Frederik Vesti extended his Formula 2 points lead with a dominant lights-to-flag sprint race win in wet conditions at Silverstone.
The Prema driver finished a sizeable 13.4 seconds clear of title rival Theo Pourchaire in a contest that was reduced to 19 laps following a heavy pre-race shower.
Conditions resulted in the field completing three formation laps before taking a rolling start, with Vesti leading away from reversed-grid pole and then pulling clear following an early safety car period.
DAMS’s Ayumu Iwasa almost immediately slowed at the start with an issue. Clement Novalak and Brad Benavides made contact as they tried to move around Iwasa’s ailing car, with Benavides spinning into the barriers.
Racing resumed on lap four following the safety car period with Ollie Bearman, who had already swept around Enzo Fittipaldi for fourth before the intervention, immediately passing Pourchaire into Village. The Prema driver then took second before the end of the lap after diving to the inside of Isack Hadjar into Stowe.
As he tried to chase his team-mate Vesti for the lead, Bearman spun on the exit of Club and dropped back behind Hadjar. Pourchaire soon reclaimed third from the Ferrari junior while, behind them, Jack Doohan and Fittipaldi were involved in a thrilling scrap for fifth.
Pourchaire snatched second from Hadjar just past the halfway stage of the race, while Bearman faded into the clutches of Doohan and initially held on to fourth despite the Alpine junior drawing alongside him.
Doohan eventually tried another move on the outside of Stowe but was squeezed off the road on the exit, with officials investigating the incident before deciding to take no further action.
The pair then caught Hadjar who dramatically lost grip on his wet-weather tyres, which proved beneficial for Bearman after managing to get by and then pulling out a gap.
Doohan eventually passed Hadjar as well and profited from a mistake from Bearman to close back onto the tail of the British driver. After going side-by-side through Stowe, Bearman outbraked himself into Vale and went off before rejoining in sixth.
Pourchaire took the chequered flag in a lonely second place ahead of Doohan, with Fittipaldi finishing fourth.
Hadjar led home a train of five cars at the finish for fifth. Bearman was sixth, but faces a post-race investigation for an unsafe return to track following his excursion at Vale.
Victor Martins was seventh ahead of Arthur Leclerc and Roy Nissany. Zane Maloney was a further six seconds adrift in 10th.
Race result (19 laps)
|2||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||+13.432s|
|3||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||+19.422s|
|5||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+30.517s|
|7||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||+31.345s|
|9||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||+32.452s|
|11||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||+39.880s|
|12||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||+40.251s|
|13||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||+44.116s|
|14||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||+44.706s|
|15||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||+45.269s|
|18||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||+52.808s|
|19||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||+1m07.916s|
|20||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1m14.160s|
|21||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||+1 lap|
|Ret||Brad Benavides||PHM by Charouz|
|Fastest lap: Iwasa, 1m59.913s