Sergio Sette Camara claimed his first Formula 2 win since 2017 in the Red Bull Ring sprint race, as Mick Schumacher came close to a maiden podium after starting 18th.
Nyck de Vries starred early on, charging from sixth on the grid to take the lead from reversed-grid poleman Jordan King at Turn 4 on lap three.
Exactly a lap later however he suddenly slowed when his pit limiter was activated, relegating him to sixth.
King briefly took the lead back before fellow front-row starter Louis Deletraz got past. By lap seven, Sette Camara – who started fourth – had passed both King and Deletraz to claim the race lead.
Sette Camara built a one-second advantage over Deletraz, which was still intact when Carlin driver Deletraz crashed heavily at Turn 1 on lap 19 of 28 after an apparent loss of brakes.
That triggered a safety car that put Luca Ghiotto onto Sette Camara’s tail after the Italian had overtaken his Virtuosi team-mate Guanyu Zhou.
DAMS driver Sette Camara responded well though, going 1.4s clear on the first lap after the restart and then nursing his lead to the finish for his second F2 win and first since the Spa sprint race in 2017.
Zhou faded from third to eighth after the restart, with de Vries moving back up into a podium position.
He had to work hard to secure third however under heavy pressure from Schumacher, who put his F2 struggles to-date behind him to charge from the penultimate row of the grid.
Schumacher demonstrated similar pace that troubled de Vries in the feature race and challenged the ART driver multiple times, but de Vries defended the inside line well.
Feature race winner Nobuharu Matsushita was again strong in the closing stages to finish fifth, having dropped outside of the top 10 at the start. King was seventh and Zhou eighth, while Callum Ilott used a pit-stop for fresh rubber under the safety car to beat team-mate Juan Correa to ninth.
On the morning it was announced he would head to Super Formula, F2 debutant Patricio O’Ward enjoyed a better race from the back of the grid, finishing 14th.
Race results (28 laps)
|1||Sergio Sette Camara||DAMS||38m45.691s|
|2||Luca Ghiotto||Virtuosi Racing||+0.563s|
|3||Nyck de Vries||ART Grand Prix||+5.536s|
|7||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||+14.095s|
|8||Guan Yu Zhou||Virtuosi Racing||+15.086s|
|9||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+15.659s|
|10||Juan Manuel Correa||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+16.607s|
|11||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix||+18.290s|
|13||Tatiana Calderon||Arden International||+21.136s|
|14||Patricio O’Ward||MP Motorsport||+22.294s|
|15||Arjun Maini||Campos Racing||+22.856s|
|16||Anthoine Hubert||Arden International||+24.057s|
|18||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||+35.537s|
|Fastest lap: de Vries, 1m18.159s