Oscar Piastri strengthens his championship lead after winning the Formula 2 Feature Race at the Sochi Autodrom.
It was time for the main event race of the Formula 2 race weekend at Sochi. However, only 21 drivers got to the grid as Felipe Drugovich was not cleared to race after his heavy shunt ahead of Saturday’s Sprint Race 1.
The race got underway and it was a comfortable start for the polesitter Oscar Piastri. Jehan Daruvala struggled and dropped from 2nd to 4th as Theo Pourchaire and Ralph Boschung were in the top 3. Bent Viscaal’s nightmare weekend ended in the run to turn 2. Lirim Zendeli got front wing damage, so he went to the pits. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed.
Piastri built the gap from Pourchaire and then set the fastest lap of the race, which was crucial in the title battle. Roy Nissany got a 5-second penalty for causing a collision with Viscaal on the opening lap.
Guanyu Zhou found himself in a difficult situation – he was 8th with his championship rival in the lead. The Chinese knew that he needed to make moves and started with the overtake on Juri Vips. However, the Hitech GP driver had some issues and retired eventually. At the same time, Zhou wasted no time and was in the top 5 already.
It was time for mandatory pit stops. Robert Shwartzman had a slight issue as he did not leave the pit box straightaway. Pourchaire was ahead of Piastri after the stops, but not for long as the Australian made the overtake.
The drivers who started the race on mediums had a long first stint, but tire degradation played its role as those who had pitted were catching up. Piastri overtook Nissany and Sato without any issues, while Pourchaire was stuck behind the DAMS driver and lost around a bit of time. Eventually, Piastri got ahead of Guilherme Samaia and came back to the lead.
Boschung was still running 3rd in the final stages of the race, but Daruvala wanted to get to the podium after a bad start. The Campos Racing driver had a big lock-up, allowing Daruvala to move up in the standings. Shwartzman also capitalized on Boschung’s mistake and got up to 4th.
In the end, Boschung’s race ended in the worst way possible as he had to retire due to engine failure. Upfront, Piastri stayed ahead and won the race, Pourchaire crossed the finish line 2nd, while Daruvala completed the podium.
The top 10 of the Formula 2 Feature Race at Sochi:
|1||Oscar Piastri||PREMA Racing||53:20.402|
|2||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+1.928|
|4||Robert Shwartzman||PREMA Racing||+14.485|
|7||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+30.596|
|8||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+33.451|
|9||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+37.775|
|10||David Beckmann||Campos Racing||+39.118|