F2 France: Latifi settles for sixth in Sprint Race
NOT THE WEEKEND ANTICIPATED ALTHOUGH SCORED IMPORTANT CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
Nicholas Latifi started the Sprint Race in fourth place from the reverse grid of the top eight in Saturday’s Feature Race and having finished fifth.
The front row was occupied by Antoine Hubert(BWT Arden) on pole and Juan Manuel Correa(Sauber Junior Team by Charouz) and Jordan King(MP Motorsport) in third place next to Latifi.
At the extinction of the red lights, Jack Aitken, who started from the third row in sixth, leaped ahead of four cars to place himself in second position by turn 1 but it was Hubert who took control of the race form the start.
Nicholas Latifi did get a good start off the line and passed Correa for third. It was a promising start for Latifi as championship leader Nick De Vries lost a couple of spots having started from eight place.
Things started not to go Latifi’s way after that as Correa reclaimed his third place followed by rookie Guanyu Zhou(UNI-Virtuosi Racing) who took fourth from Latifi.
Behind Latifi, who was now fifth, his teammate Sérgio Sette Câmara kept on closing the gap and eventually caught up to Nicholas. Although pushing as hard as he could, Latifi could not hold on to his fifth place and Sette Câmara completed the pass on his teammate.
At the end off the 21 laps race, Anthoine Hubert won ahead of Juan Manuel Correa who fought back to regain his second place from the starting grid. Third place went to Guanyu Zhou, fourth was Jack Aitken and fifth Sette Câmara.
Championship leader Nick De Vries had made his way back to scoring at least a couple of point by mid-race only to loose places again and failing to score any points.
Latifi sums up his weekend at Circuit Paul-Ricard: “Not the best weekend for me unfortunately. In qualifying we were a bit unlucky not being able to set a lap on the second set of tyres but it could have been much worse than sixth. I was confident I’d be able to move forward because our race pace is always good, but this is the first time this season where I just didn’t have the speed and struggled to make up places. We still scored some important points for the championship and we aim to come back strong at the Red Bull Ring.”
After this round, De Vries retains leads the Championship with 121 points, but is now just 12 ahead of second placed Latifi. Aitken is third on 85 points, with Sette Câmara on 80 and Zhou on 76.
Image: FIA Formula 2