Luca Ghiotto was Charles Leclerc’s closest challenger during Saturday’s Feature race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and the Italian racer confirmed himself as one of the drivers to watch in 2017 with a second place finish.
The Russian Time racer attacked Leclerc on the opening lap heading into turn four but could not make the move stick, but remained in touch with the Monegasque driver throughout the race, finishing just 3.730 seconds behind at the chequered flag.
Ghiotto felt he was quicker in the final stages of the race, but was unable to get close enough to make another challenge for the lead, and was happy to secure a good haul of points as he aims for the championship.
“I managed to lead by taking the inside line into Turn 4 on the opening lap but ran a little wide on exit and Charles re-passed me,” said Ghiotto. “I then lost a bit too much time managing my tyres in the opening stint.
“I was quicker than Charles at the end of the race on the prime tyre, but not enough to catch him. But the car was great and it’s another good result for the championship.”
Ghiotto found himself unable to better seventh in Sunday’s Sprint race after losing the chance to use his DRS after falling more than a second off Nobuharu Matsushita, which he admitted made him vulnerable from those behind, which meant he was unable to keep the fourth place he found himself in early on.
“I had a good opening lap and was up to fourth but when I lost the DRS range from Matsushita I was a bit of an easy target for those behind with DRS,” admitted Ghiotto.
“I was also struggling with the tyres from quite early in the race and needed to manage them to be a bit stronger at the end. Not ideal, but the points keep me third in the championship.”