|2017 Bahrain Feature Race|
The DRS filled Bahrain International Circuit
|Date||15 April 2017|
|Event||2017 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix|
|Location|| Bahrain International Circuit|
|Lap length||5.406 km (3.359 mi)|
|Distance||32 laps / 173.184 km (107.612 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Charles Leclerc|
|Time||1:46.038 on lap 24|
|Artem Markelov||Norman Nato||Charles Leclerc|
|Winner Team||Russian Time|
|2016 Yas Marina Sprint Race||2017 Bahrain Sprint Race|
The 2017 Bahrain Feature Race, otherwise officially known as the 2017 Sakhir Race 1, was the opening race of the 2017 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Bahrain International Circuit on the 15 April 2017. The race was the first official race of the Formula Two Championship, and would see several future F2 stars make the debuts.
Pole position for the first F2 race would go to Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc, who was a huge three quarters of a second faster than anyone else in qualifying. Second on the grid would go to fellow F2/GP2 Series debutante Nyck de Vries, with veterans Norman Nato and Luca Ghiotto sharing the second row.
Leclerc duly aced the start to streak into the lead, followed by Nato as de Vries made a slow getaway from the outside of the front row. That left him vulnerable to a fast starting Artem Markelov, whom shot through from seventh to claim third around the outside of turn one, despite starting the race on the harder medium compound Pirelli tyres.
Leclerc and Nato would steadily pull clear at the head of the field, engaging in a private duel for the lead while Markelov stalked them from third. They continued to exchange places for several laps before Leclerc finally grabbed hold of the lead once and for all, by which stage they, and Markelov, had pulled out a ten second gap over the rest of the pack.
The question of tyre survival in the Bahrain heat became the big issue over the following laps, although the soft compound tyres would last well enough to make it to half-distance. Nato duly stopped just shy of the halfway mark, followed in by Leclerc a lap later, while Markelov held out for two more laps on his harder tyres.
The order initially remained unchanged as Markelov rejoined in third, although Nato suddenly dived past Leclerc to snatch the lead as the Russian hit the circuit. In the time that Markelov had stayed out those two had moved more than eight seconds clear, although the Russian quickly set about destroying that gap.
With three laps to go Markelov swooped past Leclerc, who had slipped more than three seconds off the back of Nato after the Frenchman's dive for the lead. A lap later, however, and Markelov was in the lead, obliterating Nato's advantage in a single lap before diving past into the first corner.
With that the race was run, with Markelov charging across the line with the fastest lap, eight seconds ahead of Nato. Leclerc cruised home in third ahead of Jordan King and Oliver Rowland, while Alexander Albon, Ghiotto, Nobuharu Matsushita, Antonio Fuoco and de Vries completing the top ten.
The Bahrain International Circuit would host the opening round of the 2017 FIA Formula Two Championship, with F2 joining up with Formula One for the first time. The circuit itself was unchanged ahead of the first ever F2 race, with F2 having completed two pre-season tests at the circuit just a few weeks earlier. What had changed, however, was the entry list, with a wave of driver and team changes since the final GP2 Series race in Yas Marina.
The full entry list for the 2017 Bahrain Feature Race is displayed below:
The final qualifying result for the 2017 Bahrain Feature Race are outlined below:
|2017 Bahrain Feature Race Qualifying Result|
|1st||1||Charles Leclerc||Prema Racing||1:38.907||—||1|
|2nd*||2||Antonio Fuoco||Prema Racing||1:39.585||+0.687s||5|
|3rd||18||Nyck de Vries||Rapax||1:39.665||+0.758s||2|
|4th||20||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||1:39.696||+0.789s||3|
|5th||5||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||1:39.948||+1.041s||4|
|6th||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||1:40.011||+1.104s||6|
|7th||6||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||1:40.018||+1.111s||7|
|9th||8||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||1:40.140||+1.233s||9|
|10th||14||Sérgio Sette Câmara||MP Motorsport||1:40.168||+1.261s||10|
|11th||15||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||1:40.201||+1.294s||11|
|12th||19||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.||Rapax||1:40.262||+1.355s||12|
|14th||3||Louis Delétraz||Racing Engineering||1:40.453||+1.546s||14|
|15th†||4||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||1:40.473||+1.566s||17|
|16th||11||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1:40.501||+1.594s||15|
|17th‡||21||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||1:40.778||+1.871s||PL|
|19th‡||12||Stefano Coletti||Campos Racing||1:41.416||+2.509s||PL|
- * Fuoco handed a three place grid penalty for impeding Markelov.
