|2017 Bahrain Sprint Race|
The Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir with DRS
|Date||16 April 2017|
|Event||2017 Bahrain Grand Prix|
|Location||Bahrain International Circuit Sakhir, Bahrain|
|Lap length||5.406 km (3.359 mi)|
|Distance||23 laps / 124.476 km (77.346 mi)|
|Time||1:44.074 on lap 16|
|Charles Leclerc||Luca Ghiotto||Oliver Rowland|
|Winner Team||Prema Racing|
|2017 Bahrain Feature Race||2017 Barcelona Feature Race|
The 2017 Bahrain Sprint Race, also known as the 2017 Sakhir Race 2, was the second race of the 2017 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Bahrain International Circuit on the 16 April 2017. The race would see Charles Leclerc sweep to a stunning maiden victory, despite making a mid-race pitstop.
Nobuharu Matsushita was meant to lead the field away from pole, only to be delayed leaving the paddock meaning he had to start from the pitlane. That allowed Luca Ghiotto to streak into the lead off the line, blasting past second place starter Alexander Albon into the first corner.
However, before anyone could establish their position the safety car was required, for Jordan King and Norman Nato had bounce off one-another, leaving the Frenchman stranded on track. However, his Pertamina Arden was cleared very quickly, meaning the race resumed at the start of lap four.
Leclerc got the jump on Albon at the restart, putting him into second with Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov following him through. The Monegasque racer then caught and passed Ghiotto to grab the lead, while Markelov made a surprise stop from third after starting on the softest compound.
The race soon settled, with Markelov slowly climbing back through the top ten, while Rowland claimed second from Ghiotto. Then, with eight laps to go, Leclerc swept in from the lead of the race, swapping to a fresh set of supersoft Pirelli tyres and rejoining just ahead of Markelov.
Rowland duly inherited the lead, although it became clear than even his ten second margin over Leclerc would not be enough as the Monegasque was scything through the field. Indeed, with a lap to go Leclerc blasted past Jordan King to grab third, just as Ghiotto elbowed his way back past Rowland to claim the lead.
A thrilling last lap would see Leclerc pull two excellent dives on his rivals, emerging with the lead with half a lap to go to claim a stunning maiden victory. Ghiotto swept home in second ahead of Rowland, while Nicholas Latifi quietly inherited fourth as others hit tyre trouble late on. Markelov, meanwhile, would end the afternoon with a single point in eighth.
The Bahrain International Circuit remained unchanged after the Feature Race, meaning there was no need for a practice session. There would, however, be a slight modification to the grid, with a five second time penalty from the Feature putting Sérgio Sette Câmara further down the order. The top eight, however, would remain unchanged, meaning Nobuharu Matsushita was free to start from pole once the octet were reversed.
In terms of the Championship victory and fastest lap combined on Saturday had given Artem Markelov the Championship lead, 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, 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 had 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.
The full entry list for the 2017 Bahrain Sprint Race is displayed below:
|______________||Nyck de Vries|
|Sérgio Sette Câmara||14|
|Johnny Cecotto, Jr.||16|
The final classification of the 2017 Bahrain Sprint Race is displayed below:
|2017 Bahrain Sprint Race Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||1||Charles Leclerc||Prema Racing||23||0:43:01.023||1:44.074||17|
|2nd||5||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||23||+1.569s||1:47.043||12|
|5th||15||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||23||+9.962s||1:46.998||6|
|6th||18||Nyck de Vries||Rapax||23||+10.865s||1:47.632||4|
|7th||8||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||23||+11.382s||1:47.821||2|
|8th||6||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||23||+18.953s||1:45.891||1|
|9th||19||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.||Rapax||23||+19.150s||1:46.868|
|10th||2||Antonio Fuoco||Prema Racing||23||+19.983s||1:46.884|
|12th||3||Louis Delétraz||Racing Engineering||23||+31.187s||1:48.033|
|13th||4||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||23||+33.622s||1:48.684|
|14th||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||23||+34.392s||1:45.961|
|15th||12||Stefano Coletti||Campos Racing||23||+35.901s||1:47.837|
|17th||21||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||23||+52.029s||1:46.512|
|18th*||14||Sérgio Sette Câmara||MP Motorsport||23||+1:08.570||1:43.950|
|Ret||11||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||9||Suspension||1:48.243|
|Ret||20||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||0||Spin||—|
- Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
- * Câmara set the fastest time of the race but was ineligible to claim the points as he finished outside of the top eight.
- Maiden victory for Charles Leclerc.
- Also Leclerc's first fastest lap award in Formula Two.
- Prema Racing claimed their maiden victory in F2.
- Also the Italian squad's tenth victory at GP2/F2 level.
- Luca Ghiotto and Oliver Rowland claimed their first F2 podia.
- Maiden points finish for Nicholas Latifi.
Victory for Charles Leclerc, as well as the points for fastest lap, ensured that the Monegasque ace left Bahrain in the lead of the Championship, ending the weekend on 36 points. Artem Markelov, meanwhile, had slipped to second, eight behind Leclerc, with Oliver Rowland in third after his first F2 podium visit. Norman Nato, Jordan King and Luca Ghiotto were next, all level on eighteen, with Nicholas Latifi completing the top eight.
The Teams Championship, in contrast, was largely unchanged, with Prema Racing still leading from Russian Time by a small margin. Indeed, DAMS had been the biggest winners, leaping up into third, with Pertamina Arden and MP Motorsport level on eighteen points. ART Grand Prix were next up in sixth, while Rapax remained the final scorers in seventh.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 '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 2.13 2.14 'LECLERC STORMS TO DRAMATIC SPRINT WIN', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 16/04/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/04_April/Leclerc-storms-to-dramatic-sprint-win/, (Accessed 30/09/2018)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 '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)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 '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)