Red Bull Ring F2: Russell wins to cut Norris' points lead

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Red Bull Ring F2: Russell wins to cut Norris' points lead
By: Jack Benyon
Jun 30, 2018, 4:12 PM

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell scored a comfortable Formula 2 feature race win in Austria to close in on championship leader Lando Norris.

George Russell, ART Grand Prix
Lando Norris, Carlin
Media activities. Lando Norris, Carlin
Roberto Merhi, MP Motorsport
Antonio Fuoco, Charouz Racing System
Antonio Fuoco, Charouz Racing System
Sergio Sette Camara, Carlin

Russell made an early escape and built a gap of over a second to keep McLaren reserve Norris out of DRS range.

But on lap six of 40, the safety car came out for a stopped Ralph Boschung – who kicked his car with frustration – while Nyck de Vries retired after locking up at Turn 3.

That negated Russell’s lead, he and his main rivals making their mandatory stops as Arjun Maini, Sean Gelael and Artem Markelov stayed out.

Russell therefore ran fourth but in a net lead. He passed Gelael and Maini on track, with only Markelov ahead of him, and once the Russian pitted on lap 36, Russell inherited a lead he wouldn’t lose. 

Behind him, Norris began to fall back, losing out to Roberto Merhi on lap 30, the former Formula 1 driver moving up to a net second from 12th on the grid.

Norris eventually retook second from Merhi at the outside of Turn 2 on lap 38, and pulled away to limit the championship damage, ending the day two points clear of Russell.

Charouz Racing System driver Antonio Fuoco went from 13th to overtake Merhi on the last lap in an incredible move around the outside at Turn 3/4, stealing the final podium spot.

Alexander Albon, under investigation for an unsafe release, took a provisional fifth ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who struggled to get going after the safety car on lap six, which cost him his original third position.

While many people around him saw their race fell apart, Tadasuke Makino looked after his tyres and the Russian Time driver will start second on tomorrow’s reversed-grid race thanks to his seventh-place finish.

Alongside him, on pole, will be his teammate Markelov, incredibly overtaking four cars on the last lap to seal eighth after his late stop. Nirei Fukuzumi and Santino Ferrucci rounded out the top 10.

 

Jack Aitken had battled hard with Maxi Gunther and Louis Deletraz for fourth early on. Gunther finally tore past at the unlikely overtaking spot, Turn 6, on lap 19, and a lap later Aitken pulled off at the exit of Turn 1 after his fire extinguisher went off.

Gunther fell back with tyre wear and took 12th, while Deletraz slowed and pitted to retire with what looked like a technical problem.

Race results

Cla#DriverTeamLapsTimeGap
1 8 united_kingdom George Russell france ART Grand Prix 40 56'16.865  
2 19 united_kingdom Lando Norris united_kingdom Carlin 40 56'21.995 5.130
3 21 italy Antonio Fuoco czech_republic Charouz Racing System 40 56'26.498 9.633
4 9 spain Roberto Merhi netherlands MP Motorsport 40 56'28.660 11.795
5 5 thailand Alexander Albon france DAMS 40 56'31.507 14.642
6 18 brazil Sergio Sette Camara united_kingdom Carlin 40 56'33.765 16.900
7 2 japan Tadasuke Makino russia RUSSIAN TIME 40 56'35.698 18.833
8 1 russia Artem Markelov russia RUSSIAN TIME 40 56'41.554 24.689
9 12 japan Nirei Fukuzumi united_kingdom Arden International 40 56'42.392 25.527
10 17 united_states Santino Ferrucci italy Trident 40 56'43.450 26.585
11 6 canada Nicholas Latifi france DAMS 40 56'44.271 27.406
12 11 germany Maximilian Gunther united_kingdom Arden International 40 56'46.017 29.152
13 14 italy Luca Ghiotto spain Campos Racing 40 56'46.349 29.484
14 3 indonesia Sean Gelael italy Prema Powerteam 40 56'54.000 37.135
15 16 india Arjun Maini italy Trident 40 56'56.219 39.354
  20 switzerland Louis Deletraz czech_republic Charouz Racing System 32 46'19.058 8 laps
  7 united_kingdom Jack Aitken france ART Grand Prix 19 27'09.295 21 laps
  4 netherlands Nyck de Vries italy Prema Powerteam 7 11'57.638 33 laps
  10 switzerland Ralph Boschung netherlands MP Motorsport 4 5'26.104 36 laps
  15 israel Roy Nissany spain Campos Racing 3 4'11.279 37 laps

 

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About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Spielberg
Location Red Bull Ring
Drivers Antonio Fuoco , George Russell , Lando Norris
Teams ART Grand Prix
Author Jack Benyon
Article type Race report