Nyck de Vries claimed the lead of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship with a superb victory in the feature race at Paul Ricard.

The ART Grand Prix driver made a fast getaway from fourth on the grid to surge into the lead at the start, with pole sitter Sergio Sette Camara getting slightly bogged down.

A combination of incidents resulted in a red flag being thrown on the opening lap when Sean Gelael caused chaos as he took out Prema teammate Mick Schumacher at Turn 4, while Dorian Boccolacci’s Campos machine stopped on track.

Jack Aitken managed to jump de Vries when the latter ran a lap longer before pitting, but his spell in-front was short-lived as the former McLaren Formula 1 junior pulled off a sensational pass on Aitken at Turn 8, despite being on cold tyres.

de Vries moved back into a race lead he never relinquished when the charging Luca Ghoitto finally pitted with 10 laps to go, before the UNI-Virtuosi Racing driver dropped out of contention with steering issues and late contact.

DAMS’ Sette Camara overtook Aitken on the penultimate lap to snatch second, with the Campos driver having to settle for third spot on the rostrum.

Behind them came Guanyu Zhou in a distant fourth, erstwhile points leader Nicholas Latifi, Jordan King and Juan Manuel Correa.

Reigning GP3 champion Anthoine Hubert finished eighth to claim reverse-grid pole for Sunday’s sprint race, while Nobuharu Matsushita and Giuliano Alesi rounded out the points.

Arden’s Tatiana Calderon and MP Motorsport’s Mahaveer Raghunathan were the only other classified drivers as just 12 cars finished.

De Vries now holds a 16-point advantage over Latifi in the drivers' standings following his third victory of 2019. 



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