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Flag of France 2018 Le Castellet Sprint Race
Circuit Paul Ricard 2018
The Circuit Paul Ricard
Race Information
Date 24 June 2018
Event Flag of France 2018 French Grand Prix
Location Flag of France Circuit Paul Ricard Le Castellet, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Lap length 5.842 km (3.631 mi)
Distance 21 laps / 122.682 km (76.231 mi)
Qualifying Result
Pole Sitter {{{{{natp}}}}} Unknown
Team {{{{{natpt}}}}} Unknown
Time Unknown
Fastest Lap
Driver Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Team Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing
Time 1:48.996 on lap 13
Race Result
First Second Third
Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto
Winner Team Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing
Time 0:38.28.325
Race Guide
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2018 Le Castellet Feature Race 2018 Red Bull Ring Feature Race

The 2018 Le Castellet Sprint Race, otherwise known as the 2018 Le Castellet Race 2, was the tenth race of the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the 24 June 2018.[1] The race, staged in support of the 2018 French Grand Prix, would noted for its disastrous start, with no fewer than five drivers stalling on the grid at the start.[2]

It was Tadasuke Makino who would line-up on pole position after finishing eighth in the Feature Race, although he would be among those to struggle with his clutch.[2] Indeed, the field had already been altered by issues for Feature Race winner George Russell, Nirei Fukuzumi and Jack Aitken, before Roberto Merhi, Ralph Boshung and Artem Markelov all stalled at the full start.[2]

Makino would at least get off the line, although his staggering start allowed Nicholas Latifi to sprint into the lead ahead of Louis Delétraz, Nyck de Vries and Luca Ghiotto.[2] Makino held onto fifth into the first corner, although the Japanese racer lacked the pace to keep with the top four.[2]

Latifi's lead would only last a few laps, with first Déletraz and then de Vries breezing past using DRS to take the DAMS on the "Mistral".[2] Those two would continue to joust for the lead as Latifi slipped to a lonely fourth, passed by Luca Ghiotto unseen, while Makino was forced to head to the pits with an issue shortly before half-distance.[2]

Indeed, it was just after half-distance that de Vries finally made a move on Déletraz stick, catching the Swiss racer out with a dive into turn five.[2] He duly blasted clear of Déletraz over the following laps, setting consecutive fastest laps.[2]

Elsewhere Lando Norris was on the warpath, passing several drivers including teammate Sérgio Sette Câmara before getting stuck behind Antonio Fuoco.[2] Indeed, the pair would be squabbling right until they caught and passed Latifi, whose pace was fading badly in the closing stages.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, de Vries was left to claim a supreme victory at the front of the field, almost ten seconds clear of Déletraz when he passed the chequered flag.[2] Ghiotto was a very lonely third ahead of Fuoco and Norris, with Câmara and Albon also passing Latifi before they crossed the line.[2]

Background

There were no changes to the circuit overnight, although the threat of rain had faded significantly overnight.[2] Indeed, there were rumours of the Mistral chicane being removed after the Formula One practice and qualifying sessions had been completed, although these were nothing more than a fantasy.[3] Regardless, the twenty Formula Two drivers were ready to take on the Circuit Paul Ricard for the second time in two days, with Tadasuke Makino set to start from pole.

Into the Championship and despite failing to score for the first time all season it was still Lando Norris who led the Drivers' Championship after the Feature Race, although his gap had been cut to just seven points. Indeed, pole and victory in the Saturday race had propelled George Russell into second, having won more races than anyone else during the first nine races. Artem Markelov was now a clear third ahead of Alexander Albon, while Sérgio Sette Câmara moved back into the top five.

In the Teams' Championship it was still advantage Carlin although they, much like their driver Norris, had seen their lead cut at the top of the standings. Indeed, Russell's victory had dragged ART Grand Prix closer to the British squad, with 22 points now separating first and second in the title fight. DAMS remained in third but had lost ground to the lead duo, while Pertamina Prema and Charouz Racing System displaced Russian Time in fourth and fifth.

