F2: Matsushita Beats Ghiotto and de Vries in Austria Feature Race

Source: Twitter (@FIA_F2)

Carlin’s Nobuharu Matsushita managed his tyres excellently to win the F2 Feature Race at the Red Bull Ring.

ART’s Nyck de Vries took Pole Position ahead of BWT’s Antoine Hubert and Uni-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou. Championship contenders, Nicholas Latifi and Jack Aitken struggled and ended up in sixth and 14th.

After stalling on the grid, Prema’s Mick Schumacher made his way back to the pit lane and eventually started the race a lap down.

After an excellent start, de Vries held onto the lead as Hubert and Zhou battled for second Hubert would come out on top, with Zhou dropping to fourth behind Matsushita. A lunge down the inside of Hubert into Turn 3 saw Matsushita grab second on Lap 2.

Nikita Mazepin and Jordan King made up places and were running ninth and tenth, as Luca Ghiotto and Nicholas Latifi squabbled over fifth place.

Ghiotto then set his eyes on Hubert and made a move on the Frenchman on Lap 5 into Turn 2 for fourth place. At this stage, De Vries’ lead had increased to 2.6 seconds.

Birthday boy Latifi was nudged into a spin by DAMS team-mate Sergio Sette Camara at Turn 2. Subsequently, the Canadian dropped to 16th, while Camara was given a five-second time penalty for the incident.

Back at the front, the top four of de Vries, Matsushita, Hubert and Zhou all made their pit stops at the end of Lap 6. On the following lap, Ghiotto, Louis Deletraz, Camara and Latifi also made their stops.

Zhou encountered engine troubles on Lap 9 and dropped the Chinese driver down to 15th with a gearbox glitch.

Having not pitted, Sean Gelael was leading ahead of Mazepin, Arjun Maini, Tatiana Calderon, O’Ward and Ryan Tveter,. De Vries was in seventh and led the drivers who had pitted.

On Lap 13, Deletraz was given a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane. The Carlin driver was now 12th after being overtaken by Callum Ilott.

By Lap 18, de Vries had move up to fifth place, after overtaking Tveter and O’Ward. Tveter was doing a great job of fending off Matsushita for seventh.

Three laps later, the race for the lead was down to half a second. Gelael was now starting to struggle, as Mazepin was putting the Prema driver under intense pressure.

On Lap 22, a move down the inside of Turn 2 sealed the deal for Mazepin and the race lead was his.

Matsushita and Ghiotto continued their fight through the field as they passed Calderon, Tveter and O’Ward, while Maini overtook Gelael for second at Turn 7.

De Vries was in third having passed Gelael and pursued after Maini. The Dutchman into Turn 1 on Lap 25 and claimed second place.

At the end of the lap, Gelael bailed out and pitted for fresh tyres. However, a slow stop hampered the Indonesian driver, who re-joined in 19th position.

After his gearbox issues, Zhou was making his way back up the field and disposed of Jordan King at Turn 3 for tenth.

Lap 30, and Matsushita and Ghiotto were third and fourth respectively, and were quickly catching the leading ART’s of Mazepin and de Vries.

de Vries then passed Mazepin for the lead into Turn 3 and had to manage his tyres until the end of the race and fend off the drivers behind.

Matsushita and Ghiotto overtook Mazepin soon after and the gap between Matsushita and de Vries became less than a second.

With the help of DRS, Matushita made a diving move down the inside of de Vries for the lead into Turn 1.

Ghiotto overtook the struggling ART driver down the inside of Turn 5 for second, while Mazepin pitted and re-joined in 14th. A late hurry-up by DAMS saw Camara overtake Hubert and then on the final lap, de Vries for third.

Crossing the line, Matsushita took the victory and his third F2 win ahead of Ghiotto and Camara. However, due to his five-second penalty, De Vries inherited third with Hubert fourth and Camara dropping to fifth.

Zhou and Latifi recovered to seventh and ninth with Jack Aitken in tenth.