Formula 2

Rowland Wins Hungaroring Feature despite Markelov Clash

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Oliver Rowland took victory in Hungary on Saturday - Credit: Hone/FIA Formula 2

Oliver Rowland secured his second FIA Formula 2 Championship victory of the season despite the Feature race at the Hungaroring ending behind the safety car following a controversial incident between the Briton and Artem Markelov that ended with the Russian in the turn one barrier.

Rowland had led since the pit stop cycle after jumping Markelov, who had initially jumped into the lead himself at the start, but with three laps remaining, the Russian Time driver got a good run on the DAMS driver heading down the start and finish straight but found Rowland robust in defence, pushing Markelov onto the grass.

From there, Markelov was completely out of control, spinning across the track and ending up spearing into the barriers at turn one at speed. The race was neutralised behind the safety car as the Russian gingerly pulled himself out of the car, where he immediately went into the medical car for checks.

Just before the deployment of the safety car, Nicholas Latifi attacked his team-mate for the lead heading into turn two, but the yellow flags then flew, denying the Canadian the opportunity for any further attacks, ensuring Rowland took the victory.

Nyck de Vries inherited the final spot on the podium for Rapax, while Charles Leclerc drove another superb race, climbing from the back of the grid following his disqualification from qualifying to finish an excellent fourth for Prema Racing, grabbing this position around the outside of Nobuharu Matsushita just before the safety car was deployed.

Leclerc made up eight positions on the opening lap to run eleventh, and eventually battled to the lead of the race after starting on the Medium Pirelli tyre and running long. He found himself embroiled in a battle with Alexander Albon, with the two clashing at the exit of turn two as the Monegasque drivers front wing clipped the rear wing of Albon’s ART Grand Prix machine, although both survived without damage.

Once Leclerc made his pit stop, he rejoined in eleventh but with the advantage of running the faster Soft tyre, and he almost immediately gained two positions when Sergio Canamasas and Robert Visoiu collided at turn one, which brought out the safety car.

On the restart, Leclerc jumped from ninth to sixth in one fell swoop, before moving to fourth thanks to passing Matsushita and capitalising on Markelov’s crash.

Luca Ghiotto finished sixth, salvaging some points for Russian Time, with Norman Nato of Pertamina Arden and Albon finishing seventh and eighth, while Sean Gelael and debutant Santino Ferrucci completed the points scorers. Albon’s eighth place ensures him pole position for Sunday’s Sprint race.

Post race, Gelael and Sergio Sette Câmara were both handed ten-second penalties for illegally using their Drag Reduction System on lap two of the race, with the device only becoming active on lap three. Gelael drops to fourteenth as a result and Sette Câmara to sixteenth, with Ferrucci moving up to ninth while Louis Delétraz took the final point, his first of the season.

Hungaroring Feature Race Result

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