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Flag of Russia 2018 Sochi Feature Race
Sochi 2015
The Sochi Autodrom with DRS.
Race Information
Date 29 September 2018
Event Flag of Russia 2018 VTB Russian Grand Prix
Location Flag of Russia Sochi Autodrom Sochi, Russia
Lap length 5.848 km (3.634 mi)
Distance 28 laps / 163.744 km (101.746 km)
Qualifying Result
Pole Sitter Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Team Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema
Time 1:46.476
Fastest Lap
Driver Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Team Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema
Time 1:51.929 on lap 8
Race Result
First Second Third
Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Winner Team Flag of France DAMS
Time 0:54:12.383
Race Guide
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2018 Monza Sprint Race 2018 Sochi Sprint Race

The 2018 Sochi Feature Race, otherwise known as the 2018 Sochi Race 1, was the twenty-first race of the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Sochi Autodrom on 29 September 2018.[1] The race, staged in support of the 2018 VTB Russian Grand Prix, saw Alexander Albon claim a shock win, which moved the Thai racer into title contention.[2]

Qualifying had seen Nyck de Vries claim pole, the Dutchman completing a stunning lap with a minute to spare in a session that had been dominated by Championship leader George Russell.[3] Russell himself was unable to significantly improve on his final run to leave him second, only for his main title rival Lando Norris to grab second a few seconds later.[3] Albon, meanwhile, would start the race from fifth.[3]

The start would see de Vries launch into an early lead, with a poor start from Norris causing the rest of the field to bunch up.[2] Russell duly blasted clear into second ahead of his rival, while Albon followed the ART Grand Prix racer through to claim third as Norris slumped to seventh.[2]

Come the end of the opening lap it was still de Vries leading from Russell and Albon, with daylight between themselves and Nicholas Latifi.[2] Elsewhere the biggest winner on the opening lap would be Artem Markelov, whom had already claimed five positions despite using the harder soft Pirelli tyres.[2]

Markelov would pick off more drivers during the early stages, and duly broke into the top ten before the end of lap three, having started nineteenth.[2] Out front, meanwhile, Albon sent his DAMS skating past Russell to claim second, just a tyre degradation began to bite those on the supersoft tyres.[2]

Indeed, before Albon could catch onto the back of de Vries, he would be passed by Jack Aitken and Antonio Fuoco, who, like Markelov, had started on the softs.[2] That prompted almost all of the supersoft runners to dive into the pits at the end of lap six, with Albon duly leaping ahead of de Vries to lead those on fresh tyres.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Markelov was making a hugely ambitious bid for victory, scything past Fuoco to claim the lead, before sprinting clear of the Italian over the following laps.[2] However, those on fresh softs were running quicker, and by the time Markelov made his stop with nine Albon and co. were within ten seconds of the Russian racer.[2]

Indeed, Markelov's race was over from that moment on, with a miserable pitstop costing Markelov almost ten seconds in the pits.[2] He duly charged back through the field in the closing stages, with a brush with Maximilian Günther briefly causing a VSC as the German spun and stalled.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Albon was left to cruise to victory, building a ten second lead over de Vries before the chequered flag.[2] de Vries himself, meanwhile, would slip behind the second DAMS of Latifi with three laps to go, while Russell claimed fourth.[2] Norris, meanwhile, would fail to score after a rushed pitstop left him with a loose wheel and, ultimately, out of the race.[2]

Background

Formula Two headed to Russia for the eleventh pair of races in the 2018 campaign, supporting Formula One as usual.[1] The Sochi Autodrom remained unchanged from both series' visits nineteen months earlier, with no additional DRS zones grafted onto the circuit.[1]

In terms of the entry list there would be some changes towards the back of the field, with a new face joining the series, and an old face returning.[4] The man to join the series would be GP3 Series racer Niko Kari, with the Finn earning a promotion to MP Motorsport's F2 team at the expense of Ralph Boschung.[4] Elsewhere, their former driver Roberto Merhi made a return to the series, taking over the second Campos Racing seat after Roy Nissany's miserable season.[5]

Elsewhere, the futures of several F2 drivers were revealed, with two high profile moves for two of the class of 2018. The most high profile of these would be Lando Norris, whom was set to join the McLaren F1 Team for 2019, replacing ex-F2 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne.[6] The other move saw Alexander Albon move into the Formula E Championship, staying with his F2 employers DAMS as they partnered with Nissan for the fifth FE season.[7]

Into the Championship and victory last time out in Monza had ensured that George Russell had extended his Championship lead, moving 22 points clear of Norris. Those two had remained the two main protagonists for the title, with Albon needing a strong weekend in Sochi if he was to remain in the title fight back in third. Elsewhere, Russian home-hero Artem Markelov had moved back ahead of Nyck de Vries, while Jack Aitken moved back into the top ten, level with Louis Delétraz.

