Matsushita Dominates to take Hungaroring Sprint Race Victory

Nobuharu Matsushita took victory in the Sprint race in Hungary - Credit: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

Nobuharu Matsushita jumped into the lead at the start of Sunday’s Sprint race at the Hungaroring and dominated thereafter to take his second victory of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship season.

A slow start from front row starters Alexander Albon and Norman Nato gave the Japanese racer the opportunity of leading into turn one, and despite a small mistake at turn four early in the race, Matsushita was never under pressure, with the ART Grand Prix driver triumphing by 4.307 seconds.

Feature race winner Oliver Rowland ended the weekend with second place in the Sprint race, with the DAMS driver pulling off a great late race pass around the outside of turn two and into turn three on Nyck de Vries ensuring he had his best weekend in the championship so far.

De Vries himself had made a great pass of his own earlier in the race to move into second place, with the Rapax driver making a late move on Luca Ghiotto, who had run second up until that point but began suffering with his tyres, ultimately falling down the order in the closing laps and only just holding on for a point in eighth.

Charles Leclerc finished fourth for a second consecutive day despite suffering some issues with his Prema Racing car over the closing laps, which dropped him off the back of the battle for second into the clutches of those following.

Nato recovered from his sluggish start to finish right on Leclerc’s tail, with the Pertamina Arden driver withstanding race long pressure from Nicholas Latifi, while Albon could only finish seventh despite starting the race from pole position.

After his heavy crash on Saturday, Artem Markelov gambled on a pit stop to switch from the Medium to the Soft tyre compound during one of two virtual safety cars, but despite the pace advantage missed out on a point by less than a second, finishing on the tail of his Russian Time team-mate Ghiotto.

The two virtual safety cars were needed for cars stopped on track, the first of which was Robert Visoiu after the Campos Racing driver hit Nabil Jeffri at turn one, while Jeffri himself caused the second, running off track at turn four and coming back on track dangerously and hitting Sergio Canamasas, who retired on the spot with damage.

Jeffri returned to the pits with a damaged front wing, and was penalised ten seconds by the stewards for the incident, although it did not cost him anything finishing as he did down in fifteenth.

Hungaroring Sprint Race Result

17Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix44:52.900s
29Oliver RowlandGBRDAMS+4.307s
318Nyck de VriesNEDRapax+7.143s
41Charles LeclercMONPrema Racing+11.635s
520Norman NatoFRAPertamina Arden+12.458s
610Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS+13.485s
78Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix+16.754s
85Luca GhiottoITARussian Time+24.843s
96Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time+25.577s
1021Sean GelaelINOPertamina Arden+33.887s
1115Jordan KingGBRMP Motorsport+35.770s
123Louis DeletrazSWIRacing Engineering+35.823s
1314Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMP Motorsport+41.847s
1417Santino FerrucciUSATrident+42.122s
1516Nabil JeffriMAYTrident+1:26.947s
1611Ralph BoschungSWICampos Racing+1 Lap
172Antonio FuocoITAPrema Racing+1 Lap
N/C4Gustav MaljaSWERacing Engineering+5 Laps
RET19Sergio CanamasasITARapaxRetired
RET12Robert VisoiuROMCampos RacingRetired