|2017 Spa Feature Race|
The unchanged Circuit de Spa Francorchamps
|Date||26 August 2017|
|Event||2017 Belgian Grand Prix|
|Location|| Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps|
|Lap length||7.004 km (4.353 mi)|
|Distance||25 laps / 175.100 km (108.802 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Charles Leclerc|
|Time||2:00.204 on lap 18|
|Artem Markelov||Luca Ghiotto||Antonio Fuoco|
|Winner Team||Russian Time|
|2017 Hungaroring Sprint Race||2017 Spa Sprint Race|
The 2017 Spa Feature Race, otherwise known as the 2017 Spa Race 1, was the fifteenth race of the 2017 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on the 26 August 2017. The race, staged to support the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix, would see Artem Markelov claim victory, albeit after Charles Leclerc and Oliver Rowland were disqualified.
It was Leclerc who proved to be the star of Spa in qualifying, dancing through a miserable session to claim pole in heavy rain. Indeed, the Monegasque's time came during a brief lull in the rain, with the session ultimately abandoned in the final minutes after Sérgio Sette Câmara crashed out.
Leclerc would, however, be challenged from the start of the race, with Rowland blasting through from third on the grid to attack the Monegasque racer into the first corner. Leclerc, however, would win the battle by forcing the Brit wide through La Source, with Rowland picking up front wing damage as they collided.
Regardless, the pair scrambled clear in first and second, and duly disappeared from the pack in the opening laps. That left Antonio Fuoco to head the main battle pack from third, with Jordan King picking up a puncture, and Louis Delétraz and Sérgio Sette Câmara coming together.
A brief VSC was thrown to pick up debris, before the race resumed with the order remained unchanged. Rowland, meanwhile, would sweep into the pits at the end of lap seven to open the pitwindow, duly re-emerging alongside Norman Nato. The rest of those on soft Pirelli tyres made their stops soon after, with Leclerc sweeping in a lap later and emerged ahead of Rowland.
Artem Markelov would inherit the lead as the others stopped, and duly stayed out until lap sixteen, becoming the last man to stop. The Russian rejoined in fifth, and began a late charge onto the podium with soft tyres, as Leclerc re-assumed the lead ahead of Rowland.
With that the race was run, with Leclerc cruising home ahead of Rowland and Markelov, the Russian having blasted past Luca Ghiotto and Gustav Malja in the closing stages. However, after the race it was found that both Leclerc and Rowland had too much wear on the underfloor plank and were subsequently disqualified, handing Markelov the win from Ghiotto and Fuoco.
The Formula Two campaign of 2017 resumed at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after the summer break, with F2 linking back up with Formula One for its eighth pair of races. The Spa circuit itself remained its ever impressive self, with no modifications made to the layout or DRS zones.
There was, however, a change to the entry list, with Louis Delétraz and Nyck de Vries swapping seats, joining Rapax and Racing Engineering respectively. The motivation for the swap was due to the commitments of each drivers' sponsors, with various other alliances changing. The former team, meanwhile, had also been forced to hire another driver, replacing Sergio Canamasas with Roberto Merhi as the veteran Spaniard looked for a drive elsewhere.
In terms of the Championship it was Charles Leclerc whom had continued to lead, having entered the summer break with more than a weekend's worth of points in hand. Oliver Rowland had, however, closed the gap to 50 points in Hungary, with 48 available at each of the remaining six races, meaning he could entertain fantasies of beating the Monegasque. In reality, however, the Brit was set to spend the second half of the season fighting for second, with Artem Markelov and Nicholas Latifi also in contention.
DAMS, meanwhile, had headed into the summer at the head of the Teams' Championship, leaving Hungary with a thirty point advantage over Prema Racing. The Italian squad were still close enough to fight for victory, however, as were Russian Time in third, albeit heading into the second half of the season thirteen off of Prema. Behind ART Grand Prix were a lonely fourth ahead of Rapax, with Trident propping up the table.
