Sochi F2: Ghiotto wins crash-shortened sprint race

Luca Ghiotto denied new Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries a double victory at Sochi in a shortened sprint race, as a crash hospitalised two drivers.

On lap one a huge crash between polesitter Nikita Mazepin and Honda junior Nobuharu Matsushita triggered a shake-up in the order, after they hit the barriers at the exit of Turn 2.

After a lengthy red flag period to extract Matsushita and repair the barriers, Virtuosi Racing’s Ghiotto restarted in the lead ahead of Ferrari junior Callum Ilott and newly-crowned F2 champion Nyck de Vries, ART Grand Prix teammate to Mazepin.

The three ran line astern with Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott able to stick with the batting lead duo, and the fighting meant the top six were able to close in to form a train.

The top six were together for the last two laps, de Vries leading the fighting pack, but every time he tried to pass with DRS, Ghiotto placed his car perfectly to resist his advances.

It was the Italian’s third win of the year and extends his gap in third in the championship – vital for the 40 super license points it provides.

De Vries eventually finished just 0.7s behind in second, with Illot completing the podium spots after another strong run.

McLaren development driver Sergio Sette Camara finished fourth on the road but a five second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage – which he detested on the radio – dropped him back to sixth. 

Instead, second in the championship Nicholas Latifi took fourth ahead of Ghiotto’s Virtuosi teammate Guan Yu Zhou.

Sean Gelael earned his best result since Baku in seventh for Prema Racing, with a comfortable gap to the last points scorer, Giuliano Alesi.

Jordan King passed Artem Markelov for ninth late on, the duo having started 12th and 20th respectively. Markelov got a demon start and ran as high as eighth in his debut with Arden after retiring on the first lap of the feature race one day before.

Matevos Isaakyan scored 13th for his best result of his debut F2 weekend with the Sauber Junior Team.

Results:

ClaDriverTeamGap
1 Luca Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi 
2 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 0.712
3 Callum Ilott Charouz Racing System 1.672
4 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 3.383
5 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 3.820
6 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS 7.336
7 Sean Gelael Prema Powerteam 10.343
8 Giuliano Alesi Trident 13.108
9 Jordan King MP Motorsport 14.851
10 Artem Markelov Arden International 16.769
11 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 23.898
12 Ralph Boschung Trident 26.558
13 Matevos Isaakyan Charouz Racing System 27.414
14 Louis Deletraz Carlin 31.933
15 Marino Sato Campos Racing 36.472
16 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 43.057
17 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 1’01.506
  Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 8 Laps
  Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 
  Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin 

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