Robert Shwartzman fended of Yuki Tsunoda to win the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Russian began the event from sixth position when heavy rain initially delayed the first formation laps behind the Safety Car before a red-flag suspension for over an hour.
When the race finally got underway with a shortened distance of 36 laps Tsunoda pulled clear of Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott, as the drivers fought for visibility and grip.
Christian Lundgaard was mastering the conditions on his first stint by passing Luca Ghiotto for fifth on Lap 7 into Turn 6.
The order at the end of Lap 11 was Tsunoda leading Zhou, Ilott, Jack Aitken in fourth, Lundgaard, Ghiotto, Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala, Mick Schumacher and Felipe Drugovich.
Zhou and Shwartzman were the first of the leaders to pit on Lap 21 after the likes of Aitken, Lundgaard and Ghiotto had changed wet tyres.
Ilott was the next to stop a lap later and came out behind his team-mate, Zhou, followed by Shwartzman on his out-lap on track.
With Tsunoda not coming to the pits on the laps that he had been demanded to by his Carlin crew, the gap between him and Zhou and Shwartzman was too small for him to re-join ahead. By the time the Japanese pilot changed tyres with ten laps to go, he was behind the duo when he returned to the circuit.
Tsunoda was on a fightback, as he clawed back the gap to Zhou and overtook the Chinese driver into Turn 1 on Lap 30 and set his sights on race leader Shwartzman.
The Russian’s lead was narrowing more and more as the laps counted down but even with the determination of Tsunoda, it was a first F2 victory for the PREMA driver by less than a second.
Zhou had to fend off the second PREMA of Schumacher to finish on the podium in third. Ilott crossed the line fifth in the second UNI-Virtuosi ahead of Lundgaard and Marcus Armstrong. Dan Ticktum was eighth and on reverse-grid pole for Sunday’s Sprint Race, with Jack Aitken and Sean Gelael completing the points scorers.
The fastest lap points went to Tsunoda, as Roy Nissany set the fastest lap on track but was 15th, meaning he was not eligible to get those points.
Shwartzman’s win moves him into the lead of the Drivers’ Championship, 11 points ahead of Ilott.
The Sprint Race on Sunday gets underway at 10:10 BST.
|1||R. Shwartzman||PREMA Racing||–|
|4||M. Schumacher||PREMA Racing||18.367|
|6||C. Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||22.271|
|7||M. Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||24.710|
|9||J. Aitken||Campos Racing||31.738|