Charles Leclerc delivered a performance to remember in Sunday’s FIA Formula 2 sprint race at the Bahrain International Circuit, rolling the dice with a strategy that saw him charge from 14th to victory late on.
2016 GP3 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc finished the first race of F2’s new era on Saturday in third place, securing P5 on the grid for Sunday’s sprint event.
Leclerc managed to fight his way into the lead with 14 laps to go, building up an advantage over the chasing pack before coming in to change tires despite it not being mandatory in the sprint race.
With the majority of the pack looking to complete the race without a stop and having to manage their tires, Leclerc found himself with a significant pace advantage in the final nine laps, lapping as much as four seconds per lap faster than his rivals.
The Monegasque racer picked his way up the order before passing Oliver Rowland and Luca Ghiotto on the final lap to complete a remarkable charge back from 14th place.
Ghiotto was left to settle for second ahead of Rowland, with the top three being covered by just 2.8 seconds at the checkered flag.
Nicholas Latifi bounced back from a tough race on Saturday to finish fourth for DAMS ahead of Jordan King and McLaren junior Nyck de Vries, with Alexander Albon finishing seventh. Saturday winner Artem Markelov tried replicating Leclerc’s strategy, but could only recover to eighth for Russian Time.