F2

Stoneman runs away with Brands Hatch victory

Stoneman runs away with Brands Hatch victory

Dean Stoneman executed the second step of his championship attack program with ease in today's FIA Formula Two race at Brands Hatch, the first of two this weekend. Following on his pole position yesterday, the convincing victory moved him to...

Dean Stoneman executed the second step of his championship attack program with ease in today's FIA Formula Two race at Brands Hatch, the first of two this weekend. Following on his pole position yesterday, the convincing victory moved him to within five points of the championship lead.

Dean Stoneman.
Photo by FIA Formula Two Championship.

The championship fight is far from over, but this morning was all Stoneman as the 19-year-old Briton pulled away from the field with ease at the beginning of the race, and simply drove off into the distance in spite of not using any of his extra boost during the race.

After easing off in the last few laps of the race, Stoneman's lead dropped from 13 seconds to 8.2 seconds at the chequered flag, but it likely could have been well over 15 seconds had he continued to push until the end.

Sergey Afanasiev's hopes were smashed early, as the second-place starter's car bogged down once the lights went greeen. The Russian looked like he might be able to defend his position, but Jack Clarke made his way past Afanasiev into second place in the first corner.

However, the worse for the Russian followed, as Afanasiev and Will Bratt tried to occupy the same ground into the next corner, Druids Bend. The wheel-to-wheel contact throw Bratt's car into the air briefly, though he landed safely on four wheels and was able to continue. Both Bratt and Afanasiev lost momentum in the incident, though, and Ivana Samarin and Tom Gladdis were able to take advantage to move into third and fourth places.

Clarke was able to keep well clear of Samarin and Gladdis, but the latter two were soon to be harassed by Bratt and Afanasiev. Bratt waited patiently for an opening as Samarin and Gladdis fought for third place, and halfway through the race the opportunity was handed to him, as Gladdis ran wide into Graham Hill Bend.

Samarin, Bratt and Gladdis eventually finished in a tight pack spanned by little more than seven tenths of a second, with Afanasiev just another 1.5 seconds back.

Nicola de Marco took seventh, just barely holding off championship leader Jolyon Palmer in eighth.

In the qualifying for tomorrow's second race, Stoneman's session didn't go according to plan, as his hot laps were interrupted by red flags, triggered by various on-track incidents. Seventh place on the grid, two behind Palmer, will make tomorro'w second race a much more challenging one for Stoneman.

Instead, it'll be Lithuania's Kazim Vasiliauskas on the pole position tomorrow, with Philipp Eng sharing the front row with him. Gladdis and Afanasiev will start third and fourth, ahead of Palmer and Bratt.

The second race will take its start at 13:05 GMT tomorrow afternoon.

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