Russell wins action packed Barcelona FIA F2 Feature Race
George Russell took his second FIA Formula 2 victory in as many races, after a controlled drive in a frenetic Feature Race at the Circuit de Catalunya
ART Grand Prix’s Russell lined up 4th on the grid after a strong qualifying performance on Friday. Heavy clouds and a threat of rain lingered for the start and opening laps of the race, before the action exploded into life.
Russell managed to get a great getaway from the second row, vaulting himself up
to 2nd position on the long run into turn one.
Russell was soon on the back of Prema Racing’s Nyck de Vries, before a Virtual
Safety Car (VSC) was deployed for the stranded BWT Arden of Maximilian Günther
at Turn 2.
Racing resumed on the fourth lap of the race, where Russell immediately pounced on his rival to take the lead of the race. He made full use of the slipstream down the main straight, making his move around the outside of Turn 1 to take the position.
A second VSC was deployed after the two MP Motorsport
teammates were involved in a collision, with the race resuming on the eighth
Alexander Albon emerged as Russell’s main challenger, as the DAMS driver passed de Vries and began to chase for the lead.
Arjun Maini’s stranded Trident car brought out the third VSC period, which lasted until lap 14. Soon after, the pitstop window opened for the drivers on the alternative strategy – starting on the soft compound tyres.
As the leading group, including Russell, stayed out on their Medium compound
tyres. Albon was the first of this pack to suffer from tyre degradation, as he was soon passed by
The Dutchman began to close in on the back of Russell, with the two
leaders pitting on the 27 lap nose-to-tail in the pitlane.
The ART pit crew made a superb pitstop to keep Russell in the lead, now equipped with the softer compound tyres. Russell fended off the challenge from de Vries, who piled on the pressure for the lead, before the VSC was deployed for the fourth time – caused by a collision between Louis Deletraz’s Charouz and Sean Gelael’s Prema Racing car.
Action restarted on lap 32, where de Vries went for a bold move for the lead on Russell at Turn 5– with the latter managing to resist and reclaim the position. Russell then managed to pull out a one-second advantage over his rivals, moving him out of DRS threat from behind. Russell took the chequered flag after an action packed race by 1.0s from de Vries and Lando Norris- sealing his second F2 race win, in as many races.
George Russell “There were a number of VSCs and we’ve never really tested or used it before, so going in blind made it tricky for all of us. But yeah, it was action-packed, and after the final VSC Nyck and I were pushing – maximum attack, really – and that was great fun to push these cars to the limit. There was huge pressure, especially get out of the DRS zone, because with the headwind today the DRS had a huge effect. All in all, it was a great race.”
After his race victory, Russell moves up to 3rd in the championship standings on 52 points. The Briton will start the partially reversed grid Sprint Race tomorrow from 8th position on the grid.
The 26-lap Sprint Race starts at 11:30 (GMT+2) and is shown live on Sky Sports F1 HD.
Images: FIA F2 Media