Entry List

The full entry list for the 2018 Le Castellet Sprint Race is displayed below:

2018 Le Castellet Sprint Race Entry List
No. Name Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine
1 Flag of Russia Artem Markelov Flag of Russia Russian Time Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
2 Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino Flag of Russia Russian Time Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
3 Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
4 Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
5 Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon Flag of France DAMS Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
6 Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi Flag of France DAMS Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
7 Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken Flag of France ART Grand Prix Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
8 Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell Flag of France ART Grand Prix Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
9 Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
10 Flag of Switzerland Ralph Boschung Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
11 Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
12 Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
14 Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
15 Flag of Israel Roy Nissany Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
16 Flag of India Arjun Maini Flag of Italy Trident Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
17 Flag of the United States Santino Ferrucci Flag of Italy Trident Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
18 Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
19 Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
20 Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
21 Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System Dallara F2 2018 Mecachrome 3.4L V6t
Source:[4]

Grid

The grid for the tenth race of the 2018 campaign was formed from the finishing positions of the Feature Race, with the top eight reversed as per-FIA Formula Two rules.

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
1 ______________
Tadasuke Makino 2
______________ Nicholas Latifi
3 ______________
Louis Delétraz 4
______________ Nyck de Vries
5 ______________
Antonio Fuoco 6
______________ Luca Ghiotto
7 ______________
Sérgio Sette Câmara 8
______________ George Russell
9 ______________
Nirei Fukuzumi 10
______________ Arjun Maini
11 ______________
Jack Aitken* 12
______________ Maximilian Günther
13 ______________
Santino Ferrucci 14
______________ Artem Markelov
15 ______________
Roy Nissany 16
______________ Lando Norris
17 ______________
Roberto Merhi 18
______________ Alexander Albon
19 ______________
Ralph Boschung 20
______________ Sean Gelael
  • * Aikten was unable to start the race after an issue on the formation lap.[2]

Race

Sunday morning dawned with bright, warm conditions, although clouds did loom on the horizon ahead of the start.[2] There were also some late changes to the grid, with Jack Aitken spinning to a stop on the formation lap, while George Russell failed to leave for the formation lap at all.[2] Their issues effectively eliminated both ART Grand Prix cars from the start, with Tadasuke Makino on pole.[2]

Report

Unfortunately there would be another wave off issues at the start of the race, with Roberto Merhi, Ralph Boschung and Artem Markelov all stalling on the grid.[5] Out front, meanwhile, Makino lost out in the sprint to turn one, with Nicholas Latifi sweeping into the lead.[5] Indeed, Makino's start was so poor that he slipped behind Nyck de Vries and Louis Delétraz, before Luca Ghiotto nudged him wide at turn two.[5]

Elsewhere, Roy Nissany and Sean Gelael decided not to bother with the turn three/four chicane, putting them to the back of the field as they had to slow before rejoining the fray.[5] At the back the stallers Boschung, Merhi and Markelov all shot out of the pits, half a lap behind the pack.[5] Latifi, meanwhile, would lead the field to complete the opening lap, while Delétraz took second away from de Vries down the Mistral.[2]

The early stages would be fairly tame, with Latifi holding a small lead over Delétraz until the Swiss racer sent his Charouz past the Canadian at the chicane on lap four.[5] Their fight allowed de Vries to catch right onto the back of Latifi's DAMS, with the top three two seconds clear of fourth placed Ghiotto.[5] However, de Vries would have to wait a couple of laps before making his move on Latifi, duly snatching second at the chicane on lap six.[5]

As they fought out front, Makino's day went from bad to worse, with his Russian Time machine suddenly losing power at the start of the Mistral.[5] The Japanese racer duly retired with a driveshaft issue, just as Gelael returned to the fray having disappeared into the pits for couple of laps.[5] Elsewhere, Russell was back in action at the tail of the field, two laps down on everyone else, while Merhi, Boschung and Markelov were making no progress half a minute behind the back of the pack.[5]

A few laps later and there was three way scrap at the lower end of the top ten, with Maximilian Günther defending heavily from Santino Ferrucci and Alexander Albon.[5] Unfortunately for the German, Ferrucci was able to blast past him on the Mistral, before both lunged on the brakes at the chicane.[5] Their respective lunges allowed Albon to get a run on the BWT Arden into turn ten, and duly squeezed inside Günther through the flat-out right hander.[5] Günther, for his part, would lose grip on the outside line and barely managed to keep his car pointing in the right direction as he slithered out wide.[5]

Up ahead of their squabble, Sérgio Sette Câmara was plotting a move on Antonio Fuoco for fifth, with the Brazilian sending his first lunge at the Italian into the chicane on lap twelve.[5] Fuoco managed to swat the Carlin's lunge aside, with a strong drive allowing the Italian to pull marginally clear into turn ten.[5] As they fought Ghiotto sent a lunge on Latifi for third, the Italian's move almost unseen due to the fighting behind.[5]

