|2018 Spa Feature Race|
The unchanged Circuit de Spa Francorchamps
|Date||25 August 2018|
|Event||2018 Johnnie Walker Belgian Grand Prix|
|Location||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Spa, Belgium|
|Lap length||7.004 km (4.353 mi)|
|Distance||25 laps / 175.100 km (108.802 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Nyck de Vries|
|Driver||Nyck de Vries|
|Time||2:00.632 on lap 19|
|Nyck de Vries||Sérgio Sette Câmara||George Russell|
|Winner Team||Pertamina Prema|
|2018 Hungaroring Sprint Race||2018 Spa Sprint Race|
The 2018 Spa Feature Race, otherwise known as the 2018 Spa Race 1, was the seventeenth round of the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 25 August 2018. The race, which was staged in support of the 2018 Johnnie Walker Belgian Grand Prix, would see Nyck de Vries claim a dominant victory.
The Dutchman had started the weekend strongly, claiming pole during the qualifying session by four tenths of a second. Indeed, a brilliant middle sector from de Vries seemed to do the damage, with Championship leader George Russell, Sérgio Sette Câmara and Luca Ghiotto all falling shy despite setting fastest first sectors.
A pre-race downpour would make the circuit greasy ahead of the start, although all of the field would start on slick tyres. Regardless, de Vries aced his getaway to claim the lead from pole, while Câmara slithered past Russell on the brakes into La Source.
An exciting opening tour would see de Vries establish a small lead over Câmara, while Russell stayed just ahead of an excellent squabble for fourth. Indeed, Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and Luca Ghiotto would go three-wide down the Kemmel Straight, with Norris skating into fourth on the inside, while Antonio Fuoco darted past the latter duo to claim fifth.
de Vries would build his lead up during the early stages, leaving Câmara to drop Russell in third, while Artem Markelov made his way into the top six. Indeed, the Russian racer seemed to be the only man able to match the pace of de Vries out front, despite being on the medium, as opposed to soft, Pirelli tyres.
Title protagonists Russell and Norris opened the pit window at the end of lap eighth, beginning a slow trickle into the pits. de Vries surrendered the lead to Markelov on lap ten as he stopped, rejoining in traffic, although the Russian dropped back down the order when he stopped on lap fifteen.
Moments after the Russian rejoined the fray the race was brought to a temporary ceasefire, for Nirei Fukuzumi had rolled to a stop at Blanchimont with his car ablaze. The safety car was scrambled so that Fukuzumi's crispy Dallara could be removed, with the Japanese racer escaping unharmed.
The race restarted with six laps to go, with de Vries again acing the restart to pull out another small lead. Behind, Norris tried an ambitious move around the outside of his title rival Russell at Les Combes, although was ultimately squeezed out by his compatriot.
With that, the race was run, with de Vries sweeping home to claim a dominant victory, as well as the points for pole and fastest lap. Câmara was next ahead of Russell, while Norris just fended off a challenge from Albon on the final lap to claim fourth. Next up was Markelov, whom stole sixth from Ghiotto across the line, while Nicholas Latifi, Maximilian Günther and Roy Nissany completed the scorers.
After a four week summer break the Formula Two field gathered in the grounds of the legendary Spa-Francorchamps for the seventeenth race of the 2018 season. Once again supporting Formula One and the 2018 Johnnie Walker Belgian Grand Prix, F2 arrived knowing that there had been no revisions to the Spa circuit since 2017. Pirelli, meanwhile, would bring along their familiar medium and soft compound tyres, meaning that the only significant change to the field came in the form of a new driver.
That change came at MP Motorsport, who had been forced to find a replacement for Roberto Merhi after the Spaniard grew tired of their miserable qualifying form. They duly promoted their GP3 Series star Dorian Boccolacci, whom had taken their maiden GP3 victory at the Hungaroring before the break. He would therefore partner Ralph Boschung for the rest of the season, with Richard Verschoor brought in to replace Boccolacci in GP3.
Into the Championship and Lando Norris had headed into the summer break with a small amount of momentum behind him, the Brit having closed the gap to Championship leader George Russell in both races at the Hungaroring. However, Russell would still hold at the end of the break, the Brit hanging onto a twelve point advantage over his compatriot with eight races left to run. However, they were no longer alone at the head of the field, for a third victory of the season for Alexander Albon had left the Anglo-Thai racer just eighteen points off of Norris with eight races to run.
Elsewhere, Carlin had continued to inch clear of ART Grand Prix in Teams Championship after the second Hungarian race, extending their lead to 33 points. Those two remained out of touch of the chasing pack, with DAMS having left Budapest in third, a point ahead of Charouz Racing System. They also arrived in Belgium with daylight between themselves and the next battling pair, Pertamina Prema and Russian Time, while Trident continued to prop up the table.
