Piastri wins shortened feature race

Oscar Piastri claimed victory of a chaotic and dramatically shortened feature race in Saudi Arabia, with Shwartzman claiming second place.

Championship leader Oscar Piastri had the chance to seal the title by scoring full points in Sunday’s feature race. Although, the Australian was unsuccessful and now has to finish the job in Abu Dhabi.

The start of the race faced an extensive delay due to barrier repairs. When the cars finally lined up on the grid, the sun had set and the floodlights lit up the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The lights went out and the cars lept from their grid slots. But the green flag racing lasted only a matter of meters as a violent collision occurred at the very start of the race. Theo Pourchaire’s car stalled off the line and an unsighted Enzo Fittipaldi clattered into the rear of his ART. The red flag was waved immediately.

The stoppage lasted for a lengthy period, the race getting back underway only an hour and 15 minutes prior to F1’s scheduled start. To compensate for the delays, race control altered the race distance to 20 minutes + 1 lap. However, a mandatory pit stop is still required as if the drivers were taking part in a typical feature race.

Due to the reduced distance, the number of points awarded was halved. This meant that Piastri could no longer clinch the title this weekend.

The FIA made a statement regarding the condition of both drivers later, confirming that they were sent to the King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Jeddah.

After a wait filled with uncertainty, the cars left the pits again to restart the race in a rolling formation. The safety car peeled into the pit lane and Oscar Piastri led the field to the green flag. It was Robert Shwartzman and Ralph Boschung trailing Piastri at the restart.

Boschung spent the next laps defending 3rd place hard from Guanyu Zhou, who he prevented from flying past at turn 1. The two made contact and Zhou slid off the road as a result.

Zhou never got a chance to retaliate the next lap, as an accident between Olli Caldwell and Guilherme Samaia brought out the red flag for the second time. Both drivers emerged unscathed from the incident, but the cars sat stranded in the middle of the circuit.

Shortly after the red flag was shown, race control declared the race after only a few laps of green-flag racing.

Oscar Piastri maintained his lead to win the extremely shortened feature race. Shwartzman and Boschung rounded out the podium as the rollercoaster of an F2 feature race came to an abrupt close.

1Oscar PiastriPREMA5 LAPS
2Robert ShwartzmanPREMA+1.1
3Ralph BoschungCampos+2.7
4Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi+3.0
5Felipe DrugovichUNI-Virtuosi+4.4
6Juri VipsHitech GP+4.8
7Christian LundgaardART+6.0
8Marcus ArmstrongDAMS+6.1
9Liam Lawson Hitech GP +6.5
10Daniel TicktumCarlin+9.4
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