Moments later and de Vries was lining up a move on Delétraz, and duly lunged around the outside of the Charouz into the chicane on lap thirteen.[5] The Dutchman quickly denied the Swiss racer an immediate response by blasting clear on the exit of the chicane, leaving Delétraz in a soon to be lonely second.[5] Indeed, de Vries would consolidate his lead by setting fastest lap, while Ghiotto was making no progress on Delétraz having cleared Latifi.[5]

Back with Câmara and his latest lunge on Fuoco at the chicane had allowed teammate Lando Norris to close onto his tail, with the Brit plotting a DRS dive into the chicane.[5] However, Câmara saw his teammate coming and duly moved to the inside as they entered the braking zone, causing the lunging Norris to lock-up.[5] That lock-up carried Norris across the chicane, with the Brit having to wave his way through the polystyrene blocks to rejoin just behind the Brazilian.[5]

A lap later, however, and Câmara was powerless to prevent his teammate from blasting past, the Brazilian having dropped out of DRS range behind Fuoco due to the inter-Carlin squabble.[5] Yet, Câmara was not about to give up, and duly kept his Carlin alongside Norris into the second part of the chicane, with both drivers giving each other room.[5] The pair then blasted towards turn ten side-by-side, before Câmara ultimately had to yield with Norris on the inside of the flat-out right-hander.[5]

Into the closing stages and Günther was tumbling down the order, the German's tyres having faded badly enough to gift tenth to Roy Nissany with three laps to go.[5] His troubles were to be worsened as Arjun Maini miscalculated a dive into the final corner a few moments later, although Günther did hold onto eleventh.[5] Another man with tyre concerns in the closing stages was Latifi, whom was powerless to fend off Fuoco with a lap and a half to go.[5]

Onto the final lap and Norris blasted past Latifi into turn one, although the Canadian tried hard to tuck himself underneath the Brit's rear wing.[5] Unfortunately it was at that moment that Latifi's tyres cried enough, with the Canadian racer locking up the moment he touched the brakes, shredding his front right tyre.[5] That was it for the #6 DAMS, with Latifi having to limp around powerless to defend from Câmara and Albon.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, de Vries was left to cruise home all on his own, with the Dutchman duly stroking his Prema home to collect his first victory of the season.[2] Delétraz was left to collect a distant second, but only after he had swatted aside a late lunge from Ghiotto into the final corner.[2] Fuoco was next ahead of Championship leader Norris, while Latifi managed to limp home to claim the final point after Câmara and Albon flashed past.[2]

Results

The final classification of the 2018 Le Castellet Sprint Race is displayed below:

2018 Le Castellet Sprint Race Race Result
Pos. No. Name Team Laps Race Time Fastest lap Pts.
1st 4 Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 21 0:38:28.325 1:48.996 17
2nd 20 Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 21 +9.648s 1:49.404 12
3rd 14 Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing 21 +9.870s 1:49.248 10
4th 21 Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 21 +16.678s 1:49.506 8
5th 19 Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 21 +17.752s 1:49.295 6
6th 18 Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 21 +20.405s 1:49.484 4
7th 5 Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon Flag of France DAMS 21 +20.732s 1:49.353 2
8th 6 Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi Flag of France DAMS 21 +24.445s 1:49.742 1
9th 17 Flag of the United States Santino Ferrucci Flag of Italy Trident 21 +35.726s 1:50.271
10th 15 Flag of Israel Roy Nissany Flag of Spain Campos Vexatec Racing 21 +41.643s 1:50.275
11th 11 Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 21 +49.489s 1:50.608
12th 12 Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 21 +53.765s 1:50.625
13th 16 Flag of India Arjun Maini Flag of Italy Trident 21 +59.010s 1:50.398
14th* 1 Flag of Russia Artem Markelov Flag of Russia Russian Time 20 Retired 1:48.759
15th 9 Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 20 +1 Lap 1:48.489
16th 10 Flag of Switzerland Ralph Boshung Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 20 +1 Lap 1:47.827
17th 8 Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell Flag of France ART Grand Prix 19 +2 Laps 1:48.071
18th 3 Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 19 +2 Laps 1:49.385
Ret 2 Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino Flag of Russia Russian Time 6 Retired 1:50.292
DNS 7 Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken Flag of France ART Grand Prix
Source:[6]
  • Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
  • * Markelov was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.[6]
  • Boschung set the fastest time in the race but was not able to claim the points as he did not finish in the top eight.[2]
  • Aitken was unable to start after a failure on the formation lap.[2]

Milestones

  • Second career victory for Nyck de Vries in Formula Two.
    • de Vries also claimed his fifth fastest lap award in F2.
  • Ninth victory for Pertamina Prema as an entrant in Formula Two.
    • Also their eighteenth triumph at GP2/F2 level.