The full entry list for the 2018 Spa Feature Race is displayed below:
The final qualifying result for the 2018 Spa Feature Race are outlined below:
|2018 Spa Feature Race Qualifying Result|
|1st||4||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:56.054||—||1|
|2nd||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1:56.457||+0.403s||2|
|3rd||18||Sérgio Sette Câmara||Carlin||1:56.594||+0.540s||3|
|4th||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:56.611||+0.557s||4|
|7th*||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1:56.930||+0.876s||10|
|8th||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||1:57.169||+1.115s||7|
|9th||20||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||1:57.183||+1.129s||8|
|10th||1||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||1:57.266||+1.212s||9|
|11th||2||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||1:57.394||+1.340s||11|
|13th||10||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1:57.596||+1.542s||13|
|14th||11||Maximilian Günther||BWT Arden||1:57.635||+1.581s||14|
|16th||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1:57.754||+1.700s||16|
|17th||15||Roy Nissany||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:57.773||+1.719s||17|
|18th||3||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:57.878||+1.824s||18|
|20th||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||1:58.338||+2.284s||20|
- * Fuoco was handed a three place grid penalty for failing to serve a five-second time penalty in Hungary.
|2||Nyck de Vries|
|4||Sérgio Sette Câmara|
The final classification of the 2018 Spa Feature Race is displayed below:
|2018 Spa Feature Race Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||4||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||25||0:56:02.281||2:00.632||31|
|2nd||18||Sérgio Sette Câmara||Carlin||25||+3.153s||2:01.155||18|
|3rd||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||25||+7.572s||2:01.274||15|
|6th||1||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||25||+13.181s||2:02.569||8|
|7th||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||25||+13.211s||2:01.840||6|
|9th||11||Maximilian Günther||BWT Arden||25||+15.915s||2:02.706||2|
|10th||15||Roy Nissany||Campos Vexatec Racing||25||+22.354s||2:02.891||1|
|11th||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||25||+23.917s||2:02.627|
|12th||2||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||25||+24.477s||2:03.484|
|15th||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||25||+29.612s||2:03.319|
|16th||3||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||25||+32.482s||2:03.284|
|17th||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||25||+32.706s||2:02.664|
|18th||20||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||25||+34.112s||2:01.889|
|Ret||10||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||18||Accident||2:05.134|
|Ret||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||13||Fire||2:02.080|
- Bold indicates a driver started from pole.
- Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
- Debut race for Dorian Boccolacci.
- Maiden pole position recorded by Nyck de Vries.
- Fourth career victory for de Vries.
- de Vries also became the third driver to claim maximum points in a Feature Race.
- Prema secured their eleventh victory as an entrant in Formula Two.
- Also the Italian team's twentieth triumph at GP2/F2 level.
- Maiden points finish for Roy Nissany.
George Russell still held the advantage in the Championship, actually managing to extend his lead by three points for the first time since the Silverstone Sprint Race. Lando Norris remained a threat however, and could re-take the lead with victory in the Sprint, while Alexander Albon lost ground in third. Indeed, the Thai racer was instead on the verge of slipping behind race winner Nyck de Vries, whom moved to fourth with his third victory of the season.
Carlin had extended their lead in the Teams' Championship after their 2-4 finish in the first Spa race, moving 48 points clear of second placed ART Grand Prix. Indeed, the British squad were just five points away from the 300 point mark with seven races left, and with 48 points in hand could almost afford to miss a race and retain the lead. Behind, DAMS had secured themselves in third place, while Pertamina Prema moved ahead of Charouz on count-back.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ '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)
- ↑ 2.00 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 'DE VRIES STORMS TO COMMANDING SPA FEATURE RACE WIN', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 25/08/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/08_August/De-Vries-storms-to-commanding-Spa-Feature-Race-win/, (Accessed 28/08/2018)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'DE VRIES SURGES TO POLE POSITION AT SPA', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 24/08/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/08_August/De-Vries-surges-to-pole-position-at-Spa/, (Accessed 28/08/2018)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 '2018 ROUND 9 PREVIEW: SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 22/08/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/08_August/2018-Round-9-preview-Spa-Francorchamps-Belgium/, (Accessed 28/08/2018)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 'DORIAN BOCCOLACCI STEPS UP TO FORMULA 2 WITH MP MOTORSPORT', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 22/08/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/08_August/Dorian-Boccalacci-steps-up-to-Formula-2-with-MP-Motorsport/, (Accessed 28/08/2018)
- ↑ 'Teams and Drivers', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.webcitation.org/6ySMzYNSv, (Accessed 14/06/2018)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 'Formula 2 2018 Results: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/Results/?raceid=991&seasonid=175, (Accessed 28/08/2018)
- ↑ 'ANTONIO FUOCO PENALISED', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 29/07/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/07_July/Antonio-Fuoco-penalised/, (Accessed 28/08/2018)