Sochi F2: Zhou wins truncated sprint race after huge crash

Guanyu Zhou was declared the winner of a truncated Formula 2 sprint race at Sochi following a high-speed crash between Jack Aitken and Luca Ghiotto on lap 8 of 21.

Sochi F2: Zhou wins truncated sprint race after huge crash
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At the start of the race, Jack Aitken made a quick start from third on the grid to pass Nikita Mazepin and challenge Guanyu Zhou for the lead into Turn 2.

However, Aitken’s charge didn’t last for long and Mazepin repassed him on the second lap, before he was demoted to fourth by Prema’s Mick Schumacher, who had made a lightning start from eighth following his victory in Saturday’s feature race.

Out front, Mazepin had brought the deficit to Zhou down to under half a second when the race had to be red flagged on Lap 8 following a massive crash between Aitken and the Hitech of Ghiotto.

Ghiotto passed Aitken for second heading into Turn 2, but the Campos driver tried to retake the spot into the long Turn 3 left-hander. As they drove side-by-side, Aitken hit Ghiotto’s Hitech, sending both cars straight into the barriers.

The race was red-flagged immediately due to damage sustained to the barriers, and Ghiotto’s car was later seen catching fire, likely caused by a fuel leak.

Both cars were retrieved and FIA race director Michael Masi was seen at the crash site to assess the damage to the barriers, but after 25 minutes of waiting a decision was made to not restart.

With less than 75% of the race distance completed, only half the points were awarded to the top eight finishers.

Zhou was declared the race winner, scoring his maiden victory in his sophomore season in the category, while Mazepin finished second ahead of championship leader Schumacher.

Aitken and Ghiotto were classified fourth and fifth respectively as the results were taken at the end of lap 5, while Red Bull/Honda junior Yuki Tsunoda was classified sixth ahead of title rival Callum Ilott (Virtuosi).

DAMS driver Dan Ticktum picked up half a point for finishing eighth.

Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala was running behind teammate Tsunoda, but was handed a five-second penalty for not following the correct procedure to rejoin the track after running wide at Turn 2, dropping him down to 11th.

F2 Sochi sprint race results:

POS DRIVER TEAM GAP
1 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi -
2 Nikita Mazepin Hitech Grand Prix 0.8s
3 Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 4.8s
4 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 6.4s
5 Luca Ghiotto Hitech Grand Prix 7.6s
6 Yuki Tsunoda Carlin 8.2s
7 Callum Ilott UNI-Virtuosi 9.1s
8 Dan Ticktum DAMS 9.7s
9 Pedro Piquet Charouz Racing System 10.5s
10 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 11.2s
11 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 11.9s
12 Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB 12.4s
13 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 13.5s
14 Marcus Armstrong ART Grand Prix 14.0s
15 Marino Sato Trident 14.6s
16 Giuliano Alesi MP Motorsport 15.0s
17 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 15.7s
18 Juri Vips DAMS 17.1s
19 Roy Nissany Trident 17.7s
20 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 38.0s
- Guilherme Samaia Campos Racing Retirement
- Jake Hughes BWT HWA RACELAB Retirement
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