Alexander Albon beats George Russell at Silverstone as Lando Norris falters
Alexander Albon stormed to victory at Silverstone in Formula 2's Feature Race for DAMS, beating George Russell to the chequered flag to take a second career win in the series.
In qualifying, Albon secured second on the grid while Mercedes junior Russell claimed pole position, edging ahead of Lando Norris in the Drivers' Championship with McLaren's protege qualifying in a disappointing sixth place.
As Formula 2's rolling start system continues, Russell led from when the green flag waved on lap 1 and maintained his lead from Albon, extending an advantage of 2.6s over the Thai driver.
Pitting at the end of lap 6, Russell led the soft compound runners into the pit lane, switching onto a hard set of Pirelli tyres only to suffer from a slow pit stop after a front-left wheel gun failure, thus handing the net lead to Albon while Louis Deletraz led out on track, yet to pit.
Pitting one lap later, Deletraz handed the lead to Russian Time's Artem Markelov who opted for the overcut strategy, later switching onto hard rubber which in turn handed the lead to team-mate Tadasuke Makino who started on the longer-lasting hard compound.
While Makino led, Russell was under investigation for speeding in the pit lane - an offence that he was ultimately punished for, receiving a five second time penalty.
Overtaking Roy Nissany who was yet to pit on lap 10, Albon moved into third place, moments before the deployment of a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) for the stricken Arden of Nirei Fukuzumi who ground to a halt on the Hangar Straight.
After the incident was cleared up, racing resumed on lap 15 and Sergio Sette Camara overtook Deletraz for sixth place while Russell found a way past Ralph Boschung to move into the podium places, aiming to hunt down Albon in search of a win on home turf.
When Nissany pitted on lap 21, Albon moved into the lead, charging to the chequered flag on lap 29 to claim a second victory of 2018 for DAMS while Russell finished in second place, unable to close in on the driver despite securing the fastest lap for an additional bonus point.
Antonio Fuoco, who reported a power problem in the opening stages of the race, finished in third place to secure another podium for Charouz Racing System while Deletraz finished in fourth place, clearing Luca Ghiotto on the final lap of the race who finished in fifth.
Renault junior Markelov finished in sixth place while Prema Racing's Nyck de Vries was seventh, followed by Maximilian Gunther who finished in eighth place to secure reverse grid pole for Sunday's Sprint Race, benefitting from two five second time penalties for Jack Aitken.
Ralph Boschung finished in ninth place while Norris completed the top 10 after stalling in the pit lane which proved to be a costly mistake in terms of the Drivers' Championship, with Russell now holding a 33 point lead over his fellow countryman despite only taking the lead in Austria last weekend.
In Saturday's Feature Race, three drivers failed to see the chequered flag, with Sette Camara suffering from an engine failure while Sean Gelael spun out of the race when battling with Norris. Fukuzumi was the other retirement.