Dan Ticktum has gone lights-to-flag to clinch victory at his home Formula 2 race from Silverstone to survive a late charge by Christian Lundgaard in an enthralling finish to today’s sprint race.
Meanwhile, a disappointing British Grand Prix weekend quickly turned around for Marcus Armstrong as the Kiwi was one of several drivers to pit under the race’s sole Safety Car period in the dying stages before making a late charge to come from 16th to tenth at the line. The highlight being a wily move around the outside at Luffield as the 20-year-old picked off both Artem Markelov and Marino Sato in the space of one corner.
Nonetheless, Armstrong leaves the weekend with zero points to his name and will be demanding answers as to why the ART racer could not get his hard tyres to work in either of F2’s two races.
The result for Ticktum is his first triumph since claiming victory at Silverstone in European Formula 3 back in 2018.
The Brit didn’t have it easy as he was one of four drivers across the field to not take a pitstop under the late Safety Car to recover the stricken Virtuosi of Callum Ilott, only narrowly fending off a late assault by a medium tyre-shod Lundgaard who simply ran out of corners in his pursuit of victory.
Louis Deletraz would hold on to the final podium position, ahead of former New Zealand Grand Prix winner Jehan Daruvala who capitalised on a last-lap spin by Guanyu Zhou to snare his career best result of fourth.
Ticktum would rocket out to an early lead, pulling out a two-second advantage over Lundgaard in just five laps as the DAMS pilot looked certain for an unrivalled victory.
Armstrong had started 16th but struggled to make any headway throughout the opening half of the race. The Kiwi was vividly frustrated and vented his frustration over the team radio complaining of tyre wear.
Lundgaard then lost positions to both Ilott and Zhou within a couple of laps to be demoted off the podium.
The race then looked set for a processional finish before Ilott’s Silverstone horror story authored another chapter when he spun from second position while pursuing down race leader Ticktum. The Virtuosi driver was already carrying a five-second penalty before pitching himself into an unforced pirouette at Vale before stalling the car and retiring from the race
Ilott’s spin ultimately compelled race control into deploying the Safety Car to neutralise the field which led to a flurry of activity in the pitlane as a myriad of drivers ditched their aged hard tyres for a set of the softer medium tyres in a three-lap dash to the flag.
However, Ticktum opted to maintain track position and stay out on his hard tyres while the majority of those behind him donned the softer tyres in time for the restart.
The leading of those drivers being Lundgaard who sat in fifth, quickly picking off Nikita Mazepin and Zhou on the penultimate lap before gliding his way past Deletraz on the first DRS straight to commence the final lap.
The Danish racer would close to within three-tenths of Ticktum who undoubtedly would have been delighted to see the race end in a thrilling finish.
Armstrong wrestled his way from 12th after the pitstop to 10th, even challenging Jack Aitken for ninth on the run into Maggots.
The Kiwi was not the only title challenger to struggle over the weekend as championship leader Robert Shwartzman picked up his second successive non-point scoring finish in a bizarre pair of races for the Prema driver.
F2 will have one week to regather and prepare for another weekend of action around Silverstone for round five of the championship on August 7-9.