Ghiotto and Latifi set the pace in Barcelona too. With Sette Camara, however, not much is progressing at the moment.
Luca Ghiotto was probably the fastest driver at the weekend in Barcelona. The fact that he still could not prevent Nicholas Latifi from expanding the championship lead, if only by a few points, was mainly due to his miserable start.
Had Ghiotto gotten away from pole position in race 1, it would not have bothered him much that Dorian Boccolacci missed his braking point for miles on lap one on the first lap. But that's how the Frenchman met him on the left side. Miraculously, the suspension of his Dallaras survived the hard impact. Nevertheless, the Italian lost a lot of time with an additional pit stop, because the mandatory pit stops were only allowed to be performed from lap 6 onwards.
Therefore, the victory in the feature race drove out others. Ghiotto's team-mate Guanyu Zhou, for example, who had come from third on the grid at the start. Past Nicholas Latifi, who had kept his second place out of qualifying anyway. It was followed by Nyck De Vries, Jack Aitken and Callum Illott, all of whom had each won a place in comparison to qualifying thanks to Ghiotto's poor start.
On the other hand, Mick Schumacher and Giuliano Alesi, both of whom had flown off in turn 4, could no longer compete for victory. Schumacher was able to continue with a plate, but his day was done with it. Towards the end of the race, he collided with Juan Manuel Correa and drove off the front wing. Alesi could not free himself from the gravel bed and thus triggered a safety car phase. The restart on lap 4 was won by UNI virtuosi driver Zhou. Two laps later he drove together with his first pursuer Latifi in the pit lane and changed from the red soft tires on the hard mixture. In the meantime, Baku winner Jack Aitken took the lead and, like De Vries and Callum Ilott, took the pit lane in the following two laps. They were like most of the field started with the faster set of tires. Ralph Boschung, Anthoine Hubert, King and Juan Manuel Correa were among the few who had started the race with an alternative strategy and raised the hard tires. So it was also the drivers who took the lead at this time.
In the following rounds, the technical devil struck coldly. First, it caught Nikita Mazepin, who lost four laps, then Sergio Sette Camara, who spent nine laps at the pits and dueled only with Ghiotto for the fastest race lap in the rest of the race. Where he – due to his remaining weekend – also defeated.
There was not much going on in the front, except that Boschung, who started from an excellent eighth starting position, ran out of tires and was placed by Anthoine Hubert and Jordan King. After 25 of a total of 37 laps, Trident finally redeemed the Swiss and provided him with fresh tires. He came after Ghiotto in 11th place back on the track. The Italian had already plowed through half the field during his catch-up and drove in the middle section of the race one fastest lap after the other. Meanwhile, Jack Aitken De passed Vries for the third position of those who were not yet in the pits. Also at the – pit stop adjusted peak brewed a bit together: Latifi slowly joined Guanyu Zhou. On lap 31 it was time: Nicholas Latifi moved out in turn 1 on the outside. The Renault junior driver Guanyu Zhou could not keep up with him on the last rounds and had to let Jack Aitken. That was the end result. Latifi beat Campos driver Aitken while Guanyu Zhou finished his first Formula 2 podium. Rank 4 got – you read and marvel – his teammate Luca Ghiotto, who also left one competitor after the other on the last laps. Without his bad start and the innocent collision with Dorain Boccolacci would have been no match for the Italian's pace. The places behind them went to Nyck De Vries, Anthoine Hubert, Jordan King, reverse-grid polesitter Callum Ilott, Sean Gelael and Ralph Boschung.
Ilott did not get off pole in the sprint race. The best launches caught the riders from the second row, Anthoine Hubert and Nyck De Vries, who immediately settled in the first two positions. Also had no good start vocal winner Latifi and – again – Luca Ghiotto, but in contrast to the previous day had no adversary contact to complain. Directly during the first lap the safety car had to move out. Nobuharu Matsushita's engine broke his spirit and went up in flames.
After the restart on lap 5, not much happened. With the release of DRS three laps later, De Vries attacked and overtook the leading Frenchman. The Arden driver could do little to counter and soon had to orientate himself behind. Later in the race, he lost his second position to Callum Ilott.
A few places farther back Ghiotto lost no time and started again to catch up. First he overtook Aitken in turn 7 and braked in the following rounds King and Zhou after the second DRS straight, which he was already in fourth place.
Damage control was also provided by Latifi, who was slowly working his way up after his failed start, albeit not at such a pace as his championship rival. After successful maneuvers against Sean Gelael, Jack Aitken and Jordan King, he was in sixth position. There he remained until the finish.
Unlike Luca Ghiotto, who was also not stopped by Hubert and stalked in the last eight rounds Callum Ilott. In the final 26th lap he drove past the outside of the Briton, which gave Ghiotto enough space. After the first points the day before, Ilott did not want to risk his first podium finish. The only Ghiotto could not catch up was Nyck De Vries, who made his first race win this year perfect after a not quite scheduled start to the season. Fourth went to Guanyu Zhou ahead of Hubert, Latifi and Jordan King, who will be absent at the next rounds in Monaco because he participates in the Indy 500. Who will replace the 25-year-olds at MP Motorsport is still unclear. The last point Jack Aitken secured after a duel with Mick Schumacher. The German crossed the finish line in front of the Campos, but received a 5-second penalty because he did not return to the track after a trip to the exit zone in turn 1 as planned around the pylons.
Nicholas Latifi is still on title track. The victory in the main race is already his third success this year and in contrast to his currently biggest competitor Luca Ghiotto he is also more or less perfect on the way. The Italian, however, after his ravens weekend in Baku found back to old form and collected 28 points. But it could have been more if he had not lost massive places at the start. Thus, the UNI Virtusoi driver is only a few points ahead of Nyck De Vries and Jack Aitken.
Latifi maintains his advantage over Ghiotto, with 26 points between them
– Formula 2 (@ FIA_F2) May 12, 2019
Sadly disappointed, Sergio Sette Camara will leave Barcelona. In Spain, a technical problem destroyed the main race and thus the starting position for the Sunday race. A weekend to forget so for the Brazilian. But otherwise he was not on par with teammate Latifi. After he has just taken four counters from Baku, he is already 60 points behind the top.
Pictures: Formula 2
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