Artem Markelov took his fourth FIA Formula 2 Championship victory of the season as the Russian came out on top in the Sprint race at the Circuito de Jerez on Sunday.
Early on, pole sitter Alex Palou got the jump on the field, but soon it became clear that tyres were to play an important part of the afternoon, with a number of drivers making the rare decision to make pit stops.
Palou led by more than three seconds early on from Nicholas Latifi and Markelov, but eventually found himself dropping off the pace, with the Spaniard falling into the clutches of the Canadian, Russian and Briton Oliver Rowland.
Markelov made a move on Latifi for second into turn one on lap twenty-three, and then took over the lead from Palou later on the same lap, with the Spaniard then falling to fourth on the following lap.
Markelov was in a class of his own up front, with the Russian Time driver pulling out a 11.840 second advantage in the final six laps of the race, with Latifi holding off Rowland to the chequered flag, but it was a two-car podium for DAMS.
The last four laps saw the drivers who had made pit stops coming through the field, with Charles Leclerc, one of the first drivers to make a pit stop, catching and passing Palou on the penultimate lap to move into fourth, only for his pace to drop off dramatically on the final lap to finish down in seventh, although Palou fell to eight as his tyres faded.
Luca Ghiotto claimed fourth despite running across the gravel trap at the exit of turn two on the opening lap following contact with Jordan King and making a pit stop, with the Russian Time racer getting the best of fellow Italian Antonio Fuoco on the final lap.
Nyck de Vries made a last corner move on Leclerc to claim sixth for Racing Engineering, with Palou just holding on for the final point ahead of Alexander Albon and Norman Nato.
Circuito de Jerez Sprint Race Result
|1||6||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||43:01.086s|
|4||5||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Russian Time||+14.691s|
|5||2||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Racing||+16.497s|
|6||3||Nyck de Vries||NED||Racing Engineering||+20.201s|
|7||1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Prema Racing||+20.510s|
|8||12||Alex Palou||ESP||Campos Racing||+25.027s|
|9||8||Alexander Albon||THA||ART Grand Prix||+25.613s|
|10||20||Norman Nato||FRA||Pertamina Arden||+30.411s|
|11||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+34.059s|
|14||14||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||MP Motorsport||+52.036s|
|16||21||Sean Gelael||INO||Pertamina Arden||+52.516s|
|18||4||Gustav Malja||SWE||Racing Engineering||+1:04.836s|
|19/RET||11||Ralph Boschung||SWI||Campos Racing||+1 Lap|
|RET||15||Jordan King||GBR||MP Motorsport||Retired|