Carlin’s Liam Lawson recovered from a poor start to win the FIA Formula 2 sprint race at Paul Ricard.
Lawson bogged down from second on the grid, allowing fellow Kiwi Marcus Armstrong to take the place on the opening lap, as Prema’s Jehan Daruvala led early on from pole.
Armstrong fended off Lawson until lap four, when the latter finally reclaimed the position and then started to eradicate a 1.7 second deficit to fellow Red Bull junior Daruvala.
The safety car was deployed at the halfway stage after Charouz’s Enzo Fittipaldi spun to a halt while trying to pass Campos Racing’s Roberto Merhi for 15th, and then was collected by Amaury Cordeel (Van Amersfoort Racing), who was forced to pit with a puncture.
Daruvala continued in front at the resumption, but soon came under renewed pressure from Lawson. Lawson snatched the lead with six laps to go, with Daruvala then coming under attack for second on the next tour from Armstrong.
After trying a move, the Hitech GP driver then came under pressure from ART’s Theo Pourchaire, who had ran fourth following an early overtake on championship rival Felipe Drugovich. Armstrong ran wide while battling Pourchaire and lost further places, and then tumbled out of the points to ninth after going off track for a second time.
Daruvala finished 3.2s behind Lawson in second, while Pourchaire held off MP Motorsport’s Drugovich to take the final podium spot by 0.2s. Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan was less than a second behind in fifth, while Hitech GP’s Juri Vips came home sixth.
Ayuma Iwasa claimed the final point in eighth for DAMS after passing Sunday’s feature race polesittter Logan Sargeant for ninth and then picking off Armstrong. Marino Sato was 11th for Virtuosi ahead of the returning David Beckmann, who is subbing for COVID-19 stricken Jake Hughes, while Prema’s Dennis Hauger finished 13th ahead of Trident’s Calan Williams.
Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter