Alexander Albon claimed victory in a frantic feature race in Russia to leapfrog Lando Norris in the Formula 2 championship standings, while George Russell edged closer to the title.

In a race that saw a mix of strategies with seven drivers making early gains having opted to start on Pirelli's Soft compound, Albon managed his tyres well in the opening stint and took advantage of pitstop dramas for Norris and Artem Markelov to find himself in prime position for the win.

He duly moved into the lead once the longer running Soft-shod drivers made their respective pitstops and was aided in his victory bid once Markelov dropped out of contention when his Russian Time team were not ready for him when he finally stopped. The British-Thai driver went on to secure the win in commanding style, finishing over 11 seconds clear of DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi.

Polesitter Nyck de Vries had to settle with third place on the podium after being jumped by Albon in the pits and then passed by Latifi in the closing stages, while championship leader Russell claimed fourth to further extend his points advantage. 

The ART Grand Prix driver and Mercedes Formula 1 junior had a 22-point lead over Norris heading into the weekend but now holds a 30 point-margin over Albon, whose fourth win of the year enabled him to jump Norris into second spot.

It was a disaster of a race for the McLaren F1 protégé, who fell down the order in the early stages before dropping out altogether when a pitstop blunder resulted in him leaving his box without the front-right wheel properly attached – an incident which has left Carlin under investigation for an unsafe release.

Norris has now fallen 34 points behind Russell following the latest blow to his title hopes.

His teammate Sergio Sette Camara took fifth from Charouz Racing System’s Antonio Fuoco, ahead of Alessio Lorandi Trident’s and the returning Roberto Merhi. The new Campos recruit is due to start from reverse grid pole thanks to finishing in eighth, though he is under investigation for track limits.

Honda F1 juniors Nirei Fukuzumi and Tadasuke Makino rounded out the top 10, with the former recovering from 17th on the grid to finish ninth and ahead of his fellow Japanese countryman.

Markelov had pulled off a remarkable seven-lap charge through the order from his starting position of 19th to lead at one stage, but ultimately fell out of the points to 12th following his botched pitstop.

F2 Russia Full Feature Race Results