- † Malja awarded a five place grid penalty for causing a collision.
- ‡ Gelael, Canamasas and Coletti all awarded five place grid penalties for speeding under the VSC. They would all start from the pitlane as they could not serve the full penalty.
|______________||Nyck de Vries|
|______________||Sérgio Sette Câmara|
|______________||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.|
- * Gelael, Canamasas and Coletti would all be forced to start from the pitlane.
The final classification of the 2017 Bahrain Feature Race is displayed below:
|2017 Bahrain Feature Race Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||6||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||32||0:58:18.977||1:46.038||27|
|2nd||20||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||32||+7.891s||1:46.187||18|
|3rd||1||Charles Leclerc||Prema Racing||32||+13.780s||1:46.550||19|
|4th||15||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||32||+17.478s||1:46.729||12|
|6th||8||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||32||+19.744s||1:46.171||8|
|7th||5||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||32||+27.056s||1:46.787||6|
|8th||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||32||+29.971s||1:46.668||4|
|9th||2||Antonio Fuoco||Prema Racing||32||+30.950s||1:46.969||2|
|10th||18||Nyck de Vries||Rapax||32||+35.726s||1:46.901||1|
|12th||11||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||32||+52.529s||1:46.520|
|13th*||14||Sérgio Sette Câmara||MP Motorsport||32||+55.146s||1:47.610|
|15th||19||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.||Rapax||32||+1:06.723||1:46.798|
|16th†||12||Stefano Coletti||Campos Racing||32||+1:12.933||1:45.843|
|17th||21||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||32||+1:18.579||1:46.989|
|18th||4||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||32||+1:24.483||1:48.343|
|20th||3||Louis Delétraz||Racing Engineering||32||+1:39.106||1:48.796|
- Bold indicates a driver started from pole.
- Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
- * Câmara handed a five second time penalty for forcing another driver off the circuit.
- † Coletti recorded the fastest lap of the race but was ineligible to score the points as he did not finish in the top ten.
- First official FIA Formula Two Championship race.
- Debut F2 race for all teams and drivers.
- Maiden pole position for Charles Leclerc.
- Artem Markelov secured his first victory in F2, becoming the first F2 race winner.
- Also the Russian's second triumph at GP2/F2 level.
- Russian Time claimed their maiden F2 win.
- Also the Russian team's eleventh win at GP2/F2 level.
- Maiden podium finish for Leclerc.
- First points finish for Alexander Albon, Antonio Fuoco and Nyck de Vries.
Victory and fastest lap combined to give Artem Markelov the Championship lead after the opening race, the Russian racer holding an eight point lead at the end of the day. Pole sitter Charles Leclerc was second, ahead of second placed finisher Norman Nato with the points for pole. Behind Nato came Jordan King, Oliver Rowland, Alexander Albon, Luca Ghiotto, Nobuharu Matsushita, Antonio Fuoco and Nyck de Vries.
In the Teams' Championship it was Russian Time whom led the way with twenty-one races to go, their tally of 31 points handing them a ten point advantage. Defending Champions Prema Racing opened their defence in second, three ahead of Pertamina Arden, with MP Motorsport in fourth. Next up were ART Grand Prix and DAMS, tied on twelve points, while Rapax were the final scorers in seventh.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 'GP2 SERIES 2017 SEASON CALENDAR REVEALED', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 27/01/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/01_January/GP2-Series-2017-season-calendar-revealed/, (Accessed 12/07/2018)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 'MARKELOV BLASTS TO BAHRAIN WIN', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 15/04/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/04_April/Markelov-blasts-to-Bahrain-win-/, (Accessed 04/09/2018)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'LECLERC SOARS TO F2 POLE', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 14/04/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/04_April/Leclerc-soars-to-F2-pole-/, (Accessed 04/09/2018)
- ↑ '2017 ROUND 1 PREVIEW: SAKHIR, BAHRAIN', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 13/04/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/04_April/2017-Round-1-preview-Sakhir-Bahrain/, (Accessed 04/09/2018)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 'Formula 2 2018 Results: Sakhir International Circuit', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/Results/?raceid=972&seasonid=174, (Accessed 04/09/2018)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 'POST-QUALIFYING PENALTIES: ROUND 1', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 15/04/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/04_April/Post-Qualifying-Penalties-Round-1/, (Accessed 04/09/2018)
- ↑ 'TIME PENALTY FOR SETTE CÂMARA', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 15/04/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/04_April/Time-penalty-for-Sette-Camara/, (Accessed 04/09/2018)