This morning, Louis Delétraz took his fifth pole position of the year with a new track record for the category at 1:54.784. The Swiss driver was joined on row one by Jack Aitken. Jake Hughes (Koiranen GP), Ukyo Sasahara and Ignazio D’Agosto (Manor MP Motorsport) completed the top five in qualifying.
Aitken takes the lead
With Max Defourny (ART Junior Team) was blocked on the grid, as was Josef Zaruba (AVF) during the formation lap, an extra formation lap was required. Following an extremely compact start, Jack Aitken moved into the lead ahead of Ukyo Sasahara and Matevos Isaakyan. Jake Hughes, Ben Barnicoat (Fortec Motorsports) and pole man Louis Delétraz followed. Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing) was the only victim on the opening lap. The safety car was called into service on the next lap when Valentin Hasse-Clot (Fortec Motorsports) had his race come to an end in the gravel trap.
Sasahara pours on the pressure
Despite the ambitions of those behind, Jack Aitken held on to the lead at the restart The positions went unchanged, just until Jehan Daruvala overtook Ignazio D’Agosto on lap six for seventh place. The Italian driver eventually returned to the pits and retired from the race.
Race leader, Jack Aitken fended off the attacks of Ukyo Sasahara for his third victory of the season. Matevos Isaakyan claimed he final spot on the podium ahead of Ben Barnicoat, who got past Jake Hughes on lap 11. Louis Delétraz was sixth, followed by rookie Jehan Daruvala. Kevin Jörg (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Martin Kodrić (Fortec Motorsports), Dennis Olsen (Manor MP Motorsport) and Anthoine Hubert (Tech 1 Racing) who also finished in the points.
Jack Aitken : “With so much distance on the downhill run to the first corner, it was possible to do something. I managed to take the advantage and I didn’t feel any contact, even though it should have been different behind. Then, Ukyo pressured me all throughout the race. He would brake very late, but he was never a serious threat. It wasn’t easy but I reduced the gap in the championship. There are no miracles, we have improved my consistency, while also continuing to do the best we can.”
Ukyo Sasahara : “I tried to pass Jack all throughout the race, but he defended really well. I tried to follow, hoping for a mistake or an opening, but it never happened. There wasn’t any option for overtaking, but after starting fourth, I am pleased with my second place.”
Matevos Isaakyan : “It was a normal start. I held on to my position at the first corner, and then in the second, then the third, I passed four cars. I was quite happy, although I did ask myself how I managed to do it. Then I had to control Jake Hughes, while also catching up to Ukyo. We were quite close but not close enough to try anything. Nevertheless, this podium is an excellent result after the disaster at Silverstone where I didn’t score a single point.”
Provisional general classification * : 1. L. Delétraz – 132 points, 2. K. Jörg – 129, 3. J. Aitken – 128, 4. J. Hughes – 126, 5. A. Hubert – 100… *Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications