Luca Ghiotto scored Russian Time’s second successive feature race victory after a dramatic race at Monza. It was the 22-year-old Italian’s first feature race victory after he won last year’s Sepang Sprint race and finished runner-up in the main races at both Barcelona and Spa this year. Team mate Artem Markelov finished 10th after contact while trying to take the lead at Turn 1.
Luca drove a fine race from 11th on the grid, with everyone on wet tyres. He was up to seventh place by the second lap, picked up another place on lap 3 and then managed to pass Roberto Merhi and pole man Nobuharu Matsushita on lap 8. He was brought fully into play by a late rate Safety Car and took the lead at the restart in a battle involving longtime race leader Nyck De Vries and Charles Leclerc. Going flat-out into the first chicane, wheel-to-wheel with De Vries, Luca had to go straight on. He slowed to give the place back but De Vries had already made contact with Leclerc. With quickest time on the very last lap, Luca scored maximum points, ahead of Antonio Fuoco and Matsushita.
Luca Ghiotto: «The laps behind the Safety Car before the grid start was a good initiative and gave us a feel for the grip. Visibility is always a problem with rain on a high-speed track but that was a great race and I’m delighted with the win. Going into the chicane after the restart, Nyck and I were trying to brake as late as possible and I went straight. I slowed down to give the place back but by then Nyck and Charles made contact, so I couldn’t.»
Artem Markelov: «Going into Turn 1 there was an opening on the inside. I went for it but had problems with the brakes and made some contact. The car was then difficult to control so I pitted for a new nose. The late Safety Car helped and I was able to fight my way back through to score the final point.»
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «What a fantastic race! Luca did a brilliant job to win from 11th but Artem paid the price for being aggressive at the start. We now lead the Teams’ championship and both Artem and Luca are within striking distance of Rowland for second place in the Drivers’ series.”