Oscar Piastri led from pole position to win the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at Sochi, strengthening his championship lead to thirty-six points over second place.
The Prema Powerteam driver and Théo Pourchaire in second were seemingly in a race of their own as they finished ten-seconds ahead of Jehan Daruvala in third.
When the lights went out, Piastri comfortably led the pack into turn one as Pourchaire slipped past Daruvala following a poor start. A difficult turn two also saw the Indian driver lose out to Ralph Boschung who got an inside line on the 180-degree turn three.
The closest championship contendor, Guanyu Zhou suffered a similar fate at the start after he dropped from fourth position down to eighth. At the same time Bent Viscaal ended his weekend to forget as he spun out at turn two due to contact with Roy Nissany, resulting in a five second penalty for the Israeli.
After a brief virtual safety car to recover Viscaal’s Trident, Jüri Vips was struck with more unreliability issues and was forced to retire from his second feature race in a row.
Race leader Piastri pitted at the end of lap eight, and Pourchaire tried to make the most of his pace by attempting the overcut. The Sauber junior did manage to pull it off, but the warmer tyres on the Prema were too much of an advantage and Piastri regained the net-lead of the race.
Liam Lawson was the physical leader of the race owing to his choice to run the alternate strategy and start on the medium tyres and switch to the super-soft on his second stint. The plan didn’t work as well as he had hoped after he pitted on lap seventeen and lost a place to Robert Shwartzman which dropped him down to seventh.
The two rookies of Piastri and Pourchaire proceeded to cut their way through the rest of the alternate strategy pack with Boschung in third and in danger of losing out to Daruvala behind. A lock-up into the turn thirteen braking zone was the final blow as the Carlin driver easily took the position from the Swiss driver.
Things would go from bad to worse for Boschung, later losing positions to Shwartzman and Sprint Race winner Dan Ticktum before having to retire following a puncture.
Piastri took the chequered flag with no massive threat from the young Frenchman behind with Daruvala finishing ahead of Shwartzman. Ticktum and Zhou then completed the top six with Lawson, Richard Verschoor, Christian Lundgaard and David Beckmann rounding the top ten.
There is a ten week break until the next round of Formula 2. Yes, ten weeks… We will see the next chapter of the 2021 season at Saudi Arabia on the first weekend of December. Until then, Piastri leads Zhou by 178 points to 142 points.
|1||2||Oscar Piastri||AUS||Prema Powerteam||53:20.402|
|2||10||Theo Pourchaire||FRA||ART Grand Prix||+1.928|
|4||1||Robert Shwartzman||RAF||Prema Powerteam||+14.485|
|7||7||Liam Lawson||NZL||Hitech Grand Prix||+30.596|
|8||11||Richard Verschoor||NLD||MP Motorsport||+33.451|
|9||9||Christian Lundgaard||DNK||ART Grand Prix||+37.775|
|10||20||David Beckmann||DEU||Campos Racing||+39.118|
|12||14||Enzo Fittipaldi||BRA||Charouz Racing System||+44.482|
|13||15||Guilherme Samaia||BRA||Charouz Racing System||+45.798|
|16||12||Lirim Zendeli||DEU||MP Motorsport||+1:08.370|
|17||23||Alessio Deledda||ITA||HWA Racelab||+1:24.9|
|18||22||Jake Hughes||GBR||HWA Racelab||+1 lap|
|19/RET||21||Ralph Boschung||CHE||Campos Racing||+3 laps|
|RET||8||Jüri Vips||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||Retired|