Nobuharu Matsushita (Art Grand Prix) secured victory in the second F2 race this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, on the occasion of the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA PIRELLI 2017. Dams pair Oliver Rowland and Nicholas Latifi completed the podium. After leading with authority, Latifi run wide with only 4 laps to go, and had to be content with third place.
The action-packed 26-lap race was full of excitement from the very outset, when poleman Artem Markelov (Russian Time) got stuck on the starting grid and was overhauled by P3 sitter Nicholas Latifi. Before the first corner, an incident involving Antonio Fuoco (Prema Racing) and Nyck de Vries (Rapax) led to the depoyment of the Safety Car.
As soon as the race restarted, Latifi set a scorching pace and firmly marched to victory, building a 3 second gap from his rivals. With four laps to go, though, he went wide in the Moreneta area and his dream vanished under the wheels of Matsushita first, and Rowan a bit later.
The Japanese McLaren F1 test driver, who had already settled for second place, happily grasped the unexpected opportunity and drove to victory, clear of Rowland, the only driver who has revisited the podium in both races this weekend.
Championship leader and first-race winner Charles Leclerc (Prema Racing) started from 8th place on the grid, following the reverse-order line-up, and vaulted up the field to 4th, just outside the podium-paying positions. The young French Ferrari rookie is making a fantastic impression in his first Formula 2 season.
Two of the locals, Sergio Canamasas (Trident) and Roberto Merhi (Campos Racing), put up a strong performance after yesterday’s retirements. Canamasas started from the back of the grid and aggressively sliced through the field for an 11th place finish, and Merhi worked his way up from 18th place to wind up 12th.
Monte Carlo will host the next championship round on the occasion of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and overall leader Leclerc will again be on the hot spot.