Robert Shwartzman has come from 11th to victory to clinch his second straight FIA Formula 2 feature race win, this time around the Hungaroring.
The ex-Toyota Racing Series champion started the race on the medium compound while everyone else in the Top-15 played the conservative card to run on the soft tyres.
A lightning start would see Shwartzman charge to sixth as pole-sitter Callum Ilott tussled with Dan Ticktum for the lead.
Though a key factor for Shwartzman was two safety cars in the opening stint ensured those on quicker rubber were never able to establish a margin.
The second of which involved Kiwi racer Marcus Armstrong who tripped over Artem Markelov, sending the Russian driver into the barrier.
ART would later retire both of its drivers in a woeful opening race to their Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
Shwartzman would extend his first stint five laps longer than anyone else but crucially managed to keep the margin behind fairly stable despite running on heavily worn rubber than those that had already pitted.
With ten laps in hand, the Prema driver at last made his sole pitstop, emerging in fourth after a lockup into Turn 1 allowed Luca Ghiotto to sweep by.
Shwartzman re-passed Ghiotto the following lap into Turn 12 and then swept past Ilott two corners later.
The four-second advantage provisional leader Mick Schumacher had was quickly dissipated as Shwartzman charged past his teammate the following lap, checking out to finish 15.5 seconds ahead of a surprised Nikita Mazepin who also ran the alternative strategy.
The Russian overtook both Ghiotto and Schumacher within the final two laps to snare his maiden F2 podium and the first for Hitech GP.
Having pitted behind the first safety car, Ticktum fell back to ninth at the chequered flag behind Ilott who was another big loser in a poor strategy call and slumped to eighth.
Race 2 who have the top eight finishers reversed meaning Ilott will head the grid for the second successive race which kicks off from 9.10 pm NZT.
|15||Guilherme Samaia||+ 1 lap|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||+ 1 lap|
|17||Sean Gelael||+ 1 lap|