Luca Ghiotto and Jack Aitken were the big winners at Silverstone, winning the Feature Race and Sprint Race respectively.
UNI-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou scored his first ever pole position for Round 7’s Feature Race. The two DAMS drivers of Sergio Sette Câmara and Nicholas Latifi were initially strong setting the fastest lap times. However, Luca Ghiotto crept up to get provisional pole, setting a purple first sector. He eventually lost out to teammate Zhou, who secured pole in the final 5 minutes.
The top ten line up for the Feature Race was Zhou, Ghiotto, Sette Câmara, Latifi, Louis Delétraz, Callum Ilott, Nyck De Vries, Jack Aitken, Nobuharu Matsushita and Anthoine Hubert.
Sean Gelael – who had qualified 18th – was handed a three-place grid penalty mere hours before the Feature Race start. This was due to a collission between himself and Delétraz during Friday’s Practice sesson. This prompted the PREMA driver to withdraw from the entire race weekend. This was due to recieving a reprimand and two penalty points.
The lights went green for the Feature Race and Ghiotto and Zhou went wheel-to-wheel in the first corner. A super close hustle at Turn 2 lead to Ghiotto edging ahead of his teammate. Zhou kept hot on his wheels as the two UNI-Virtuosi drivers where side-by-side around Brooklands. But Ghiotto ultimately held position in the lead. Hubert suffered a failed start off the grid, and had to pit. He managed to return to the track albeit a lap down. It was worst luck for returnee Dorian Boccolacci, who had to retire from the race.
After a slew of pitstops between Laps 6 and 7, the battle for 5th saw Ghiotto and Latifi. This was technically the battle for first, as then leading Jordan King, Nikita Mazepin, Tatiana Calderón and Mahaveer Raghunathan had yet to pit. Latifi made contact at the back of Ghiotto down the Hangar Straight. Down the second DRS zone, and Latifi didn’t have the tyre temperature to make the move on Ghiotto.
Ghiotto’s lock-up down Brooklands was all that was needed for Latifi to capture the lead. But Ghiotto, hungry to win, kept gathering pace, and on Lap 13 had the tyre temperature to overtake Latifi for the lead at Stowe. With Mazepin and Calderón out in front still yet to pit, Ghiotto took advantage by squeezing in between them to keep Latifi at bay.
Ghiotto took his first Feature Race victory, followed by Latifi in P2 and Zhou in P3. Mazepin was hit by returnee Arjun Maini and went off track, as the chequered flag waved.
Sunday’s Sprint Race featured Callum Ilott starting from pole. He had a bad start due to wheel spin. This allowed Delétraz to leap to first, Aitken to second and De Vries to third. Delétraz surged ahead, all the while Aitken and De Vries were constantly side-by-side duking it out on Lap 1. Down into Brooklands De Vries nudges out past Aitken and makes the move stick, with Aitken getting close but no cigar down Copse and Maggots corner.
On Lap 7 Aitken took a surge and made an opportunistic move on De Vries, who made contact as he tried to stay next to the Campos driver around Turn 5. De Vries was squeezing Aitken in the inside, but Aitken had the advantage of the DRS zone down towards Brooklands and finally reclaimed P2. While Delétraz had a 3 second lead, Aitken was pulling in the fastest laps. And on Lap 17, Aitken made the same move which brought him ahead of De Vries, to nab P1 from Delétraz.
Aitken held it together and won his home race, with Delétraz ending P2 and De Vries in P3. De Vries still leads the Championship, by 31 points ahead of Latifi.