Carlin had retained their lead in the Teams' Championship at the end of the Monza weekend, their advantage having effectively stayed at 60 points. ART Grand Prix had remained their closest challengers, having inched clear of compatriots DAMS in third with 32 points between them leaving Italy. Russian Time had retained fourth ahead of their home race, moving past the 200 point mark, while Pertamina Prema and Charouz Racing System had failed to score.

Entry List

The full entry list for the 2018 Sochi Feature Race is displayed below:

2018 Sochi Feature Race Entry List
No. Name Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine
1 Flag of Russia Artem Markelov Flag of Russia Russian Time Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
2 Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino Flag of Russia Russian Time Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
3 Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
4 Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
5 Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon Flag of France DAMS Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
6 Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi Flag of France DAMS Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
7 Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken Flag of France ART Grand Prix Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
8 Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell Flag of France ART Grand Prix Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
9 Flag of France Dorian Boccolacci Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
10 Flag of Finland Niko Kari Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
11 Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
12 Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
14 Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
15 Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
16 Flag of India Arjun Maini Flag of Italy Trident Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
17 Flag of Italy Alessio Lorandi Flag of Italy Trident Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
18 Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
19 Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
20 Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
21 Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
Source:[8]

Practice

Qualifying

Qualifying for the Feature race was staged after the conclusion of the second Formula One free practice session, with temperatures on the warm side in Sochi.[3] The usual thirty minute shootout would be used to set the grid, with no penalties set to modify the order prior to the session.[3] As for a target time the best drivers would expect to break into the 1:47.000s, after 1:48.000s had been the order of the day in practice.[3]

Report

Jack Aitken led the field out of the pits at the start of the session, and duly opened the running by setting the first flying lap.[3] This, however, would be instantly beaten by Lando Norris, before George Russell claimed provisional pole by almost half a second.[3] However, moments after Russell flashed to the top of the timesheets the entire session was brought to a halt, the red flag being thrown to recover Arjun Maini.[3]

Indeed, having just recorded a slow reconnaissance lap the Indian racer managed to spin at turn six, and duly stalled.[3] With the car coming to rest just a few metres from the racing line, the session was brought to an instant halt, allowing the marshals to drag the Trident away.[3] Once that was out of the way the session resumed, with everyone bar Maini rejoining with their first set of tyres.[3]

Nyck de Vries was the man to watch during the second phase of the session, the Dutchman setting a new fastest first sector.[3] However, his pace faded badly over the rest of the lap, leaving the Dutchman shy of the pace set by Russell.[3] Indeed, everyone bar Russell would struggle to equal their earlier times, although the Brit himself would manage to improve before the field dived in for fresh tyres.[3]

Aitken again led the field onto the circuit, all on new Pirellis, with almost everyone instantly improving on their opening runs.[3] Once again Russell was the exception, although this time the Brit was failing to improve, opening the door for others to challenge.[3] Indeed, with just one more flying lap to go both Sérgio Sette Câmara and Alexander Albon moved into striking distance, although the battle was ultimately settled with a minute to go.[3]

Ultimately it was de Vries whom landed the conquering blow, the Dutchman set three fastest sectors to record a 1:46.476, half a second clear of Russell's earlier effort.[3] The Championship leader followed him through, but his improved effort of 1:46.839 left him three tenths shy of the Dutchman.[3] That gap also allowed Russell's title rival Lando Norris to suddenly leap ahead, the Brit suddenly leaping into second after a quiet session.[3]

Results

The final qualifying result for the 2018 Sochi Feature Race is outlined below:

