Hitech Grand Prix’s Luca Ghiotto snatched an epic Hungarian Sprint victory from Uni-VIrtuosi’s Callum Ilott by just 0.423s in a Hungaroring thriller.
Ilott led from pole but tyre degradation again played a massive part in forcing several drivers to unconventionally pit, with the Brit eventually forced to do so at end of lap 17 and put on soft tyres.
Ghiotto inherited the lead despite the rapid degradation on his front tyres, managing to save enough tyre life to fend off a rapidly charging Ilott who ultimately fell short by just 0.423s despite catching the Italian on faster rubber on the last lap.
Speaking post race on that dramatic last lap, Ghiotto said; “It was a big gamble. We had to push and just manage the tyres as best we could. It just about worked out, and after a bad start to the season, we needed this weekend.”
Mick Schumacher rounded out the podium with his second consecutive third placed finish of this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
With a dry line having formed towards the end of the F3 race earlier in morning, everyone opted for slicks with Louis Deletraz the only front runner opting for softs rather than mediums after his struggles on that compound in the Feature Race.
Ilott got a great launch to lead the field as Ghiotto successfully battled Deletraz for second, before settling into a rhythm as Ilott quickly built up a lead of over three seconds.
Dan Ticktum made a great start to climb from ninth to fifth but quickly lost power and faded down the order, before pitting at end of lap four but re-joined the race on lap ten despite being five laps down on Ilott.
Yuki Tsunoda was shown the black and orange flag on lap eight for a damaged front wing, which forced him to pit for a front nose change and softs that would ultimately force many to also pit within the next 11 laps.Embed from Getty Images
Ilott eventually pitted at the end of lap 17 after Ghiotto begun to reel him in and quickly unleashed a fierce charge to cut a 34 second deficit down to under a second within the next 10 laps.
Yesterday’s Feature Race winner, Robert Shwartzman struggled to warm his tyres up following his pit stop and allowed Deletraz, Schumacher and Jehan Daruvala to pass on warmer tyres.
Ghiotto and HWA Racelab’s Giuliano Alesi found themselves occupying the top two spots after choosing not to pit, with the Italian leading by 25 seconds at start of lap 22 as Ilott reeled Alesi in and made the move into turn 12 for second place.
Ilott then quickly begun ripping four second a lap off Ghiotto but eventually fell short as Ghiotto clung on for the win by 0.423s, despite his tyres being completely dead come the final lap.
Schumacher clinched third with a stunning lunge down the inside of Deletraz into the final corner on lap 23, with Shwartzman and Nikita Mazepin eventually sandwiching the pair in fourth and fifth positions.
Daruvala and Guanyu Zhou rounded out the points in seventh and eighth positions.
Shwartzman continues to lead the drivers’ standings from Ilott despite seeing his championship lead slightly reduced from 22 to 18 points, as Christian Lundgaard rounds out the top three despite failing to score any points this weekend.
|1||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech GP||28||45m 04.725|
|2||Callum Ilott||Uni-Virtuosi||28||+ 0.423|
|3||Mick Schumacher||Prema||28||+ 11.762|
|4||Robert Shwartzman||Prema||28||+ 13.818|
|5||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech||28||+ 15.152|
|6||Louis Deletraz||Charouz||28||+ 23.451|
|7||Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||28||+ 23.831|
|8||Guanyu Zhou||Uni-Virtuosi||28||+ 32.230|
|9||Marcus Armstrong||ART GP||28||+ 34.275|
|10||Giuliano Alesi||HWA Racelab||28||+ 39.283|
|11||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||28||+ 42.731|
|12||Sean Gelael||DAMSS||28||+ 44.953|
|13||Christian Lundgaard||ART G||28||+ 46.926|
|14||Artem Markelov||HWA Racelab||28||+ 51.733|
|15||Pedro Piquet||Charouz||28||+ 52.231|
|16||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||28||+ 55.890|
|17||Roy Nissany||Trident||28||+ 64.365|
|18||Yuki Tsunoda||Carlin||28||+ 73.806|
|19||Jack Aitken||Campos||28||+ 75.656|
|20||Marino Sato||Trident||28||+ 83.059|
|21||Guilherme Samaia||Campos||27||+ 1 Lap|
|22||Dan Ticktum||DAMS||23||+ 5 Laps|