Pietro Fittipaldi took a second consecutive victory around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday as he consolidated his advantage in the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship.
The Lotus driver retained the lead at the start and survived two safety car periods at either end of the race to take his sixth victory of 2017 and move fifteen points clear at the head of the championship standings with two rounds and four races remaining.
There was drama even before the race got underway, with Diego Menchaca starting the race from the pit lane, while Matevos Isaakyan, Fittipaldi’s closest challenger in the championship standings, stalled as the lights went out. He was pushed into the pit lane and restarted, but rejoined at the very back of the field.
Initially, Fittipaldi led team-mate Rene Binder, who jumped up to second at the start, while Alex Palou moved up to third ahead of Egor Orudzhev. However, starting lap two, the drivers running in third and fourth collided on the run down to turn one, with both Palou and Orudzhev ending up in the barriers after the latter hit the rear of the Spaniard’s car.
For Orudzhev, it ended a wretched weekend in Mexico that saw the SMP Racing by AVF driver complete just one racing lap across the two races, and it saw the field bunch up behind the safety car, with Isaakyan able to bridge the gap.
The pit stops started not long after the race resumed, and Fittipaldi remained in the lead, although Binder dropped out of the race from second with a technical issue just one lap after his own stop. It was particular bad luck for the Austrian, who had retained his position ahead of Alfonso Celis Jr when he retired.
Celis Jr was able to claim second place in front of his home fans, but all eyes were on the battle for third between Roy Nissany and the recovering Isaakyan that would come to a head on the penultimate lap when they collided on the exit of turn twelve.
Nissany ended up in the wall and out of the race, with the safety car returning to the track with his heavily damaged RP Motorsport car stranded at the side of the track. Isaakyan recovered to take the chequered flag, although he did fall behind Teo Martin Motorsport’s Konstantin Tereschenko, who claimed the final spot on the podium, the first time the Russian has finished inside the top three in 2017.
Menchaca finished fifth despite his race starting in the pit lane, while Giuseppe Cipriani secured a career best sixth for Il Barone Rampante, while Yu Kanamaru was the final finisher in seventh for RP Motorsport.
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Race 2 Result
|1||4||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRZ||Lotus||25 Laps|
|2||7||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||Fortec Motorsports||+1.062s|
|3||9||Konstantin Tereschenko||RUS||Teo Martin Motorsport||+2.023s|
|4||6||Matevos Isaakyan||RUS||SMP Racing by AVF||+11.178s|
|5||8||Diego Menchaca||MEX||Fortec Motorsports||+39.362s|
|6||15||Giuseppe Cipriani||ITA||Barone Rampante||+51.059s|
|7||12||Yu Kanamaru||JAP||RP Motorsport||+57.867s|
|8/RET||11||Roy Nissany||ISR||RP Motorsport||+2 Laps|
|RET||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Teo Martin Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||5||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||SMP Racing by AVF||Retired|