2018 Sochi Feature Race Qualifying Result
Pos. No. Name Team Time Gap Grid
1st 4 Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1:46.476 1
2nd 19 Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 1:46.696 +0.220s 2
3rd 8 Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell Flag of France ART Grand Prix 1:46.839 +0.363s 3
4th 6 Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi Flag of France DAMS 1:46.890 +0.414s 4
5th 5 Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon Flag of France DAMS 1:47.039 +0.563s 5
6th 14 Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing 1:47.151 +0.675s 6
7th 2 Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino Flag of Russia Russian Time 1:47.372 +0.896s 7
8th 18 Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 1:47.384 +0.908s 8
9th 7 Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken Flag of France ART Grand Prix 1:47.634 +1.158s 9
10th 11 Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 1:47.743 +1.267s 10
11th 21 Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1:47.774 +1.298s 11
12th 15 Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing 1:47.854 +1.378s 12
13th 17 Flag of Italy Alessio Lorandi Flag of Italy Trident 1:48.006 +1.530s 13
14th 20 Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1:48.105 +1.629s 14
15th 3 Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 1:48.154 +1.678s 15
16th* 10 Flag of Finland Niko Kari Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 1:48.206 +1.730s 16
17th 12 Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 1:48.327 +1.851s 17
18th 9 Flag of France Dorian Boccolacci Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 1:48.491 +2.015s 18
19th 1 Flag of Russia Artem Markelov Flag of Russia Russian Time 1:48.568 +2.092s 19
107% Time: 1:53.929
NC 16 Flag of India Arjun Maini Flag of Italy Trident 2:14.971 +28.495s 20
Source:[9]
  • * Ralph Boschung was handed a five place grid penalty for causing a collision at the 2018 Monza Sprint Race.[10] However, with Boschung being replaced by Niko Kari the penalty was withheld until Boschung's next appearance.[4]
  • Maini failed to set a time within 107% of the fastest, but was allowed to start at the stewards' discretion.[9]

Grid

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
1 ______________
Nyck de Vries 2
______________ Lando Norris
3 ______________
George Russell 4
______________ Nicholas Latifi
5 ______________
Alexander Albon 6
______________ Luca Ghiotto
7 ______________
Tadasuke Makino 8
______________ Sérgio Sette Câmara
9 ______________
Jack Aitken 10
______________ Maximilian Günther
11 ______________
Antonio Fuoco 12
______________ Roberto Merhi
13 ______________
Alessio Lorandi 14
______________ Louis Delétraz
15 ______________
Sean Gelael 16
______________ Niko Kari
17 ______________
Nirei Fukuzumi 18
______________ Dorian Boccolacci
19 ______________
Artem Markelov 20
______________ Arjun Maini

Race

Report

Results

The final classification of the 2018 Sochi Feature Race is displayed below:

2018 Sochi Feature Race Race Result
Pos. No. Name Team Laps Race Time Fastest lap Pts.
1st 5 Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon Flag of France DAMS 28 0:54:12.383 1:52.007 25
2nd 6 Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi Flag of France DAMS 28 +11.307s 1:51.986 18
3rd 4 Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 28 +14.259s 1:51.929 21
4th 8 Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell Flag of France ART Grand Prix 28 +17.468s 1:52.908 12
5th 18 Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 28 +22.953s 1:52.824 10
6th 21 Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 28 +34.899s 1:54.335 8
7th 17 Flag of Italy Alessio Lorandi Flag of Italy Trident 28 +39.133s 1:53.770 6
8th 12 Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 28 +43.463s 1:54.405 4
9th 15 Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing 28 +46.334s 1:53.672 2
10th 2 Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino Flag of Russia Russian Time 28 +46.461s 1:53.326 1
11th 1 Flag of Russia Artem Markelov Flag of Russia Russian Time 28 +53.455s 1:53.137
12th 20 Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 28 +56.606s 1:53.135
13th 9 Flag of France Dorian Boccolacci Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 28 +1:00.950 1:53.116
14th 7 Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken Flag of France ART Grand Prix 28 +1:06.522 1:53.938
15th 16 Flag of India Arjun Maini Flag of Italy Trident 27 +1 Lap 1:51.988
16th* 11 Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 26 Accident 1:53.025
Ret 10 Flag of Finland Niko Kari Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 23 Retired 1:53.729
Ret 19 Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 6 Wheel 1:55.110
Ret 14 Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing 1 Damage
DNS 3 Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing
Source:[9]
  • Bold indicates a driver started from pole.
  • Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
  • * Günther was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.[9]
  • Gelael was unable to start after a clutch failure.[9]

Milestones

Standings

Victory for Alexander Albon launched the young Thai driver into title contention, moving into second ahead of Lando Norris. However, Albon remained thirty points behind Championship leader George Russell, who could all but wrap up the title with a round to spare during the Sprint Race if things went his way. Elsewhere, Nyck de Vries moved ahead of Artem Markelov to complete the top five, while Roberto Merhi moved back ahead of Maximilian Günther.

