F2: Aitken Victorious in Silverstone Sprint Race

Jack Aitken celebrates his win in the Formula 2 Sprint Race at Silverstone. Image sourced from @FIA_F2 via Twitter.

Jack Aitken won the Formula 2 Sprint Race for Campos after a race-long pursuit of Carlin’s Louis Deletraz.

After finishing eighth in the Feature Race, Sauber Junior Callum Ilott lined-up on reserve grid Pole at his home race, with Deletraz alongside him.

Championship leader Nyck de Vries started third, while Silverstone Feature Race winner, Luca Ghiotto was further back in eighth place.

Deletraz leads the Way

Louis Deletraz during the Formula 2 qualifying session at Silverstone. Image sourced from @CarlinRacing via Twitter.

When the lights when out, Ilott suffered excessive wheel spin and got a poor start as a result.

This handed the lead to Deletraz and was pressured by those around him, such as Aitken and De Vries.

The Dutchman drafted alongside Aitken into turn 5, while Ilott defended fourth from Nicholas Latifi and Sergio Sette Camara ran wide.

A move round the outside of Aitken into Turns 6 and 7 gave De Vries 2nd place, but Aitken immediately tried to fight back. The subsequent squabbling between them allowed Deletraz to up build a decent initial lead.

Elsewhere, Carlin’s Nobuharu Matsushita had moved up to seventh, while Camara’s error dropped down to 17th place.

Trident’s Giuliano Alesi was having another difficult day, after spinning at Turn 7 through with Arjun Maini.

The Frenchman couldn’t get going again and brought out the Safety Car, which evaporated Deletraz’s small lead. Furthermore, Maini would later receive a drive-through penalty for causing a collision.

On Lap 4, the Safety Car peeled into the pits and saw Deletraz make a tidy restart, as Ghiotto and Latifi battled over fifth position.

As Mick Schumacher defended well against Matsushita, Camara had recovered to 12th place after overtaking Nikita Mazepin.

Action Amongst the Front-runners

Callum Ilott arguably produced his best performance of the Formula 2 in his home race at Silverstone. Image sourced from @callum_ilott via Twitter.

A couple of laps later, an opportunistic Aitken dived down the inside of De Vries and saw the pair run side-by-side between Turn 4 and 7.  When they arrived at Turn 7, Aitken went around the outside to reclaim second place.

Ilott saw how vunerable De Vries was and pursued after third, as Deletraz increased his lead to over 2 seconds. Then, with 10 laps to go, the gap at the front was closing as Aitken gained a few tenths each lap on Deletraz.

After being tucked-up behind the Canadian driver for most of the race, Ghiotto made a brilliant move on Latifi at the outside of turn 15 for fifth place.

As the closing stages approached, spots of rain arrived at some parts of the track, and after setting consecutive fastest laps, Aitken was within a second of Deletraz. On Lap 17, a Aitken moved past Deletraz into Turn 6 to take the lead.

Meanwhile, Ghiotto surrendered fifth place as he was forced to pit late on for a left-rear puncture.

Camara also had to pit for a new front wing after his collision with Juan Manuel Correa. Sixth-placed Schumacher was defending the position from Guanyu Zhou, allowing Matsushita to close up on the pair of them.

The Japanese driver then made a sweeping move round the outside of Turn 1 to move up into seventh.

Aitken Wins Home Race

Jack Aitken speaks to the fans in attendance at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix weekend. Image sourced from @remco_v_eldik via Twitter.

Upfront, Aitken was building his lead over Deletraz, as Ilott kept De Vries on his toes. The Briton would maintain the lead and win ahead of Deletraz and De Vries and Ilott. Latifi claimed fifth, while Schumacher held off Matsushita and Zhou sixth place.

In the Drivers’ standings, Nyck De Vries moved up to 170 points, and is 31 points ahead of Nicholas Latifi. They both increased the gap to Luca Ghiotto (122) and Sergio Sette Camara (121), who both failed to score points.

After wining and gaining two bonus points for the fastest lap, Aitken moves to fifth in the championship on 113 points.