Reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman earned a stunning maiden Formula 2 race win in a rain-soaked second feature race of the season at the Red Bull Ring.
Ferrari junior Shwartzman repelled late-race pressure from long-time race leader and polesitter Yuki Tsunoda to claim his first F2 victory on his third race start.
Red Bull Honda protege Tsunoda led for the majority of the race until he encountered team radio issues and was unable to receive the instruction from his Carlin team to make his mandatory pitstop.
Tsunoda eventually made his pitstop after acknowledging Carlin's pit board, but a slow right-front tyre change meant he emerged behind Renault junior Guanyu Zhou, Prema's Shwartzman and championship leader Callum Ilott.
Shwartzman had made steady progress from sixth place on the grid but following his pitstop rapidly caught Zhou, who was denied a maiden F2 victory in last weekend's feature race due to a technical issue.
Shwartzman passed Zhou on the exit of Turn 4 to claim the race lead as Tsunoda re-joined the circuit, the Japanese quickly dispatching of Zhou's Virtuosi team-mate Ilott to move into third.
Tsunoda, who picked up his first FIA F3 victory in mixed conditions at Monza last year, then took second place from Zhou at Turn 1 and set about catching race leader Shwartzman.
The battle for the race lead came down to less than a second, but Shwartzman was able to maintain a small buffer and held on until the chequered flag for his maiden F2 victory and Prema's first feature race win since 2018.
Zhou denied Prema's Mick Schumacher a podium by a tenth of a second as Ilott, another Ferrari junior, rounded out the top five positions.
Sixth place went the way of ART Grand Prix's Christian Lundgaard, who was the star of the first half of the race as he made three overtakes on Jehan Daruvala, Shwartzman and Luca Ghiotto in successive laps.
However, a slow pitstop and an off-track moment on the exit of Turn 6 blunted his challenge for the podium places.
He was followed home by ART team-mate Marcus Armstrong, while DAMS' Dan Ticktum will start Sunday's sprint race from pole after securing the final point in eighth place.
Campos Racing's Jack Aitken and Ticktum's team-mate Sean Gelael rounded out the top 10 in a breathless race.
Series veteran Artem Markelov failed to make the start after beaching his HWA Racelab-run car in the gravel trap on the reconnaissance lap to the original grid.
The drivers ran a series of formation laps behind the safety car before returning to the pits for a 45-minute red flag period.
After a further four laps behind the safety car, the race re-started and ran green for the remainder of the 36-lap race.
F2 feature race results - 36 laps
|1||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||56m32.840s|
|4||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||18.367s|
|6||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||22.271s|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||24.710s|
|9||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||31.738s|
|11||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||33.012s|
|13||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||38.963s|
|14||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||42.978s|
|17||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||54.659s|
|18||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||1m02.481s|
|19||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1m11.498s|
|20||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||1 Lap|
|21||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA RACELAB||1 Lap|
|-||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA RACELAB||Not started|