Alexander Albon hunted down and passed Luca Ghiotto to win the Formula 2 sprint race at the Hungaroring.
A poor start for reversed grid poleman Artem Markelov and a strong one for Ghiotto put the latter in the lead at the start, although there was little time to build up a lead as a clash between Ralph Boschung, Alessio Lorandi and Roy Nissany led to a virtual safety car period.
On the restart another incident occurred, with Antonio Fuoco clipping the rear of Sergio Sette Camara, sending himself down the order with a broken front wing.
Campos Racing driver Ghiotto set a scorching pace to pull away from Albon, but it meant he went through his tyres too quickly in the 30?C heat.
In the second half of the race Albon started to cut down Ghiotto’s lead, and with three laps to go he moved past the Italian at Turn 1. From there the DAMS driver pulled away, finishing with a 9.465 second advantage for his third win of the season.
Sette Camara completed the podium for Carlin, making up for his last lap error in the feature race. Two seconds further behind him was team-mate Lando Norris, who spent much of the race locked in battle with feature race winner Nyck de Vries.
Both of them were hunting down Russian Time’s Markelov, who was doing an unusually poor job of looking after the tyres but defending well.
Eventually he conceded position when a botched move by de Vries at Turn 1 led to Norris going round the outside of both at Turn 2. He distanced himself quickly, while de Vries also got passed by Roberto Merhi before he able to get ahead of the struggling Markelov.
Merhi finished a lonely fifth, while de Vries also had tyre struggles and came under pressure from behind. Only on the last lap were they close enough to attack, and a lack of drive off the final corner led to Nirei Fukuzumi stealing sixth from the Dutchman by one thousandth of a second.
Championship leader George Russell battled through from last place, a result of retiring from the feature race, to take the final point in eighth. Progress was initially slow, but as those in front started to suffer from tyre degradation he found himself moving up the order, taking eighth from ART Grand Prix team-mate Jack Aitken on the penultimate lap.
The gap between Russell and Norris at the top of the standings now sits at 12 points, with Albon a further 18 behind.
Markelov sank to 13th, while Fuoco finished a lapped last but with the pointless bonus of fastest lap.
Sprint race results (28 laps)
|2||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Racing||+9.465s|
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||+11.371s|
|5||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||+28.210s|
|6||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden International||+34.144s|
|7||Nyck de Vries||Prema||+34.145s|
|8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||+35.586s|
|9||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||+37.140s|
|10||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||+38.976s|
|12||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||+41.535s|
|13||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||+52.230s|
|15||Roy Nissany||Campos Racing||+1m00.932s|
|17||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||+1 lap|
|Ret||Maximilian Gunther||Arden International|
|Ret||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport|
|Fastest Lap: Fuoco, 1m31.889s