Standings

With his main title rivals once again failing to score, Lando Norris saw his Championship lead grow yet again during the Sprint Race, with fifth place ensuring he broke the 100 point mark after ten races. George Russell retained second but slipped thirteen points behind, while victory had moved Nyck de Vries into third. However, the Dutchman's tally of 75 left him sixteen points off the back of Russell, although with more than half the season still to run there was a lot of room to manoeuvre.

Another double score for Carlin in Le Castellet had ensured that the British squad again extended their Championship lead, leaving France with 172 points to their name. ART Grand Prix continued to lead the chase behind them, but had remained on 140 points, while DAMS inched closer to their rivals on 106. Behind them came Pertamina Prema on 104, a point ahead of Charouz Racing System in fifth.

 
2018 Drivers' Championship
Pos. Name Pts. +/-
1st Flag of the United Kingdom Lando Norris 104 ◄0
2nd Flag of the United Kingdom George Russell 91 ◄0
3rd Flag of the Netherlands Nyck de Vries 75 ▲3
4th Flag of Thailand Alexander Albon 73 ◄0
5th Flag of Russia Artem Markelov 71 ▼2
6th Flag of Brazil Sérgio Sette Câmara 68 ▼1
7th Flag of Italy Antonio Fuoco 59 ◄0
8th Flag of the United Kingdom Jack Aitken 49 ◄0
9th Flag of Italy Luca Ghiotto 47 ◄0
10th Flag of Switzerland Louis Delétraz 44 ◄0
11th Flag of Canada.svg Nicholas Latifi 33 ◄0
12th Flag of Indonesia Sean Gelael 29 ◄0
13th Flag of Spain Roberto Merhi 23 ◄0
14th Flag of India Arjun Maini 23 ◄0
15th Flag of Germany Maximilian Günther 20 ◄0
16th Flag of Switzerland Ralph Boschung 10 ◄0
17th Flag of Japan Tadasuke Makino 8 ◄0
18th Flag of the United States Santino Ferrucci 4 ◄0
19th Flag of Japan Nirei Fukuzumi 4 ◄0
2018 Teams' Championship
Pos. Name Pts. +/-
1st Flag of the United Kingdom Carlin 172 ◄0
2nd Flag of France ART Grand Prix 140 ◄0
3rd Flag of France DAMS 106 ◄0
4th Flag of Italy Pertamina Prema 104 ◄0
5th Flag of the Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 103 ◄0
6th Flag of Russia Russian Time 79 ◄0
7th Flag of Spain Campos Racing 47 ◄0
8th Flag of the Netherlands MP Motorsport 33 ◄0
9th Flag of Italy Trident 27 ◄0
10th Flag of the United Kingdom BWT Arden 24 ◄0

Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.

References

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 'FIA Formula 2 Championship 2018 Season Calendar Unveiled', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 06/11/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/11_November/FIA-Formula-2-Championship-2018-season-calendar-unveiled/, (Accessed 13/06/2018)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 'DE VRIES CHARGES TO VICTORY IN LE CASTELLET SPRINT', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 24/06/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/06_June/De-Vries-charges-to-victory-in-Le-Castellet-Sprint/, (Accessed 25/06/2018)
  3. Adam Cooper; Glenn Freeman, 'F1 drivers ask FIA to remove Paul Ricard chicane', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 22/06/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-drivers-ask-fia-to-remove-paul-ricard-chicane-1047273/?s=1, (Accessed 25/06/2018)
  4. 'Teams and Drivers', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.webcitation.org/6ySMzYNSv, (Accessed 14/06/2018)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 'F2 Race 2: France', skysports.com, (Sky plc., 2018), http://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/f1/11415271/f2-race-2-france, (Accessed 10/07/2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 'Formula 2 2018 Results: Le Castellet', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/Results/?raceid=987&seasonid=175, (Accessed 23/06/2018)

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