The sprint race in Formula 2 is usually a fairly straightforward affair, but the combination of high temperatures and massive tyre wear meant that strategy was everything, with many drivers and teams deciding to tackle the race in a different way.
Many of those in the pack elected to make a pit stop, whilst those at the front tried to go the whole distance on one set of tyres. The effectiveness of these strategies varied wildly, and it all came together in the closing laps as series rookie Alex Palou tried to fend off vastly more experienced drivers, having led the entire race.
Now, did that race have a ‘2012 F1 season’ vibe about it or what?!
In the end it was Artem Markelov who’d looked after his tyres best and scampered away to victory. Newly-crowned champion Charles Leclerc was one of the first to pit and made rapid progress up to fourth, but so high was the tyre wear that he ran out of grip in the closing laps, plummeting to seventh.
Luca Ghiotto put in a pretty mega performance too. Having been nerfed off on lap one, he fought back through the field, pitted, and then fought through it again to finish in fourth, just a couple of seconds off the podium.