Dennis Hauger was apparently the victim of miscommunication from race direction, when his PREMA Racing team was ordered to cross the pit lane despite electronic road signs displaying the red cross symbol “entry to stalls closed”.
Hauger took his team’s advice and entered the pit lane, losing the lead to Williams as the rest of the field moved onto the track.
The PREMA driver was then given a 10-second stop-go penalty for not following the lane signal instructions.
“It was just frustrating,” Hauger said.
“We had confirmation from race control that we were supposed to go through the pit lane.
“We did it and got a penalty for listening.”
“It’s a bit unfair, after losing the chance to fight for my first F2 win.”
Calan Williams inherited the lead for the following restart, with racing resuming on lap 14.
With Hughes chasing him on soft tyres, Williams was unable to hold onto the lead on the restart, with Hughes leading into the second corner and quickly followed by Liam Lawson.
Vips passed Marcus Armstrong and Felipe Druogvich on the final corner, before catching Iwasa on the main straight for fourth.
Liam Lawson chased the lead at a knots pace as Hughes’ tires began to degrade, bringing the gap to just three tenths of a second on lap 17.
Lawson easily passed Hughes on the main straight in the next round, while Vips dispatched Calan Williams to take the final podium spot.
With Lawson extending his lead, Vips chased into second.
A spin from Armstrong brought out a brief virtual safety car, giving the Vips a green-flag race lap to catch Hughes when the track was cleared.
Despite a last-second challenge on the final lap, it looked like Hughes would cross the line in second, but Vips held his line on the final corner and beat Hughes to the line in a thrilling drag race to determine positions. minors on the podium.
To add insult to injury, Hughes was then disqualified from the race results when his ride-height board failed technical checks.
The final podium was Lawson and Vips ahead of Felipe Drugovich.
The Brazilian moved up seven places after starting tenth on the grid to take third place.
Calan Williams finished fourth with Armstrong and Doohan both out of the race.
PREMA Racing appealed Dennis Hauger’s penalty after the race, but the penalty was upheld.
The FIA stewards noted that the “pit lane closed” message was displayed after the conversation with the race director, and that the team had one minute to react to this message before Hauger entered the pits. .
The FIA Formula 2 Championship returns with the signature race from Saudi Arabia on Monday at 12:35 a.m. AEDT on Kayo Sports in Australia, or 2:35 a.m. NZDT on Spark Sport in New Zealand.