Nyck de Vries drove superbly to win the Feature race at Spa-Francorchamps, with no-one seemingly able to stay with him, particularly when using the soft Pirelli tyre in the opening stint on Saturday afternoon.
The Dutchman also survived a mid-race safety car period when Nirei Fukuzumi’s BWT Arden suffered an engine issue and caught fire exiting Blanchimont on lap fifteen, but despite the close proximity of Sergio Sette Câmara.
De Vries controlled the restart to perfection and ultimately edged clear of the Carlin driver to win by 3.153 seconds, the third victory of an ever-increasingly impressive 2018 FIA Formula 2 championship season for the Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing driver.
Sette Câmara had jumped ahead of George Russell on the run down to turn one on the opening lap after the championship leader suffered wheelspin at lights out, and it left the ART Grand Prix driver to defend throughout from his main championship rival Lando Norris.
Norris did survive a wild moment at the start when he went three-wide with Luca Ghiotto and Alexander Albon on the run down the Kemmel Straight on lap one, and the Briton also survived a last lap attack from Albon at the same point, only for the DAMS driver to go through the run-off at Les Combes and fall in behind the Carlin driver.
Artem Markelov ran the alternative strategy but found Ghiotto a hard nut to crack, with the Russian Time driver only just finding a way passed the Campos Vexatec Racing driver exiting the final corner on the final lap, the two finishing side by side but with the Russian 0.030 seconds ahead of the Italian.
Nicholas Latifi ran the same strategy as Markelov but like the Russian could not make the gains in the final laps despite being on potentially better tyres, but the Canadian will take some heart that the eighth place finish earns him the pole position for Sunday’s Sprint race.
The points scorers were rounded out by BWT Arden’s Maximilian Günther in ninth and Roy Nissany of Campos Vexatec Racing, the first time this season the Israeli driver has broken into the points.
As well as Fukuzumi’s fiery exit, Ralph Boschung was forced to retire when he crashed out exiting Bruxelles, while the same corner saw contact between the Charouz Racing System duo of Antonio Fuoco and Louis Delétraz, with the pair finishing right at the back of the field as a result.
Spa-Francorchamps Feature Race Result
|1||4||Nyck de Vries||NED||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||56:02.281|
|2||18||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Carlin||+3.153|
|3||8||George Russell||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+7.572|
|6||1||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||+13.181|
|7||14||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Campos Vexatec Racing||+13.211|
|9||11||Maximilian Gunther||DEU||BWT Arden||+15.915|
|10||15||Roy Nissany||ISR||Campos Vexatec Racing||+22.354|
|11||7||Jack Aitken||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+23.917|
|12||2||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Russian Time||+24.477|
|15||9||Dorian Boccolacci||FRA||MP Motorsport||+29.612|
|16||3||Sean Gelael||INO||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||+32.482|
|17||21||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Charouz Racing System||+32.706|
|18||20||Louis Deletraz||CHE||Charouz Racing System||+34.112|
|RET||10||Ralph Boschung||CHE||MP Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||JAP||BWT Arden||Retired|