Latifi Cruises Towards Flawless Victory In Formula 2 Hungary Feature Race

by Aaron Gillard
Latifi - DAMS - F2 - Hungary (1)

DAMSNicholas Latifi claims victory in the FIA Formula 2 Feature race in Hungary, beating title rival Nyck de Vries towards his first win since Barcelona.

The Canadian driver started the race strongly, passing de Vries at Turn 1 when the ART Grand Prix driver locked up at the opening corner of the race, allowing Latifi into the lead of the race. de Vries managed to hold onto second place in the race, following behind Latifi throughout. Jack Aitken for Campos Racing claimed third place, having leapfrogged multiple drivers in the pit stop window. Latifi captured his first win in the series since May, winning the Feature race in Spain.

The Feature race started with pole sitter de Vries leading into Turn 1, but Latifi managed to find his way pass Luca Ghiotto at the start and then the Dutchman around the opening turn when de Vries locked up at the turn, allowing the Canadian pass into the lead of the race.

Anthoine Hubert and Sean Gelael from the back of the grid managed to make their way through the field on the first lap, finding themselves up to thirteenth and fourteenth place.

At the start of the fourth lap, Carlin‘s Louis Delétraz retired from the race when his engine gave way on the main straight. The Swiss driver was running in ninth place before retiring from the Feature race.

On Lap 6, de Vries became the first driver to make a pit stop in second place, switching to the Medium tyres and coming out in seventeenth place. Mick Schumacher, Aitken, Nobuharu Matsushita and Callum Ilott followed in on the next lap, with Aitken making the jump ahead of Schumacher in the pit stop.

Race leader Latifi made his stop on Lap 9, followed by the two UNI-Virtuosi Racing drivers of Ghiotto and Guanyu Zhou, double-stacking their drivers for their pit stops. Latifi managed to come out ahead of de Vries. Aitken became the big winner by jumping up ahead of Ghiotto, who came out behind Schumacher, but soon managed to find his way pass in the final sector for ninth place.

Jordan King took over as the race leader, using the alternative strategy alongside Hubert, Juan Manuel Correa and Gelael. Latifi was in fifth and the highest driver who had made their mandatory pit stop. The Canadian managed to catch up with the top four drivers, picking his way through the drivers whilst de Vries behind does the same as he tries to chase down the DAMS driver.

Schumacher sat in a net fifth place, but ninth on track behind Correa. But the German made a stunning overtake around the outside of Turn 1 on the American, after making a defensive move against the Prema. Arjun Maini in the Campos stopped on track at Turn 4, deploying the Virtual Safety Car for the first time in the Feature race.

On Lap 22 ,the VSC ended and King resumed his lead with his mandatory pit stop still to make. Matsushita managed to get a strong restart and pounces on Schumacher on the main straight to take eighth place. Latifi moved up to second place at the start of Lap 25, passing Hubert with ease at Turn 1, with the Frenchman still needing to make his mandatory pit stop.

Initial race leader King finally made his stop with ten laps to go, switching to the Soft tyres and handing the lead back to Latifi. The Brit came out in ninth place behind Ilott whilst Hubert followed in to make his stop, returning to the track in twelfth place. Schumacher began to struggle with his tyres, losing to Sérgio Sette Câmara for sixth place.

King used his new soft tyres to good effect by producing quick lap times and break into the top eight, claiming reverse grid pole in the process. The MP Motorsport driver duelled with fellow British driver Ilott for the position, winning the battle with a pass around the outside at Turn 2.

Ghiotto and Matsushita fought against each other at Turn 1 with the Italian defending hard at the inside of the corner. The aggressive defence from Ghiotto allowed Sette Câmara to close up and attack on the Japanese driver for fifth place, successfully passing the Carlin at Turn 3. Their confrontation allowed King to close up and pass Matsushita for sixth, but his pursuit was halted as the safety car came out with four laps to spare, after Ralph Boschung retired with a mechanical failure.

The race ended behind the safety car, allowing Latifi to cruise over the line to claim his first win since the Feature race in Barcelona. de Vries captured second place ahead of Aitken, who rounds off the podium places.

Ghiotto and King after the race were handed five second time penalties for Virtual Safety Car infringements, which demoted them out of their finishing position but remained in the points. However, the race stewards later reversed their penalties and handed reprimands instead.

Ghiotto landed fourth place ahead of Sette Câmara, King and Matsushita. Schumacher captured eighth place and will start on reverse grid pole for the Sprint race. Zhou and Ilott round up the points scorers with ninth and tenth place.

16DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN1:02:40.675
24ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED+0.752
315Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR+1.045
48UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITA+7.995
55DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ+4.144
616MP MotorsportJordan KingGBR+10.048
72Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN+5.282
89PREMA RacingMick SchumacherGER+15.807
97UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHI+17.795
1011Sauber Junior Team By CharouzCallum IlottGBR+18.562
1119BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA+20.018
123ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUS+22.072
1320TridentGiuliano AlesiFRA+22.754
1412Sauber Junior Team By CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA+23.756
1510PREMA RacingSean GelaelINO+28.183
1618BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOL+75.821
1717MP MotorsportMahaveer RaghunathanNED+76.712
DNF21TridentRalph BoschungCHELap 35/Mechanical
DNF16Campos RacingArjun MainiINDLap 18/Mechanical
DNF1Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHELap 4/Mechanical

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