Liam Lawson was unable to stop Marcus Armstrong from taking the win at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the first Sprint Race of the weekend.
The first-ever race in Jeddah got underway today, the F2 grid taking to the track for the first reverse-grid Sprint Race of the day.
The lights went out and Marcus Armstrong got the better start off the front row, diving up the inside of Liam Lawson at turn 1. The New Zealander locked up and pushed his way past Lawson to take the lead.
Four corners were traversed by the field before the first Safety Car was required. Guilherme Samaia clashed with Marino Sato, spinning them both out of contention.
Armstrong timed the restart well, keeping ahead of Lawson. Meanwhile, a dramatic blow was dealt to the championship fight as Guanyu Zhou spun after attempting a move with Christian Lundgaard. The Chinese driver pitted the following lap to replace his front wing. Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri remained stuck in P10 during the opening several laps.
During the halfway stage of the race, Juri Vips managed to fight his way past Ralph Boschung for 3rd place. Felipe Drugovich followed through the following lap, making his way to P4.
Shwartzman made his way to P5, while his teammate Oscar Piastri scrapped with the likes of Theo Pourchaire and Boschung for a massive battle in the middle of the top 10. Unfortunately, Boschung would soon drop out of the top 10 by lap 14.
Shwartzman made good progress from 9th on the grid but received a 5-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
On lap 14, Pourchaire spun on his own and slammed the barriers, bringing out the second Safety Car of the race. The driver sitting P5 in the championship standings was out of contention.
The Safety Car peeled into the pits on lap 18 and Armstrong once more led the field back to the green flag. Lawson made a desperate lunge at turn 1 in an attempt to take the lead, but Armstrong held on.
It was a relatively clean restart, with Piastri searching for a way past Lundgaard for P6. Jehan Daruvala, however, had other plans for Piastri and flew up the inside of both of them. Briefly making it three abreast, the Carlin driver slipped past to secure 6th.
Piastri tried to get by the ART car once again on the final lap but was denied any room into turn 1.
Lawson suddenly drew very close to the back of Armstrong’s leading DAMS. Lawson gave his all to fight past on the final lap but ran out of corners. Armstrong took the victory in the first-ever F2 race in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Dan Ticktum swept around the outside of Piastri and took 8th position on the final lap of the race.
The top 10 of the Formula 2 Sprint Race 1 in Jeddah:
|2||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+0.563|
|3||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+2.044|
|6||Robert Shwartzman||PREMA Racing||+8.278|
|7||Christian Lundgaard||ART GP||+8.377|
|9||Oscar Piastri||PREMA Racing||+8.613|