Alexander Albon claims victory in a dramatic FIA Formula 2 feature race, leading a DAMS one-two and jumps Lando Norris in the championship.
Albon was able to make the jump over George Russell and Nyck de Vries in the pit stop window early in the race to capture his fourth win of the season. Team-mate Nicholas Latifi finished in second place, passing the Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing driver of Nyck de Vries with three laps to go.
ART Grand Prix‘s George Russell finished in fourth place but takes a points advantage over his championship rival Norris, as the Carlin Motorsport retired from the race after the front right wheel failed to stay on in the pit stop.
Albon’s victory means he overtakes Norris for second place in the drivers’ championship. Russell can claim the F2 championship with a strong result over Albon and Norris.
Sérgio Sette Câmara finished in fifth place ahead of Charouz Racing System driver Antonio Fuoco, who was the best driver starting on the alternative strategy by starting on the soft tyres. Trident‘s Alessio Lorandi claims his first points finish with seventh place. Roberto Merhi initially finished in eighth, but was penalised after the race for going off track and gaining an advantage. He would lose his reserve grid pole and demote down to ninth place.
BWT Arden‘s Nirei Fukuzumi was promoted to eighth and would take pole for the sprint race. Russian Time‘s Tadasuke Makino claimed the final point and rounds off the top ten.
Artem Markelov led majority of the race after starting from nineteenth and using the soft tyres to great effect. But a radio issue prevented the team communicating to the Russian and were left unprepared when he pitted in at the latter stage of the race. Markelov ended the race in twelfth place.
Norris race started off poorly, dropping behind to both DAMS cars and Russell on the opening lap. Makino made contact with Luca Ghiotto at the start of the race at Turn 1, with Ghiotto in the Campos Vexatec Racing car retiring from the race.
Markelov clawed his way through the field and caught up with the leading pack and eventually leading the race when the front runners on the Supersoft tyres make their pit stops.
Norris pitted in on Lap 7, but Carlin struggled to fit the front right tyre on, which forced him to retire from the race. Albon managed to get the jump of de Vries and Russell in the pit stops and becomes the leader of the soft compound runners.
Albon in the DAMS started to chase down the drivers who haven’t pitted yet, passing Dorian Boccalacci down the straight before Turn 13 and eventually passing Jack Aitken on the straight towards Turn 2. de Vries attempted to pass Maini but the pair made contact, but didn’t create much damage to the Prema car.
Markelov pitted from the lead on Lap 19, but due to an radio issue, the Russian Time mechanics were not prepared for the Russian driver, costing him lots of time and demoted him to eleventh place.
Maximilian Gunther stopped on track on the penultimate lap, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car for one lap, ending on the final lap as Albon claimed victory in Sochi ahead of Latifi and de Vries.
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