Silverstone Formula 2: Leclerc wins again despite technical scare

Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver Charles Leclerc won the Formula 2 feature race at Silverstone for Prema ahead of Arden International's Norman Nato despite suffering a mid-event mechanical drama

Silverstone Formula 2: Leclerc wins again despite technical scare

Leclerc had led away from pole and pulled a clear gap in the first stint but smoke began to pour from his car on the lap before he made his pitstop.

The problem did not halt him and he came home nearly 10 seconds ahead of Nato, who held at bay Oliver Rowland in third.

At the start, as Leclerc was making a perfect getaway from pole, Rowland could not make the same rapid launch from second and he fell to third as Nato blasted by.

While Leclerc quickly pulled out a huge lead - at times he lapped two seconds faster than his rivals - Rowland stalked Nato in the early stages.

But Rowland began to struggle with severe tyre degradation as it became clear that the soft Pirelli rubber would not last long in the 28-lap race.

Leclerc appeared to suffer no such problems and was 6.2s clear of Nato when the French driver pitted on lap six, followed in by Rowland, Jordan King and Artem Markelov.

But Leclerc's Prema Racing-run car suddenly began to emit plumes of smoke from the rear of its engine cover, which became dirty with oil as he raced around to the pits.

He was able to switch to the hard tyres and rejoin without issue and the problem did not reappear for the rest of the race.

Rowland pressured Nato hard during the early stages of the second stint - attacking at Brooklands and Luffield on lap eight - but he could not find a way by.

Leclerc cruised up behind Alexander Albon, Ralph Boschung and Robert Visoiu, who were all attempting the reverse strategy along with Nobuharu Matsushita, the leader during the middle phase of the race.

But it did not work out for that group and Leclerc came home to take his fifth win of the season by 8.8s ahead of Nato, with Rowland 0.7s further adrift in third.

Markelov, who put a bold move on Matsushita down the Wellington straight early on, was fourth for Russian Time ahead of Sergio Canamasas, who scored his best result of 2017 with fifth.

Luca Ghiotto made a series of attacking moves late on to climb to sixth, with King seventh despite putting in a sterling defensive display.

Nicholas Latifi finished eighth to claim reverse grid pole for Sunday's sprint race for DAMS.

Sean Gelael rose from 18th on the grid to ninth by the flag.

Matsushita rounded out the top 10 for ART Grand Prix, with his team-mate Albon coming home 18th.

Antonio Fuoco finished 16th in the second Prema car and Callum Ilott brought up the rear of the field on his F2 debut.

McLaren F1 junior Nyck de Vries did not take the start after reporting a power problem on the grid, where Albon and Ilott also got stuck, which caused an extra formation lap.

RESULTS - 28 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Charles Leclerc Prema Racing 49m23.075s
2 Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 8.866s
3 Oliver Rowland DAMS 9.605s
4 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 17.743s
5 Sergio Canamasas Rapax 18.715s
6 Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME 24.284s
7 Jordan King MP Motorsport 26.498s
8 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 27.805s
9 Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 28.904s
10 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 34.560s
11 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 44.764s
12 Louis Deletraz Racing Engineering 46.536s
13 Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 47.050s
14 Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 50.673s
15 Nabil Jeffri Trident 56.457s
16 Antonio Fuoco Prema Racing 1m01.355s
17 Robert Visoiu Campos Racing 1m09.543s
18 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1m12.549s
19 Callum Ilott Trident 1 Lap
- Nyck de Vries Rapax Not started

RACE TWO STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team
1 Nicholas Latifi DAMS
2 Jordan King MP Motorsport
3 Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME
4 Sergio Canamasas Rapax
5 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME
6 Oliver Rowland DAMS
7 Norman Nato Pertamina Arden
8 Charles Leclerc Prema Racing
9 Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden
10 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix
11 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing
12 Louis Deletraz Racing Engineering
13 Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport
14 Gustav Malja Racing Engineering
15 Nabil Jeffri Trident
16 Antonio Fuoco Prema Racing
17 Robert Visoiu Campos Racing
18 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix
19 Callum Ilott Trident
20 Nyck de Vries Rapax


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F2 Silverstone: Ferrari's Leclerc equals Vandoorne pole record

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Charles Leclerc oil leak smoke caused panic for Prema F2 team

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