F2: Drugovich Holds On For Surprise Sprint Race Win

F2 Debutee Felipe Dhrugovich celebrating his sprint race victory. Image sourced from @FIA_F2 via Twitter.

F2 Rookie Felipe Drugovich Takes Shock Victory In Spielberg.

Starting the Sprint Race from Pole after finishing the Feature Race in 8th is Felipe Drugovich.

Behind him followed; Louis Deletraz, Giuliano Alesi, Dan Ticktum, Christian Lundgaard, Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman and the Feature Race winner, Callum Ilott, round out the top eight.

The lights went out and it a good start by Drugovich who was unchallenged for most of the first lap.

Deletraz held second ahead of Ticktum, Alesi and Shwartzman. There was trouble for Alesi as on lap 2, he slowed and dropped to last.

The Safety Car was deployed to allow the marshals to recover the stricken BWT HWA Racelab car which had flames coming out of the rear before it was parked-up on the exit of Turn 3.

Behind the Safety Car, Drugovich still led ahead of Deletraz, Armstrong, Ticktum and Shwartzman.

Ilott’s still 8th while Mick Schumacher is 9th after starting in 11th.

Just as the Safety Car was going to pull into the pits, Sean Gelael retired his DAMS by pulling up at the marshal post before Turn 4. The Safety Car stays out for a final lap until racing resumes on lap 6.

Armstrong mounted the pressure on Deletraz and dived down the inside of Turn 3 but on the exit, Deletraz held onto the position into Turn 4.

After overtaking Ilott, Schumacher then pressured Nobuharu Matsushita as the Safety Car was re-deployed for the stricken Hitech of Luca Ghiotto.

The replay shows that Ghiotto was hit in the braking zone of Turn 4 by Jehan Daruvala who locked-up slightly, tapping the Italian into a spin and leaving him stuck in the gravel.

Guanyu Zhou had to take to the gravel to take avoiding action and drops to last after running in 15th.

On the lap 11 restart, Dhrugovich held his the lead after a brilliant restart. Artem Markelov had dropped to the back of the field with front wing damage after hitting the rear of Daruvala on the exit of Turn 1.

Impressive debutant Armstrong slowed after a loss of power.

The car completely lost power on the run to Turn 3 with the Safety Car being deployed once again.

The Stewards award Daruvala a 5 second time penalty after his coming together with Ghiotto.

Armstrong’s retirement moved Ticktum to 3rd, Shwartzman to 4th and Lundgaard to 5th.

Racing resumed on lap 17 with Drugovich leading.

Matsushita kept Schumacher at bay as the battle for 6th continued.

Matsushita was getting left behind as the top five started to pull away. Up-front, Drugovich had managed to get out of the DRS zone and led Deletraz by 1.6 seconds.

Ticktum, Shwartzman and Lundgaard had now closed up to make it a four-way fight for second.

Running wide on the entry to the start/finish straight allowed Jack Aitken to close up on Ilott with Aitken getting a better run through Turn 1 to move up into 8th on the run-down to Turn 3.

On for his maiden win, Drugovich still led but by 2 seconds as they entered the final lap.

Coming round the final corner, Drugovich wins in only his second F2 race ahead of Deletraz and fellow rookie Dan Ticktum.

Shwartzman, Lundgaard, Matsushita, Schumacher and Aitken round out the top eight who score points while 18 drivers finish the race.

It was a great race that was beautifully controlled by Drugovich.

The Brazilian rookie had to survive three Safety Car restarts and every time he pulled out a gap, just enough to get out of DRS range.

After a very poor year in F3, this series seems to suit MP Motorsport driver.