Paul Ricard F2: De Vries and Prema win, new car problems continue

McLaren Formula 1 junior Nyck de Vries took his and Prema's first 2018 Formula 2 victory in France, as Lando Norris extended his championship lead amid drama for George Russell

Paul Ricard F2: De Vries and Prema win, new car problems continue

After Tadasuke Makino had a bad start from pole, de Vries was behind early leader Nicholas Latifi and Louis Deletraz in the early running at Paul Ricard.

Deletraz unseated Latifi at Turn 1 with the assistance of DRS on lap four of 21, and looked to build an advantage.

But de Vries was soon rid of Latifi a couple of laps later and began to hunt down the leader.

De Vries stalked Charouz Racing System driver Deletraz, and finally moved into the lead on lap 13 at the entry to the chicane before the Mistral straight.

After that he drove off into the distance and and his winning margin was well over five seconds come the end of the race.

Deletraz sustained second comfortably ahead of Luca Ghiotto, who completed a strong weekend having been handed a podium on Saturday with the exclusion of Roberto Merhi from third place.

Antonio Fuoco appeared to be struggling but held Sergio Sette Camara at bay for a large portion of the race.

With six laps to go, Norris successfully attacked Carlin team-mate Sette Camara having made his way through the field from 16th on the grid.

Latifi struggled on his tyres in the latter stages and fell back from third, eventually being passed by Norris on the penultimate lap.

He then hit Norris in the left-rear trying to retake fifth from him at Turn 1 and shot off the road.

Norris held on without apparent damage to take fifth behind Fuoco, and his points lead now rises to 13 points as Saturday winner Russell was among a host of drivers who encountered technical issues.

There was chaos before and during the start of the race. Russell was wheeled off the formation lap grid with throttle problems, while his ART team-mate Jack Aitken spun on the formation lap at the final turn.

Nirei Fukuzumi, Merhi, Ralph Boschung and Artem Markelov all stalled either on the formation lap or at the start.

Makino retired out of fifth with what he reported to be the same throttle sensor problem that forced Albon out of Saturday's race.

Sette Camara and Albon moved up to sixth and seventh on the last lap as Latifi's incident dropped him to eighth.

Santino Ferrucci pulled off some smooth moves to reach the top 10 in ninth, ahead of Roy Nissany.

Sprint race result

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 21 38m28.325s
2 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 21 9.648s
3 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 21 9.870s
4 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 21 16.678s
5 Lando Norris Carlin 21 17.752s
6 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 21 20.405s
7 Alexander Albon DAMS 21 20.732s
8 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 21 24.445s
9 Santino Ferrucci Trident 21 35.726s
10 Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 21 41.643s
11 Maximilian Guenther BWT Arden 21 49.489s
12 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 21 53.765s
13 Arjun Maini Trident 21 59.010s
14 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 20 1 Lap
15 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 20 1 Lap
16 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 20 1 Lap
17 George Russell ART Grand Prix 19 2 Laps
18 Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 19 2 Laps
- Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 6 Retirement
- Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 0 Not started

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Lando Norris 104
2 George Russell 91
3 Nyck de Vries 75
4 Alexander Albon 73
5 Artem Markelov 71
6 Sergio Sette Camara 68
7 Antonio Fuoco 59
8 Jack Aitken 49
9 Luca Ghiotto 47
10 Louis Deletraz 44
11 Nicholas Latifi 33
12 Sean Gelael 29
13 Roberto Merhi 23
14 Arjun Maini 23
15 Maximilian Guenther 20
16 Ralph Boschung 10
17 Tadasuke Makino 8
18 Santino Ferrucci 4
19 Nirei Fukuzumi 4
20 Roy Nissany 0

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Nyck de Vries
Author Jack Benyon
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