Carlin’s Liam Lawson took his third Formula 2 sprint race triumph of the season, dominating Saturday’s encounter at Spa-Francorchamps despite a mid-race safety car period.
Having climbed from the third row of the grid to second into La Source at the start behind Ralph Boschung, who converted pole into the lead, Lawson swept past the Campos driver approaching Les Combes on lap two.
Behind them Trident’s Richard Verschoor came out on top in a three-way battle on the Kemmel Straight on the opening lap with Jack Doohan and Theo Pourchaire to retain third.
Boschung initially remained within a second of Lawson, who struggled early on with his rear tyres, but the Kiwi eventually pulled over four seconds clear, while Doohan used DRS to breeze past Verschoor.
The safety car was deployed on lap 11 of 18 after Carlin’s Logan Sargeant emerged unscathed from a high-speed crash exiting Pouhon while running ninth.
Lawson immediately pulled out a 2.5s advantage once racing resumed with five laps remaining, and extended his winning margin to 3.868s by the chequered flag.
Boschung was pipped to second on the final lap by Doohan, who moved around the outside into Les Combes.
Points leader Felipe Drugovich pitted from sixth during the safety car period, as did several drivers behind him, to switch from hard to soft compound tyres. The MP Motorsport driver climbed from 12th at the restart to steal fifth from title rival Pourchaire with one lap to go at the chicane.
After passing Verschoor for fourth on the final tour, Drugovich missed out on a podium spot to Boschung by less than a second at the finish.
Hitech’s Marcus Armstrong came home seventh ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s David Beckmann and DAMS’s Ayuma Iwasa.
Prema’s Dennis Hauger was another to pit for softs and finished 10th. Team-mate Jehan Daruvala was due to start the race from second but pulled off with an issue on the way to the grid.
Race result (18 laps)
|3||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||+5.718s|
|4||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+6.360s|
|6||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||+8.686s|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+9.422s|
|8||David Beckmann||Van Amersfoort Racing||+10.065s|
|13||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz Racing System||+15.801s|
|14||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+16.393s|
|15||Frederik Vesti||ART Grand Prix||+16.767s|
|17||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+18.553s|
|18||Amaury Cordeel||Van Amersfoort Racing||+18.594s|
|19||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz Racing System||+19.044s|
|20||Lirim Zendeli||Campos Racing||+23.207s|
|Fastest lap: Lawson, 2m01.740s