Antonio Giovinazzi claimed his third victory of the season in an interesting Sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday.
The Prema Racing driver made a good start to jump from third on the grid to run second, and then made a mid-race pass on pole sitter Gustav Malja to assume the lead, and despite taking a few laps to break away from the Swede, Giovinazzi ended up 2.359 seconds clear at the chequered flag.
Malja remained in second place to allow the Rapax driver to secure his maiden GP2 Series podium finish, while Luca Ghiotto made it three rookie drivers on the podium with third for Trident, having lost his second place to Giovinazzi at the start.
Pierre Gasly secured fourth after a storming drive with a number of impressive overtakes, made even better when he drove the majority of the race with a missing element on his front wing after a small clash with Oliver Rowland.
Gasly took his Prema Racing machine around the outside of Rowland at Eau Rouge after disposing of championship rival Sergey Sirotkin the lap before at La Source, before then making moves on Alex Lynn and Jordan King to move into sixth.
He was not done there however, as he quickly closed the gap down to the battling Russian Time duo of Raffaele Marciello and Artem Markelov, and found his way passed both in short order to run fourth, but he ran out of time to get close enough to Ghiotto.
Marciello held onto fifth, but Markelov’s pace dropped off in the closing laps, and lost positions to both Lynn and King to run eighth, only to find himself facing the wrong way at the final corner on the final lap after a wild Sirotkin hit his fellow Russian’s car as he misjudged an overtake on Rowland.
Rowland took advantage of the move to claim eighth and the final point, with Sirotkin ninth but under investigation from the stewards. Sergio Canamasas completed the top ten for Carlin, while Norman Nato was eleventh having started at the back of the field following his retirement from Saturday’s Feature race.
Spa-Francorchamps Sprint Race Result
|1||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Prema Racing||36:48.422|
|4||21||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Prema Racing||+4.479|
|5||9||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Russian Time||+6.634|
|7||4||Jordan King||GBR||Racing Engineering||+10.458|
|8||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||MP Motorsport||+13.133|
|9||2||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||+15.557|
|11||3||Norman Nato||FRA||Racing Engineering||+17.011|
|13||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+20.170|
|14||7||Mitch Evans||NZL||Campos Racing||+20.713|
|16||23||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||+25.989|
|17||24||Nabil Jeffri||MAY||Arden International||+31.645|
|18||8||Sean Gelael||INO||Campos Racing||+34.203|
|19||14||Philo Paz Armand||INO||Trident||+43.500|
|20||25||Jimmy Eriksson||SWE||Arden International||+1:26.962|
|21||10||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||+1 Lap|
|22||12||Arthur Pic||FRA||Rapax||+1 Lap|