Anthoine Hubert dominates French F2 Sprint race with stunning lights-to-flag victory
Renault-backed youngster Anthoine Hubert dominated the French Formula 2 Sprint race at Circuit Paul Ricard after a stunning lights-to-flag victory performance from pole position.
The Frenchman led the field away on his home event, brushing off the threats of Campos Racing's Jack Aitken and Sauber Junior Team by Charouz's Juan Manuel Correa, before pulling away from the field and taking his second win of the 2019 Formula 2 season.
Correa, who started on the front row alongside Hubert, initially lost out to the fast-starting Aitken. But the American pushed hard and eventually took back second place from the British-Korean driver although neither was able to keep up with Hubert's leading pace. Aitken's day only got worse, as on lap 6, UNI-Virtuosi's Guanyu Zhou swept by Aitken, dropping him to fourth.
Zhou could not catch Correa and settled for the final step of the podium after a making a comeback from a poor getaway. With the Chinese driver taking third place, it made it two Renault-backed drivers on the podium on the team's home soil.
Aitken had initially made a stunning getaway from sixth, up to second on the opening lap but then struggled with tyre management and had to settle for fourth place at the finish line.
The DAMS pair of Sergio Sette Câmara and Nicholas Latifi finish fifth and sixth respectively as they battled each other hard throughout the race; the team allowing the pair to fight it out on track with the Brazilian coming out on top.
Carlin's Louis Delétraz also put in a remarkable performance, going from 14th on the grid to finish in seventh after battling his way through the field with great pace whilst being able to manage the tyres in the hot conditions.
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz's Callum Ilott claimed the final point on offer in eighth place after starting from the back of the grid, spending much of the race battling with feature race winner Nyck De Vries. But the Ferrari-backed driver pulled out an incredible move over the Dutchman on the inside of Beausset in the final laps to take the last points paying position.
Nobuharu Matsushita claims two points on offer for the fastest lap of the race despite finishing in ninth place, De Vries rounded out the top 10 after not being able to recapture the pace which helped him to the feature race win.
Tatiana Calderon spun out of the race at Beausset with two laps to spare after making a mistake, stalling the car on the outside of the circuit.
Prema's Mick Schumacher continued his run of not scoring points after suffering a puncture on lap 15. He made a pit stop but pulled off the side of the track in Turn 6 afterwards. It remains unclear if a tyre was loose or there was a problem with the car.
Formula 2 returns to action at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on June 28-30.