Nikita Mazepin won Formula 2’s Feature Race at Mugello after an intense ending to the event while Mick Schumacher moved into the lead of the championship.
The Russian began the race from 14th on the grid and on the alternate strategy, thus finding himself in the lead once Christian Lundgaard, Dan Ticktum, Luca Ghiotto and others pitted ahead of him.
A Safety Car period with 11 laps to go due to Giuliano Alesi’s stranded BWT HWA Racelab gave Mazepin the opportunity to switch from the Hard tyres to the Softs.
This allowed the Hitech driver to re-join third behind Lundgaard and Ghiotto, and with fresher tyres he pulled off a double overtake on the first restart.
After a wild couple of corners the Safety Car was deployed once more as Jack Aitken, Guanyu Zhou and Schumacher collided, with the Campos and UNI-Virtuosi drivers retiring.
Another Safety Car period did not stop Mazepin from clinching his second victory of the season, closing the gap drastically to the leaders in the championship.
Ghiotto completed Hitech’s first ever 1-2 finish in Formula 2 with second ahead of Louis Deletraz, who also bagged the points for the fastest lap.
Felipe Drugovich was fourth ahead of Schumacher, Lundgaard and Juri Vips, who scored his first points in the series.
Yuki Tsunoda crossed the line in eighth but was given a five-second time penalty for his contact with Dan Ticktum on the first restart at Turn 1. That dropped the Japanese driver to 16th as a result.
Artem Markelov was promoted to eighth and reverse-grid pole for the Sprint Race while Marcus Armstrong and Jehan Daruvala rounded the top 10.
The situation in the championship is that Schumacher has jumped into the lead in the Drivers’ Standings for the first time. He is four points ahead of Callum Ilott in second, who did not score in the Feature Race with his 12th place finish.
Robert Shwartzman also came away with no points due to a technical issue that forced him to pull off but remains in third and 13 points off the top.
Tsunoda’s pointless score drops him to sixth, behind Lundgaard and Mazepin, though only 30 points off Schumacher.
The Sprint Race begins on Sunday at 11:55 local time.