Luca Ghiotto utilises one-stop strategy to win Bahrain Sprint Race
Luca Ghiotto stormed to victory in the second race of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship, utilising a high-risk one-stop strategy in the 23-lap Bahrain Sprint Race.
Ghiotto, who started the Bahrain Sprint Race from seventh on the grid after taking second in Saturday's Feature, secured a strong start off the line, moving into fourth place after the first lap before overtaking Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher and Sergio Sette Camara to move into the lead.
Remaining out in front, Ghiotto pitted at the end of lap 12 for a set of soft compound tyres, rejoining in 14th while Sette Camara regained the lead.
With a two second advantage per lap with fresher and softer tyres, Ghiotto fought his way back through the field, overtaking Guanyu Zhou on lap 17 to move into the top five.
As Ghiotto continued to charge, a battle between Schumacher and Louis Deletraz for third and fourth allowed the Italian to close in on the podium battle, moving into third by quickly dispatching of the squabbling pair out on track.
Following nose to tail at the front of the field, the DAMS pair of Sette Camara and Latifi were struggling for pace due to high tyre degradation and as a result, it was Ghiotto who would come out on top, overtaking the two team-mates to stand on the top step of the podium.
While Ghiotto secured victory, Sette Camara maintained second place over Latifi who claimed third, coming close to matching his result from the opening race of the season.
Behind it was Zhou who finished as the best of the rest in fourth place, with Deletraz taking fifth as the lead Carlin while Schumacher, who started from pole, took sixth at the chequered flag.
ART Grand Prix's Nyck de Vries utilised a similar strategy to race winner Ghiotto, with the Dutchman also pitting at the end of lap 12 for the soft compound tyres, only to finish in seventh with the fastest lap of the race.
F2 returnee Jordan King rounded out the points paying positions in eighth place for MP Motorsport while Anthoine Hubert pipped Sean Gelael to ninth by 0.018s, with the Indonesian driver completing the top 10.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship's new 2019 season will continue on April 27 in Baku, Azerbaijan.