Home Featured Luca Ghiotto wins Bahrain F2 sprint race with pitstop gamble

Luca Ghiotto wins Bahrain F2 sprint race with pitstop gamble

by Josh Suttill

Photo: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

Luca Ghiotto won the first Formula 2 sprint race in Bahrain, repeating Charles Leclerc’s victorious one-stop strategy from 2017.

UNI-Virtuosi driver Ghiotto pitted early in the second half of the race, dropping out of the top 10 but charging his way back up the order and taking the lead from DAMS’ Sergio Sette Camara down the inside of Turn 13 with three laps to go.

Ghiotto rose from seventh on the grid to second after the opening lap following a aggressive three-way battle between ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries, Campos’s Jack Aitken and Carlin’s Louis Deletraz.

The trio survived major damage, but all dropped way down the order , and allowed poleman Mick Schumacher and Ghiotto to pull away at the front. Ghiotto wasted little time in dispatching Prema driver Schumacher, with a tidy move down the inside of Turn 1 on the third lap.

The DAMS duo of Sette Camara and Nicholas Latifi were also able to overcome Schumacher, and inherited the lead when Ghiotto made a non-mandatory pitstop. Feature race winner Nicholas Latifi closed to within tenths of his team-mate but was unable to find a way past.

Ghiotto’s pace was electric thereon and he closed down a gap of over 20 seconds in less than 10 laps, with Sette Camara unable to put up a fight. It marks the first win for the new UNI-Virtuosi team since it bought the assets of Russian Time’s entry.

By the end, Ghiotto’s lead was 5.474 seconds over Sette Camara. Third place for Latifi means he loses the championship lead to Ghiotto, with two points splitting the pair

Guan Yu Zhou deferred from his team-mate’s winning strategy and didn’t make a pitstop, but was an impressive fourth at the chequered flag after starting the race in 10th. The top five was completed by Deletraz, the same place he finished the feature race in.

Schumacher slumped to sixth, beating the resurgent de Vries, The Dutchman also made a pitstop, setting fastest lap on the way, but made less progress after his stop.

Series returnee Jordan King picked up MP Motorsport’s first point of the year in eighth place, with Anthoine Hubert (Arden) and Sean Gelael (Prema) completing the top 10.


Race results (23 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Luca Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi 42m36.192s
2 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS +5.474s
3 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +6.867s
4 Guan Yu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi +18.240s
5 Louis Deletraz Carlin +21.939s
6 Mick Schumacher Prema +24.679s
7 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix +25.154s
8 Jordan King MP Motorsport +25.520s
9 Anthoine Hubert Arden International +30.514s
10 Sean Gelael Prema +30.532s
11 Jack Aitken Campos Racing +32.224s
12 Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin +35.980s
13 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix +40.541s
14 Ralph Boschung Trident +43.074s
15 Tatiana Calderon Arden International +46.006s
16 Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +56.487s
17 Dorian Boccolacci Campos Racing +1m00.048s
18 Giuliano Alesi Trident +1m21.115s
19 Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +1m32.585s
20 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport +1 lap
Fastest lap: de Vries, 1m47.145s

Championship Standings
?Ghiotto 37? ?2 Latifi 35? ?3 Sette Camara 27? ?4 Deletraz 16? ?5 Hubert 12? ?6?de Vries 12? ?7?Zhou 11? ?8?Schumacher 8? ?9 Aitken 6? ?10 Matsushita 2