Double Home Podium for George Russell in FIA Formula 2
ART Grand Prix driver George Russell drove a charging race through the field, to finish in 2nd position in the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race at Silverstone – completing a very successful ‘home’ race and extend his championship lead.
Russell started from 7th on the grid in the partially reversed F2 Sprint Race, after his second-place finish in yesterday’s Feature Race.
The race started with Russell maintaining position in the ‘rolling
start’ for the 21-lap race around the 5.891km Silverstone Circuit.
Russell soon began to make up ground, overtaking Luca Ghiotto into ‘Brooklands’ corner to begin his march through the field. Once he despatched the Campos Racer, Russell immediately set into closing the gap to the Charouz Racing pair of Antonio Fuoco and Louis Deletraz in front of him.
The BRDC Superstar managed to set up his overtaking manoeuvre on Fuoco by attacking the Italian driver in ‘Farm’ corner, setting himself up to pass him on the straight with DRS enabled into ‘Brooklands’ and move into 5th position.
Three laps later, Russell caught Deletraz and managed to move past him at his ‘favourite overtaking spot’, once again at ‘Brooklands’ underneath his supporters at the BRDC Grandstand.
At this point in the race, the potential race victory was on for Russell – as he soon clipped away at the advantage to Artem Markelov ahead. Russell once again pulled off his overtake at ‘Brooklands’ to move into the podium places. Soon after, a Virtual Safety Car period begun when Fuoco retired from the race at ‘Luffield’, following a collision with Lando Norris.
With four laps to go, Russell had caught Prema Racing’s Nyck
de Vries for 2nd position. Russell lined the Dutchman up for an
overtake onto the ‘Wellington Straight’ but he was pinched to the apex –
forcing him to lift off the throttle to avoid contact.
This allowed Markelov and Norris to close onto the back of the pair of them.
Nevertheless, Russell pulled off a very bold move on de Vries, going up the inside of the high speed ‘Copse’ corner to move into 2nd position.
Russell had three laps to close a 4.5s gap to the BWT Arden of Maximillian Günther ahead. The Briton was absolutely charging – taking over a second a lap out the leader. Russell managed to get into DRS range of Günther on the ‘Hanger Straight’ on the final lap, however he just missed out on a ‘home’ victory by a mere 0.5s at the chequered flag – after another storming Sprint Race drive.
George Russell "It was a great race, and I wanted to put on a little bit of a show for yesterday’s loss of the victory, you might say. I was looking after my tyres in the early stages before attacking quite hard after about six or seven laps. I had a really nice balance with the car, I felt really confident and I knew what I needed to do to save the tyres and we had great grip in the final stages – so that helped me to close the gap up to Maxi. The team were encouraging me to fight for the win, I thought they were joking, but I only finished half a second behind them. But it was a great race, congratulations to Maxi and also to Lando, who had a great race from P10."
After a pair of 2nd place finishes at his ‘home’ round at Silverstone, Russell has established a 37-point lead in in the FIA F2 standings over main championship rival Lando Norris, who finished 3rd in the Sprint Race to complete a double British podium in front of the ‘home’ crowd.
The next round of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship takes place at the Hungaroring Circuit in Budapest on the 27-29 July. Russell heads into the last race before the annual Summer Break, with the momentum behind him after a brilliant run of form throughout the ‘Triple Header’ weekends at Paul Ricard, Red Bull Ring and Silverstone.
Photos: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2