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Latifi survives pit stop scare to win Bahrain feature race

  • Published on 30 Mar 2019 11:16
  • comments 0
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Dams' Nicholas Latifi took the win in the first Formula 2 feature race despite a problem with his pitstop, seven seconds ahead of UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Luca Ghiotto and third-placed Dams teammate Sergio Sette Camara.

Debutant Mick Schumacher will also start tomorrow's race on pole finishing eighth thanks to the reverse grid order.

There was worry straight away for pole man Luca Ghiotto as he was very slow away from the grid on the formation lap, reporting the clutch wasn't working.

Ghiotto had an extremely bad start and found himself swamped going into the first corner, while Deletraz took an easy lead. Nyck De Vries battled with Nicholas Latifi for second on the opening lap, eventually losing the place to the Canadian driver,

There was drama on lap five as Prema Powerteam's Sean Gelael, as his rear locked up going into Turn 1, sending the car into a spin and across the inside kerbs, Gelael went across the track and stopped on the outside of turn one and retired from the race, but luckily did not collect any other driver as he spun across the circuit. It is believed the DRS stayed open as he braked, causing the spin.

Campos' Jack Aitken dropped two places after losing fourth to Nobuharu Matsushita on lap eight and fifth to Ghiotto the following lap, while up front Latifi took the lead with an amazing in turn one, around the outside of Deletraz's Carlin.

Ghiotto and Matsushita battled hard going wheel to wheel around turns eleven and twelve, Ghiotto eventually taking fourth.

Second placed Deletraz pitted on lap fifteen and lost out to teammate Matsushita, the first of anyone to pit two laps prior. Leader Latifi came in on lap seventeen six seconds ahead of Ghiotto but problems with the tyre gun on the rear left tyre caused him to lose four seconds during his stop.

Things became extremely tight for debutant Tatiana Calderon, as her BWT Arden got caught between Matsushita and Deletraz at turn eight, but no contact involved. Ghiotto pitted on lap seventeen, re-joining in seventh. After the stops, De Vries lead from Matsushita and Deletraz.

Latifi fought back hard from his botched pitstop to pass both Carlin's of Matsushita and Deletraz to claim second, eventually roaring past De Vries down the main straight to reclaim the lead on lap 24.

Within the next lap, Latifi already established a gap of over two seconds to De Vries. Ghiotto pulled an unbelievable move going into turn one as he passed both Sergio Sette Camara and Louis Deletraz to take fourth on lap 25.

An elated Latifi takes a fantastic win almost nine seconds ahead of Ghiotto, who put in a brilliant recovery driver after dropping from sixth on the opening lap. Sergio Sette Camara takes the final podium position in the first race of 2019.

Photos Formula 2 Bahrain 2019

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