Hungary F2: De Vries beats charging Norris in drying thriller

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Hungary F2: De Vries beats charging Norris in drying thriller
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Jul 28, 2018, 4:16 PM

Nyck de Vries beat fellow McLaren junior Lando Norris in a drying-track Formula 2 feature race at the Hungaroring, as points leader George Russell retired with a car failure.

It was a race of two halves, with Norris first running in a class of his own in wet conditions and then de Vries dominating in a similar fashion as the track dried up.

Norris was sixth on the grid, which became fifth when Russell was forced to start from the pits with a clutch problem, but the McLaren junior dropped to the second half of the top 10 after the start.

However, it soon became evident that Norris had significantly superior pace in the wet as he carved his way through the field.

At a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult, Norris was able to make moves at various corners such as Turn 2 on Antonio Fuoco and Jack Aitken, T13 on Luca Ghiotto, T8 on de Vries and then taking the lead from teammate Sergio Sette Camara into T9.

He then went three seconds faster than Sette Camara and, maintaining the same edge for three laps, his lead was up to over 10 seconds.

Sette Camara further struggled and also fell behind de Vries, Fuoco and Aitken before he became the first driver opting to switch to slicks.

The rest of the field followed suit in one of the next three laps, and Norris had a 12.9s lead over de Vries when all the stops panned out.

However, Norris didn't have the same edge on slicks and de Vries started to close in, the gap shrinking to less than 10 seconds when Norris went wide and nearly spun at Turn 1.

De Vries maintained superior pace and was soon all over Norris, eventually moving past the Briton at Turn 8 and then cruising to the finish to win by 16.5s.

Norris was also slower than Sette Camara in the late stages, the Brazilian, as well as Fuoco running all over him during the final few laps.

Sette Camara tried to make a move at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap and then also on the final lap, but the Brazilian ran wide enough to allow Fuoco through.

Fuoco put pressure on Norris and was on the outside of the Briton at the penultimate corner, but ended up being spun out by Sette Camara.

He was still classified third as Sette Camara dropped down to seventh thanks to a 10-second time penalty, losing positions to Aitken, Alexander Albon and Ghiotto.

Norris held on to second and cut Russell's points lead to 19 points as the ART driver retired with an engine failure after running dead last due to a stall from the pits.

Artem Markelov took reverse-grid pole in eighth, followed by Japanese duo Tadasuke Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi.

Alessio Lorandi, who replaced Santino Ferrucci at Trident, completed his maiden F2 race 14th, behind and ahead of Sean Gelael and Roy Nissany, the duo investigated for being involved in an incident.

Maximilian Gunther, Louis Deletraz and Ralph Boschung all pitted at the end of Lap 1, as Nicholas Latifi's car stopped on track with three laps remaining.

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About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Hungaroring
Location Hungaroring
Drivers Nyck de Vries
Teams Prema Powerteam
Author David Gruz
Article type Race report