Nicholas Latifi has extended his Formula 2 championship lead to 26 points with a flawless victory in the Spain feature race at Circuit de Catalunya.

The DAMS driver avoided the first-lap clashes, which triggered an early safety car following Giuliano Alesi’s retirement after hitting Mick Schumacher, before moving up to second place following early leader Guanyu Zhou after pole-sitter Luca Ghiotto dropped from first to seventh.

With tyre strategy coming into play, both Jordan King and Anthoine Hubert moved to the front as the leaders pitted. On the tough harder tyres, Latifi found a key pace advantage to reel in Zhou and overtake the Chinese driver with six laps to go blasting around the outside at Turn 1.

After King and Hubert pitted, Latifi had a clear track ahead to storm to victory, while Jack Aitken claimed second place by overtaking Zhou on the penultimate lap at Turn 1. Despite the disappointment, Zhou did claim his maiden F2 podium ahead of a recovering Ghiotto in fourth place.

Nyck de Vries had to settle for fifth place after being caught by Ghiotto in the closing stages, while Hubert’s alternative strategy paid off for sixth place just ahead of King in seventh.

Callum Ilott claimed eighth place as Sean Gelael and Ralph Boschung rounded out the points places.

It was a race to forget for Schumacher who, following his opening-lap hit with Alesi, made contact with Juan Manuel Correa at Turn 4 on Lap 29.