Nicholas Latifi claims maiden Formula 2 win at Silverstone Sprint Race

Following the Formula 2 Sprint Race at Silverstone, Chris Soulsby looks at Nicholas Latifi's maiden Formula 2 win for DAMS.

After Charles Leclerc stormed to the Feature Race win at Silverstone yesterday, Formula 2 returned for the second time this weekend for the Sprint Race around the historic circuit. After finishing in eighth place, Nicholas Latifi started from pole while Jordan King started alongside him in second place for MP Motorsport.

Nicholas Latifi claims maiden Formula 2 win at Silverstone Sprint Race

When the lights went out, Latifi led into turn 1 followed by Luca Ghiotto and Oliver Rowland while Jordan King had lost two positions to be fourth out on track. King tried to fight back on Rowland to get himself back onto the podium positions, however, was pushed off the track by Rowland on the entry to the Wellington Straight, causing him to drop down the field and retire one lap later.  This incident was the under investigation, however, no further action was warranted.

Oliver Rowland then found himself under investigation once again, this time for forcing Artem Markelov off the track. In this investigation, Rowland was found to be at fault, and he was therefore handed a five second time penalty.

Behind Rowland, Charles Leclerc was closing in on Sergio Canamasas for fifth place, battling the Spanish driver hard out on track, launching multiple dummy maneuvers up the inside on the loop part of the circuit. After being stuck behind the Rapax for multiple laps, Leclerc finally passed Canamasas on lap 12 for fifth place, immediately finding clean air and setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 13.

The field then began to close in on Luca Ghiotto, and a train of cars soon formed from second-fifth place, with Rowland, Markelov, and Leclerc trailing the Italian.

A safety car on lap 19 bunched the field up after Ralph Boschung crashed on the hangar straight. The safety car then peeled into the pits on lap 20, leaving a one lap sprint to the finish. In this final charge, Artem Markelov overtook Oliver Rowland for third place and Sergio Canamasas started closing in on Leclerc, overtaking him around the outside in the third last corner on the final lap.

Out in front however, no one was able to challenge Nicholas Latifi and the Canadian took his maiden Formula 2 win for DAMS at Silverstone – his favourite circuit. Luca Ghiotto crossed the line in second place while Markelov finished third, marking a Russian Time 2-3.

Despite crossing the finish line in fourth place, a five second time penalty for Oliver Rowland dropped the British driver down to tenth place, out of the points. This promoted Sergio Canamasas to fourth place and Charles Leclerc to fifth. Norman Nato finished in sixth while Nyck de Vries put in a stunning performance to finish in seventh after starting in 20th place. Nobuharu Matsushita rounded out the points for ART Grand Prix in eighth place.

Through this result, Artem Markelov has moved into second place in the Drivers’ Championship, becoming Charles Leclerc’s nearest challenger. Formula 2 will return in Hungary for the seventh round of the 2017 Season where Charles Leclerc will aim to extend his championship lead and Oliver Rowland will be hoping to revive his challenge for the title.

Results from the British Formula 2 Sprint Race:

  1. Nicholas Latifi, DAMS, 15 points
  2. Luca Ghiotto, Russian Time, 12 points
  3. Artem Markelov, Russian Time, 10 points
  4. Sergio Canamasas, Rapax, 8 points
  5. Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, 6 points
  6. Norman Nato, Pertamina Arden Racing, 4 points
  7. Nyck de Vries, Rapax, 2 points
  8. Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix, 1 point
  9. Gustav Malja, Racing Engineering, 0 points
  10. Oliver Rowland, DAMS, 0 points
  11. Alexander Albon, ART Grand Prix, 0 points
  12. Robert Visoiu, Campos Racing, 0 points
  13. Antonio Fuoco, Prema Racing, 0 points
  14. Louis Delétraz, Racing Engineering, 0 points
  15. Callum Ilott, Trident, 0 points
  16. Sergio Sette Camara, MP Motorsport, 0 points
  17. Sean Gelael, Pertamina Arden Racing, 0 points
  18. Nabil Jeffri, Trident, 0 points
  19. Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing, Ret
  20. Jordan King, MP Motorsport, Ret

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