Formula 2: Rowland wins dramatic race as Leclerc storms back to fourth

Oliver Rowland won the Feature race from pole, but was made to work by Artem Markelov and Nicholas Latifi, with the Russian crashing late on, ending the race behind the safety car. Charles Leclerc, from 19th on the grid, storms to fourth. Alexander Albon on Reverse Grid poile.

Formula 2: Rowland wins dramatic race as Leclerc storms back to fourth
Oliver Rowland's second F2 Feature win is under investigation following the incident with Artem Markelov. (Image Credit: FIA Formula 2)

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. 

Formula 2 Hungary Feature Race - Provisional Classification

Position Driver Team Time/Gap Points Reverse Grid Position
1st Oliver Rowland DAMS 58:37.062s

29

(Four bonus points for pole

8th
2nd Nicholas Latifi DAMS +0.235s

20 

(Two bonus points for Fastest Lap)

7th
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
10th Santino Ferrucci Trident +4.238s 1 10th
11th Louis Deletraz Racing Engineering +6.627s 0 11th
12th Ralph Boschung Campos Racing +7.550s 0 12th
13th Nabil Jeffri Trident  +8.179s 0 13th
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 Sergio Canamasas Rapax Collision 0 19th
DNF Antobio Fuoco Prema Powerteam Mechanical 0 20th


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