In the Teams' Championship it was still advantage Carlin, with the British squad still holding a healthy 56 point margin. Behind, ART Grand Prix had retained second, but were just a point ahead of their compatriots DAMS, with momentum with the third placed team. It was a similar story in the fight between fourth placed Russian Time and their pursuers Pertamina Prema, with no other significant changes to the order.

 
2018 Drivers' Championship
Pos. Name Pts. +/-
1st Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell 231 ◄0
2nd Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon 201 ▲1
3rd Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris 197 ▼1
4th Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries 176 ▲1
5th Flag of Russia Artem Markelov 160 ▼1
6th Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara 152 ◄0
7th Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco 120 ◄0
8th Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto 94 ◄0
9th Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi 91 ◄0
10th Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken 62 ◄0
11th Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz 62 ◄0
12th Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino 46 ◄0
13th Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi 43 ▲1
14th Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther 41 ▼1
15th Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael 29 ◄0
16th Flag of India Arjun Maini 24 ◄0
17th Flag of Switzerland Ralph Boschung 17 ◄0
18th Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi 15 ◄0
19th Flag of the United States Santino Ferrucci 7 ◄0
20th Flag of Italy Alessio Lorandi 6 ▲2
21st Flag of France Dorian Boccolacci 2 ▼1
22nd Flag of Israel Roy Nissany 1 ▼1
2018 Teams' Championship
Pos. Name Pts. +/-
1st Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 349 ◄0
2nd Flag of France ART Grand Prix 293 ◄0
3rd Flag of France DAMS 292 ◄0
4th Flag of Russia Russian Time 206 ◄0
5th Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema 205 ◄0
6th Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 182 ◄0
7th Flag of Spain Campos Racing 97 ◄0
8th Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 60 ◄0
9th Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 56 ◄0
10th Flag of Italy Trident 37 ◄0

Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.

References

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 'FIA Formula 2 Championship 2018 Season Calendar Unveiled', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 06/11/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/11_November/FIA-Formula-2-Championship-2018-season-calendar-unveiled/, (Accessed 13/06/2018)
  2. 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 2.15 'ALBON WINS SOCHI FEATURE RACE FOR DAMS ONE-TWO', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 29/09/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/09_September/Albon-wins-Sochi-Feature-Race-for-DAMS-one-two/, (Accessed 29/09/2018)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 'DE VRIES STREAKS TO POLE IN SOCHI', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 28/09/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/09_September/De-Vries-streaks-to-pole-in-Sochi/, (Accessed 28/09/2018)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 'KARI STEPS UP TO F2 WITH MP MOTORSPORT', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 25/09/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/09_September/Kari-steps-up-to-F2-with-MP-Motorsport1/, (Accessed 25/09/2018)
  5. 'MERHI JOINS CAMPOS VEXATEC RACING FOR REMAINDER OF 2018', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 25/09/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/09_September/Merhi-joins-Campos-Vexatec-Racing-for-remainder-of-2018/, (Accessed 25/09/2018)
  6. 'McLaren: British teenager Lando Norris to replace Stoffel Vandoorne', bbc.co.uk/sport, (British Broadcasting Company, 03/09/2018), https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/45397134, (Accessed 03/09/2018)
  7. 'Buemi and Albon lined up for Nissan e.dams debut season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/09/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/september/buemi-and-albon-lined-up-for-nissan-edams-debut-season/, (Accessed 20/09/2018)
  8. 'Teams and Drivers', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.webcitation.org/6ySMzYNSv, (Accessed 14/06/2018)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 'Formula 2 2018 Results: Sochi Autodrom', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/Results/?raceid=993&seasonid=175, (Accessed 29/09/2018)
  10. 'BOSCHUNG PENALISED FOR GELAEL COLLISION', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two: 02/09/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/09_September/Boschung-penalised-for-Gelael-collision/, (Accessed 02/09/2018)

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