rowland’s retirement.
Nicholas Latifi saved some DAMS blushes and finished on the podium for the 2nd time this weekend and is having a much stronger season than last year and is starting to show why he is at a team such as DAMS.
Behind Latifi, there was a bunch of cars fighting for 4th position which was won by Jordan King. Behind King was the returning Sergey Sirotkin who was replacing Alexander Albon for this round due to an injury to Albon. Behind Sirotkin was fellow Russian Artem Markelov and behind Markelov was Nobuharu Matsushita after yesterday’s heartache after going wide at turn 1 in a good position to win the race.
Another driver who struggled this weekend was Luca Ghiotto but the Italian charged through the field and managed to grab a point in 8th position.
Reverse grid pole sitter Ralph Boschung struggled from the start and was losing many positions in the early part of the race. The Swiss managed to finish in 9th position and behind Boschung to complete the top 10 was Brazilian Serge Sette Camara.
The Top 10
- Norman Nato- Arden
- Charles Leclerc- PREMA
- Nicholas Latifi- DAMS
- Jordan King- MP Motorsport
- Sergey Sirotkin- ART
- Artem Markelov- RUSSIAN TIME
- Nobuharu Matsushita- ART
- Luca Ghiotto- RUSSIAN TIME
- Ralph Boschung- Campos
- Serge Sette Camara- MP Motorsport