Front Runners DQ’d, Penalized Following Belgium
The Formula 2 drivers’ championship battle is now headed in a new direction, in due part to post-race developments at Spa-Francorchamps.
Title contenders Charles Leclerc and Oliver Rowland were disqualified following the Belgian feature.
Their Dallara GP2-11 cars could not pass scrutineering after the competition because the planks at the bottom were badly worn and not enough of the wood remained for a suitable sample.
Leclerc had dominated, finishing 26.6 seconds ahead of Artem Markelov, who narrowly beat Rowland at the final corner of the event.
The Brit was in second before dropping well behind the Monegasque racer and could not hold off the Russian, who avenged his self-made crash while fighting with him the month previous at Hungary.
Stewards gave both a five-second time penalty for their behavior during the overtaking phase, as Rowland was deemed to have forced his rival off track, and Markelov gained an advantage by speeding through the run-off area and claiming second.
This result now shows Markelov as the winner, his third of 2017, ahead of Russian Time teammate Luca Ghiotto. The victor finished 5.9s ahead of Ghiotto on track, with the amended gap now just 0.9s.
Antonio Fuoco inherits the final spot on the podium, with Racing Engineering’s Gustav Malja and Nyck de Vries fourth and fifth.
Sergio Sette Camara moves up to sixth, as Roberto Merhi takes seventh and Norman Nato’s eighth. Connecticut’s Santino Ferrucci finishes in the points for the second time in three races in ninth, ahead of Campos’ Robert Visoiu.
It doesn’t do much for title competitiveness – with Leclerc’s lead still a massive 54 points with just 161 remaining in the season. The interesting note is the contest for second as Rowland and Markelov are now separated by just eight.
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