FIA Formula 2

Sette Camara wins Spa F2 sprint race, Leclerc extends points lead

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Sergio Sette Camara picked up his first race win since go-karting in Sunday’s FIA Formula 2 sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps as Charles Leclerc extended his championship points lead by charging from 19th to fifth.

Camara made a rocket start from third place on the reverse grid to take the lead at La Source, and retained his advantage over the pack to the end of the race.

McLaren junior Nyck de Vries leapt from fourth to second to finish ahead of Luca Ghiotto and Norman Nato, but it was Leclerc who stole the show.

The Ferrari youngster started at the back of the field after his race win on Saturday was scratched for a technical infringement, but he wasted little time in making up positions, taking four places in the opening sector.

A brave pass at the bottom of Eau Rouge was the highlight of his charge that also saw him overhaul title rival Oliver Rowland following a tight battle through the first sector.

Leclerc ditched Rowland and battled his way up to fifth place, with his hopes of climbing any higher being dashed by a late safety car period following a huge smash for Nobuharu Matsushita at the top of Raidillon.

The crash resulted in the race finishing behind the safety car, with Sette Camara leading the field home for his first win in professional car racing.

Leclerc’s points lead over Rowland in the championship stands at 59 points with three double-header rounds remaining this season, with the paddock meeting again at Monza next weekend.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.