The full entry list for the 2017 Spa Feature Race is displayed below:
The final qualifying result for the 2017 Spa Feature Race are outlined below:
|2017 Spa Feature Race Qualifying Result|
|1st||1||Charles Leclerc||Prema Racing||2:20.842||—||1|
|4th||4||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||2:22.069||+1.227s||4|
|5th||2||Antonio Fuoco||Prema Racing||2:22.073||+1.231s||5|
|6th||3||Nyck de Vries||Racing Engineering||2:22.534||+1.692s||6|
|7th||5||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||2:22.952||+2.110s||7|
|9th||6||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||2:23.180||+2.338s||9|
|10th||8||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||2:23.409||+2.567s||10|
|11th||14||Sérgio Sette Câmara||MP Motorsport||2:23.424||+2.582s||11|
|14th||11||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||2:23.737||+2.895s||14|
|15th||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||2:23.788||+2.946s||15|
|16th||15||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||2:24.127||+3.285s||16|
|17th||12||Robert Vișoiu||Campos Racing||2:24.215||+3.373s||17|
|18th||20||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||2:24.437||+3.595s||18|
|19th||21||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||2:25.039||+4.197s||19|
|107% Time: 2:30.700|
|Nyck de Vries||______________|
|12||Sérgio Sette Câmara|
- * Latifi was unable to start due to a fuel pressure issue.
The final classification of the 2017 Spa Feature Race is displayed below:
|2017 Spa Feature Race Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||6||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||25||0:52:50.172||2:00.204||27|
|2nd||5||Luca Ghiotto||Russian Time||25||+6.057s||2:01.212||18|
|3rd||2||Antonio Fuoco||Prema Racing||25||+6.446s||2:00.240||15|
|4th||4||Gustav Malja||Racing Engineering||25||+19.912s||2:00.889||12|
|5th||3||Nyck de Vries||Racing Engineering||25||+21.149s||2:00.669||10|
|6th||14||Sérgio Sette Câmara||MP Motorsport||25||+29.356s||2:00.938||8|
|8th||20||Norman Nato||Pertamina Arden||25||+35.611s||2:01.493||4|
|10th||12||Robert Vișoiu||Campos Racing||25||+44.133s||2:01.015||1|
|12th||8||Alexander Albon||ART Grand Prix||25||+59.552s||2:01.109|
|13th||11||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||25||+1:00.217||2:00.693|
|15th||21||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Arden||25||+1:14.082||2:01.229|
|16th||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||24||+1 Lap||2:01.095|
|DSQ*||1||Charles Leclerc||Prema Racing||25||Disqualified||1:58.721||4|
|Ret||15||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||1||Puncture||4:10.754|
- Bold indicates a driver started from pole.
- Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
- * Leclerc and Rowland were both disqualified as their underfloor planks showed excessive wear in post-race scrutineering.
- † Latifi was unable to start due to a fuel pressure issue.
- Artem Markelov secured his third Formula Two victory.
- Markelov also recorded his fifth fastest lap in F2.
- Russian Time claimed their third F2 triumph.
- Also the Russian effort's thirteenth GP2/F2 level win.
- Sérgio Sette Câmara, Roberto Merhi and Robert Vișoiu claimed their maiden F2 points finishes.
Despite failing to score anything bar the points for pole Charles Leclerc continued to have a stranglehold on the Championship, actually managing to extend his lead. Behind, with Oliver Rowland failing to score, it was race winner Artem Markelov whom had gained the most, the Russian racer moving onto 150 points, eight behind the Brit. That jump also created a gap between the top three and fourth place Nicholas Latifi, with Luca Ghiotto moving into striking distance of the Canadian in fifth.
DAMS had, in contrast, seen their lead atop the Teams' Championship reduced after the first race at Spa, their advantage being cut to ten points. Russian Time were the team on the move, their one-two result carrying them past Prema Racing and into second, becoming the French squad's closest challengers. Those three were still locked into an exclusive Truel for the title, with ART Grand Prix losing more ground in fourth.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'GP2 SERIES 2017 SEASON CALENDAR REVEALED', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 27/01/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/01_January/GP2-Series-2017-season-calendar-revealed/, (Accessed 12/07/2018)
- 'LECLERC AND ROWLAND DISQUALIFIED FROM FEATURE RACE', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 26/08/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/08_August/Leclerc-and-Rowland-disqualified-from-feature-race/, (Accessed 05/10/2018)
- 'LECLERC DOMINATES WET SPA QUALIFYING', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 25/08/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/08_August/Leclerc-dominates-wet-Spa-qualifying/, (Accessed 05/10/2018)
- 'LECLERC SOARS TO FEATURE VICTORY IN SPA', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 26/08/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/08_August/Leclerc-soars-to-feature-victory-in-Spa/, (Accessed 05/10/2018)
- 'DE VRIES MOVES TO RACING ENGINEERING', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 23/08/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/08_August/De-Vries-moves-to-Racing-Engineering/, (Accessed 05/10/2018)
- 'Formula 2 2017 Results: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/Results/?raceid=980&seasonid=174, (Accessed 03/10/2018)