Oliver Rowland converted Formula 2 Feature Race pole into his second win of the season, after a tense late battle between him, Artem Markelov and Nicholas Latifi.
A late safety car bunched the pack up and wiped out Rowland's six second lead over Markelov, before the Russian crashed at Turn 1 on Lap 34.
Getting a run on Rowland, Markelov moved to the inside to try and make a move for the lead, but the DAMS driver closed gap, and caused the Russian Time driver to lose control and spear backwards into the barrier at Turn 1 after running over the concrete at the side of the track.
While the race was still under yellow flags for the incident, Latifi put pressure on Rowland for the win at Turn 2, but the British driver held on long enough for the safety car to be deployed, until the end of the race.
Nyck de Vries benefited from the late drama to secure a podium slot, while Charles Leclerc, after being disqualified from qualifying, and started 19th, battled through the field to take fourth.
Nobuharu Matsushita, Luca Ghiotto, Norman Nato, Alexander Albon, Sean Gelael and series rookie Santino Ferrucci were the other points scorers, as Albon, using the alternate strategy, as was Leclerc secured Reverse Grid Pole for tomorrow's Sprint Race.
Rowland jumps Markelov in the stops
At lights out, Markelov, from P2 was able to out muscle Rowland for the lead and began to pull away from the DAMS driver.
Meanwhile, Leclerc was up to P11 at the end of the first lap and was soon caught behind the growing train behind eighth place driver Matsushita, which allowed the top seven to become disjointed with Ghiotto 1.8s clear of the Japanese driver.
On Lap 10, Rowland pitted for the medium tyre, with Markelov responding on the next lap, but a 1:30.247s time from Rowland was enough to see him leapfrog Markelov and emerge 1.9s ahead of the Russian, who was held briefly at his stop for another car coming in.
As the leaders began to pit, alternate strategy runners Albon and Leclerc found themselves at the head of the field, and engaged in a tense dice for the lead, almost making contact numerous times.
On Lap 12, Leclerc tried around the outside of Turn 3, which failed as did an attempt around the outside of Albon at the super-fast Turn 4, which also failed to stick.
Four laps later, at Turn 1, Albon lockied his front-left, which gave Leclerc the advantage on the run to Turn 2, where the Monegasque championship leader made the move stick for the lead and began to pull away.
By now, Rowland was scything his way through the field, lapping up to a second faster than Leclerc, and caught the leader by the end of lap 23, when he dived for the pits to fit the soft compound Pirelli tyre.
Rowland then had a six second lead over Markelov, but Sergio Canamasas soon wiped that out by bringing out the safety car.
Late safety car causes drama
Trying a lunge on Robert Visoiu at Turn 1, Canamasas misjudged and took the pair of them out, promoting Leclerc.
On the restart, Leclerc, from ninth was almost immediately into sixth place, simply driving past Malja, King and Ghiotto.
King then received a 10 second penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner after leaving it at Turn 4, much to his fustration which dropped him to last by the chequered flag.
Out front, Markelov was keeping tabs on Rowland, and began to reel him in, looking up the inside of Turn 1 on Lap 33, while Latifi kept the two in check with just 1.2s separating the trio.
At the start of the 35th lap, Markelov moved to the inside and Rowland moved across to block him, causing the Russian to spin out and bring out the safety car and effectively finish the race there and then.
The incident is under investigation by the stewards.
|Position||Driver||Team||Time/Gap||Points||Reverse Grid Position|
(Four bonus points for pole
(Two bonus points for Fastest Lap)
|3rd||Nyck de Vries||Rapax||+0.673s||15||6th|
|4th||Charles Leclerc||Prema Powerteam||+1.405s||12||5th|
|5th||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||+1.633s||10||4th|
|6th||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||+2.534s||8||3rd|
|7th||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||+3.079s||6||2nd|
|8th||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||+3.350s||4||POLE|
|9th||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||+3.911s||2||9th|
|11th||Louis Deletraz||Racing Engineering||+6.627s||0||11th|
|12th||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||+7.550s||0||12th|
|14th||Sergio Sette Camara||MP Motorsport||+9.069s||0||14th|
|15th||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||+9.462s||0||15th|
|16th||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||+16.126s||0||16th|
|DNF||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||Accident||0||17th|
|DNF||Robert Visoiu||Campos Racing||Collision||0||18th|
|DNF||Antobio Fuoco||Prema Powerteam||Mechanical||0||20th|