F2: Norris Leads Carlin 1-2 in Bahrain

Source: Twitter (@CarlinRacing)

Lando Norris (Carlin) produced a dominant performance to win the feature race in Bahrain.

The initial race start was aborted after Artem Markelov (Russian Time) and Roberto Merhi (MP Motorsport) both stalled on the grid, with the latter unable to start due to an electrical issue.

When the race got under way at the second time of asking, Lando Norris got a fantastic start from pole to lead into Turn 1.

Norris’ Carlin team-mate Sérgio Sette Câmara had an equally great start to move from sixth to second, whilst George Russell (ART) suffered excessive wheel spin off the grid and dropped to fifth.

As Norris began to pull away, Nyck de Vries (Prema) used the slipstream to pass Câmara into Turn 1 for second.

Further back, Markelov started to fight back and had moved up to tenth after Lap 5, having been forced to start from the pit lane.

However, whilst duelling with Maximilian Günther (Arden), the Russian was on the outside on the approach to Turn 10 and ran wide but maintained position.

Shortly after, Jack Aitken (ART) tried to defend eighth place from Günther into Turn 1 but both drivers went wide.

Pandemonium followed, as Markelov led a train of cars looking to take advantage, with the Russian moving up to eighth and Aitken dropping down to 15th.

Back at the front, Câmara and Alexander Albon (DAMS) battled over third, with the Brazilian pulling off the decisive manoeuvre at Turn 1, whilst Norris led de Vries by seven seconds.

Câmara then used his new-found momentum to catch up to de Vries and go after second.

The Dutchman held the inside line as headed into Turn 1, but was struggling with tyre wear and subsequently got past to reclaim the position.

Despite experiencing issues with deploying his DRS, Albon was also able to find a way through to relegate de Vries down to fourth, with Russell closing him down.

Louis Delétraz (Charouz Racing) and Tadasuke Makino (Russian Time) were the first drivers to make the mandatory pit stops, with the latter suffering a puncture after an incident with Luca Ghiotto (Campos), and resulted in the Italian receiving a driver through penalty.

Having been unable to find a way past de Vries, Russell made his stop from fifth.

Nirei Fukuzumi (Arden), who had moved up to fifth, pitting a lap later and re-joined behind the British driver.

Russell was getting up to speed and used the undercut to pass Câmara and Albon after their respective pit stops and set his sights on catching Norris.

However, the McLaren junior had a big enough cushion and comfortably re-joined in front.

Câmara once again reclaimed second place, this time passing Russell into Turn 1.

In the battle for third, Albon’s DRS issue was fixed and he passed Russell for third, whilst Markelov continue his charge to move into fourth a lap later.

Markelov wasn’t done there and chased after Albon for third and lunged down the inside at Turn 1 to secure his place on the podium.

The Russian had enough life in his tyres to attempt an overtake on Câmara at the beginning of the final lap.

Markelov got a better run out of the final corner and went up the inside.

However, under braking Câmara lunged to the right to reclaim the position.

But at the end of the day, it was Norris who took the victory, with Câmara’s last lap heroics giving Carlin a 1-2 finish.

Albon was not too far behind in fourth, with Russell holding off de Vries for fifth place.

Sean Gelael (Prema), who had qualified 19th, pulled off an equally impressive performance to finish in seventh place.

Günther claimed eighth, ahead of Ralph Boschung (MP Motorsport) whilst Aitken held on to claim the final championship point in tenth.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Bahrain Feature Race Classification:

Pos. Car No. Driver (Nationality) Team Time
1 19 Lando Norris (GBR), Carlin 54:05.938
2 18 Sérgio Sette Câmara (BRA), Carlin +6.909
3 1 Artem Markelov (RUS), RUSSIAN TIME +7.405
4 5 Alexander Albon (THA), DAMS +9.966
5 8 George Russell (GBR), ART Grand Prix +14.201
6 4 Nyck de Vries (NED), PERTAMINA PREMA +16.796
7 3 Sean Gelael (IDN), PERTAMINA PREMA +18.649
8 11 Maximilian Günther, (DEU), BWT Arden +21.710
9 10 Ralph Boschung (CHE), MP Motorsport +25.876
10 7 Jack Aitken (GBR), ART Grand Prix +28.896
11 6 Nicholas Latifi (CDN), DAMS +30.658
12 20 Louis Delétraz (CHE), Charouz Racing System +38.690
13 14 Luca Ghiotto (ITA), Campos Vexatec Racing +43.165
14 17 Santino Ferrucci (USA), Trident +53.367
15 16 Arjun Maini (IND), Trident +57.282
16 15 Roy Nissany (ISR), Campos Vexatec Racing +1:28.966
17 12 Nirei Fukuzumi (JPN), BWT Arden +1:43.966
18 21 Antonio Fuoco (ITA), Charouz Racing System +1:44.948
19 2 Tadasuke Makino (JPN), RUSSIAN TIME +1 Lap
Not Classified
9 Roberto Merhi (ESP), MP Motorsport DNS; Electrical Issue