Russell leads the FIA F2 Championship into Summer Break

July 30, 2018
George Russell stormed through the field to 8th position after starting from the back of the grid in the FIA Formula 2 Budapest Sprint Race

Russell leads the FIA F2 Championship into Summer Break

July 30, 2018
9:30 am

ART Grand Prix Formula 2 Driver and Championship Leader George Russell put on a great recovery at the Hungaroring to take 8th position in the Sprint Race. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Reserve Driver leads the FIA F2 Championship heading into the 'Summer Break'.

Russell was forced to start from 20th and last on the grid, following the technical issue which prevented him starting Saturday's FIA F2 Feature Race and later forced his retirement.

Despite the first race setback, Russell was determined to limit the damage on his championship advantage by reaching the points-paying positions in the final F2 race before the annual 'Summer Break'.

Russell got a good start, avoiding a three-car collision at Turn 3 to move himself into 16th position at the end of the opening lap - which soon saw the race neutralised by a Virtual Safety Car period.
When the race resumed, Russell was trying to make further progress through the field, however the nature of the Hungaroring Circuit makes overtaking one of the most difficult of the season, with only Monaco being tougher.

Russell was able to keep the pressure on his rivals ahead, whilst also saving his tyres in the process, to set himself up for more opportunities later in the 28-lap race. When DAM's driver Nicholas Latifi ran wide at Turn 4, Russell was released to charge up through the field.

The BRDC Superstar and Championship Leader was reaping the rewards of great tyre management early on in the race to reel in his rivals over the course of the last ten laps, setting the third fastest lap in the process during his charge.

With three laps to go, Russell was up to 9th position and just behind ART teammate Jack Aitken - with the battle for 6th position not too far ahead of him. After a lap of stern and robust defence from Aitken, Russell passed him going onto the main straight and was now into 8th position and in the championship points.
The battle with Aitken had halted his momentum briefly, which was enough to prevent him from catching the battling Nyck de Vries and Nirei Fukuzumi ahead. Nevertheless, Russell took 8th position at the chequered flag to complete a very strong recovery drive.

George Russell "Going from 20th on the grid to finish in 8th at arguably the hardest track to overtake on after Monaco was very encouraging. We will take that after an unfortunate weekend for us. We go into the summer break still leading the championship so I'm not too disheartened. We have a fantastic chance to win this championship."

Russell still leads the FIA Formula 2 standings on 171 points, now 12-points ahead of nearest rival Lando Norris in the championship.
FIA F2 returns to action in four weeks time, on the 24-26 August at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium.

Before heading into his summer break, it was announced that Russell will be partaking in both days of the Post-Hungarian Grand Prix Formula One test, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport - following their victory at the circuit this weekend in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Photos: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

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