A slick-tyre gamble helped Trident’s Richard Verschoor triumph in a wet-dry feature race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Dutchman started eighth on a damp track, but quickly picked off the wet-shot runners after an early safety car period to take a commanding lead. He eventually came home over 10s clear of Roberto Merhi, but the Campos stand-in was one of many penalised for exceeding track limits and lost his podium finish at the chequered flag.
Hitech GP’s Juri Vips moved into the lead at the start, while ART’s Frederick Vesti was slow away from pole and dropped to third behind DAMS’s Ayuma Iwasa. Vesti reclaimed second at turn four, as Saturday’s sprint race winner Marcus Armstrong retired on the opening lap, bringing out the safety car.
Racing resumed on lap five, with Verschoor using his slick tyres to climb through the order into the lead. As many drivers headed for the pits to remove their wet tyres, Prema’s Jehan Daruvala moved up to second, but was then passed by Merhi.
Verschoor continued to extend his lead after making his mandatory stop, as Daruvala undercut Merhi by pitting earlier to move back into second.
The Brazilian closed back in on Daruvala in the closing stages, and made a move into turn four on the penultimate lap, but was almost immediately handed a 5s time penalty for track limits. That dropped him to fifth and promoted Daruvala back to second.
Having run fourth on wets early on before pitting, Carlin’s Logan Sargeant charged through the field before passing Charouz’s Enzo Fittipaldi for fifth. The Williams F1 development driver then banged wheels with team-mate Liam Lawson while taking fourth.
Fittipaldi passed Lawson and then caught Sargeant in the second half of the race, but was unable to find away by. Having closed to within a second of Daruvala, the pair were promoted to third and fourth at the finish due to Merhi’s penalty.
A combined penalty of 15s for multiple track limit infringements dropped Lawson to 12th, which promoted fellow Red Bull junior Dennis Hauger to sixth. Having both battled Hauger in the final laps, Vesti and Iwasa were both hampered by penalties.
Van Amersfoort Racing’s Jake Hughes was classified seventh ahead of Campos’s Oli Caldwell, Iwasa and Vips.
Championship leader Felipe Drugovich finished out of the points in 13th after dropping down the order after the early safety car period. His closest rival Theo Pourchiare finished one place behind after a slow pitstop, while Vesti ended up 15th.
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