Formula 2

Matsushita wins from 18th on the grid thanks to well-timed safety car.

2 Mins read
Credit: FIA Formula 2

Nobuharu Matsushita never wins easy in FIA Formula 2 and he proved so again coming from eighteenth on the grid to win the feature race in Spain.

It looked like Callum Ilott had the race won as he was already past Matsushita before the Japanese racer had pitted but a perfectly timed safety car started his charge to victory.

He restarted in third behind Ilott and the then race leader Yuki Tsunoda who gambled and stayed out on well-worn hard tyres. Ilott was all over the Carlin and tried to make a move but Tsunoda shut the door, thus opening one for Matsushita who took full advantage.

Ilott was forced wide as the MP Motorsport driver got past and the Brit was then overtaken by Robert Shwartzman who was able to follow him home for second.

Matsushita also secured the two extra points for fastest lap on the final lap.

Roy Nissany found the barrier towards the end of the race and that left one lap of racing at the end in a race that saw thirty five of the thirty seven laps completed due to time restraints.

On that final lap, Ilott tried again to overtake Tsunoda but he again failed as his teammate Guanyu Zhou and Nikita Mazepin also passed the UNI-Virtuosi car. Mazepin crossed the line third but had a time penalty which dropped him out of the points.

That meant Zhou finished third ahead of Tsunoda and Ilott who was very unhappy with the robustness of the drivers he was racing.

Mick Schumacher was classified sixth ahead of Felipe Drugovich who drove a fine race but pitted a lap too late under the second safety car and dropped back from a provisional second place.

Mazepin’s penalty helped his Hitech GP teammate Luca Ghiotto to eighth and reverse grid pole position ahead of an unusually quiet Dan Ticktum and Louis Delétraz.

Sean Gelael and Jack Aitken both stopped on the final lap and have a big job ahead of them in Sunday’s sprint race.

Marcus Armstrong (Lap One), Guiliano Alesi (Lap Twenty-Five) and Nissany (Lap Thirty-Two) all did not finish and also brought out a safety car each in the process.

Pos.NameTeamLaps/Gap
1Nobuharu MatsushitaMP Motorsport35 Laps (Of planned 37)
2Robert ShwartzmanPREMA+1.599
3Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi+6.166
4Yuki TsunodaCarlin+7.796
5Callum IlottUNI-Virtuosi+7.954
6Mick SchumacherPREMA+8.471
7Felipe DrugovichMP Motorsport+8.831
8Luca GhiottoHitech GP+8.992
9Dan TicktumDAMS+9.438
10Louis DelétrazCharouz+9.494
11Christian LundgaardART+9.658
12Artem MarkelovHWA Racelab+10.552
13Nikita MazepinHitech GP+10.661
14Pedro PiquetCharouz+14.389
15Marino SatoTrident+15.157
16Guilherme SamaiaCampos+15.327
17Jehan DaruvalaCarlin+18.437
18Jack AitkenCamposDNF (Contact)
19Sean GelaelDAMSDNF (Contact)
20Roy NissanyTridentDNF (Crash)
21Guiliano AlesiHWA RacelabDNF (Contact)
22Marcus ArmstrongARTDNF (Spin/Gravel)
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