Matsushita wins in F2 after Latifi error
14 May 2017 – Nicholas Latifi's late blunder handed victory in the Formula 2 Sprint Race to Honda-backed ART racer Nobuharu Matsushita at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Latifi had controlled proceedings on Sunday morning, executing a perfect start from third on the grid to breeze past Artem Markelov and Gustav Malja before the field even reached Turn 1.
From there, Latifi opened a three-second advantage over Malja, who was passed mid-distance by Matsushita, the Japanese racer having jumped up two places off the line from fifth.
Matsushita was unable to make any in-roads on Latifi but the DAMS driver slid wide at Turn 5 on lap 22 of 27, running through the gravel, losing the lead to the ART racer.
Latifi emerged narrowly ahead of Oliver Rowland, who had also got by on Malja, and was unable to defend against his team-mate, following his trip across the gravel.
Matsushita had an uncontested run to the chequered flag to take his first victory in the category since last year's Monaco Sprint Race.
Rowland took second, with Latifi third, while Charles Leclerc steadily made progress to move from eighth to fourth.
Jordan King made gains during the closing stages to take fifth, with Malja slipping to sixth, in front of Luca Ghiotto.
Alexander Albon – who spent the bulk of the race defending from Leclerc – held off Markelov for eighth, the Russian having plummeted down the order after a tardy getaway from pole.
1. Charles Leclerc - 73 points
2. Oliver Rowland - 46 points
3. Luca Ghiotto - 38 points
The next round of the F2 season takes place in Monaco from May 25-27