Nobuharu Matsushita scored his first F2 feature race win at the Red Bull Ring in a race dominated by tyre degradation.
Prema’s Sean Gelael inherited the lead when cars starting on softs pitted and tried to hold onto it, fending off Nikita Mazepin for ten laps. Mazepin passed Gelael on lap 22, locking up heavily as he did so. But with 15 laps remaining it was clear he would not be able to eke out enough of a gap on his original set of tyres to make his mandatory pit stop without losing the lead.
With seven laps to go, De Vries’ tyres looked severely degraded. Matsushita’s Carlin team later claimed they were not expecting to challenge for the win and believed De Vries was actually saving tyres behind Mazepin.
Finally De Vries finally put a move Mazepin, though he was not technically fighting him for position. Luca Ghiotto and Matsushita followed him by. But as De Vries’ tyres faded Matsushita found a way by, and held off Ghiotto for the win.
De Vries at least managed to extended his championship by finishing third. Nicholas Latifi came in ninth, his race wrecked following a spin at the start from contact with teammate Sergio Sette Camara. He was followed in by another title contender, Jack Aikten, who took the final point for tenth.
Ahead of them Jordan King claimed reverse-grid pole position by finishing eighth behind Zhou and Louis Deletraz.
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