Hungary F2: Honda F1 junior Matsushita takes sprint race victory

Honda Formula 1 junior Nobuharu Matsushita made a lightning start to leap into the lead of the Formula 2 sprint race in Hungary, which he won ahead of Oliver Rowland

Hungary F2: Honda F1 junior Matsushita takes sprint race victory

Nyck de Vries finished third after a close fight with DAMS driver Rowland in the final laps, as championship leader Charles Leclerc came home fourth.

At the start, front row starters Alexander Albon and Norman Nato reacted well enough to the lights, but quickly got swallowed up by the charging Matsushita and Luca Ghiotto.

Leclerc tried to repeat his race one trick of sticking around the outside at Turn 1 but he got edged out and had to take to the run-off, staying in fifth.

On the inside of the left-hander, Rowland and de Vries squeezed through to leap up to third and fourth respectively, as Albon and Nato found themselves shuffled down to sixth and seventh.

Matsushita immediately began to pull clear of Ghiotto and his lead was up to two-seconds by lap seven of 28.

From there, apart from a minor slip at Turn 4 on lap 11 when he ran wide and lost a second, the ART Grand Prix driver was never threatened and he eased into a clear lead.

Behind the leader, Ghiotto slipped back into the clutches of de Vries and Rowland, and Leclerc soon made it a four-way scrap for second.

Ghiotto's defence last for much of the race but on lap 21, de Vries lunged up the inside in a late move at Turn 2 to steal second.

With Russian Time driver Ghiotto struggling for grip, Rowland hotly pursued him and nipped by at Turn 9, with Leclerc following him through just seconds before the virtual safety car was activated.

The disruption was needed as Robert Visoiu spun at Turn 1 as he attacked Trident's Nabil Jeffri.

The pair made contact leaving Visoiu out on the spot and needing to be recovered.

The race was not long restarted when Jeffri ran wide at Turn 4 and as he rejoined, he collided with Sergio Canamasas on the approach to the next corner, spinning the Rapax driver around and putting him out.

When the race was finally able to run to the flag, Rowland cut into de Vries' slender advantage and grabbed second on the penultimate lap heading into Turn 3.

Matsushita's winning margin was a comfortable 4.3 seconds as Leclerc fell away from the fight for second as he grappled with a clutch problem.

But the Ferrari F1 junior held on to finish fourth, just ahead of the battling Nato and Nicolas Latifi, but his championship lead is now 50 points over Rowland.

Albon ended up seventh after pushing Ghiotto down to eighth with an opportunistic move at the final corner late on, as Artem Markelov - racing after his dramatic exit to race one - and Sean Gelael rounded out the top 10.

Jordan King finished 11th for MP Motorsport and Antonio Fuoco was 17th after failing to get off the line in his Prema Racing-run car.

RACE TWO RESULT:

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 28 44m52.900s
2 Oliver Rowland DAMS 28 4.307s
3 Nyck de Vries Rapax 28 7.143s
4 Charles Leclerc Prema Racing 28 11.635s
5 Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 28 12.458s
6 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 28 13.485s
7 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 28 16.754s
8 Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME 28 24.843s
9 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 28 25.577s
10 Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 28 33.887s
11 Jordan King MP Motorsport 28 35.770s
12 Louis Deletraz Racing Engineering 28 35.823s
13 Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 28 41.847s
14 Santino Ferrucci Trident 28 42.122s
15 Nabil Jeffri Trident 28 1m26.947s
16 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 27 1 Lap
17 Antonio Fuoco Prema Racing 27 1 Lap
- Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 23 Retirement
- Sergio Canamasas Rapax 21 Retirement
- Robert Visoiu Campos Racing 20 Retirement

DRIVERS' STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Charles Leclerc 208
2 Oliver Rowland 158
3 Artem Markelov 123
4 Nicholas Latifi 115
5 Luca Ghiotto 95
6 Nobuharu Matsushita 91
7 Norman Nato 79
8 Nyck de Vries 72
9 Alexander Albon 65
10 Jordan King 49
11 Gustav Malja 28
12 Antonio Fuoco 23
13 Sergio Canamasas 21
14 Johnny Cecotto Jr. 16
15 Ralph Boschung 11
16 Sergey Sirotkin 9
17 Sean Gelael 3
18 Santino Ferrucci 2
19 Louis Deletraz 1
20 Sergio Sette Camara 0
21 Robert Visoiu 0
22 Nabil Jeffri 0
23 Roberto Merhi 0
24 Stefano Coletti 0
25 Callum Ilott 0
26 Raffaele Marciello 0


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