Charles Leclerc crowned the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Champion!
As usual Charles Leclerc topped free practice on Friday morning before claiming a sensational 8th pole of the season later in the afternoon. Leclerc improved his time over and over again without anyone managing to catch his blistering time of 1:24.930. Having suffered with a puncture in free practice Antonio Fuoco found it difficult to grasp a better position than P15 ahead of the penultimate feature race.
Quick off the line in pole position the Ferrari backed driver Leclerc quickly created a gap of 5.9s to rival Luca Ghiotto in P2. A clean pit stop allowed the Monegasque driver to carve his way back up the field over taking all his rivals to regain the lead. Despite an unexpected safety car in the last stages of the race, at the restart Leclerc kept his cool to cross the line not only in P1 to take his sixth win of the season, but also claimed the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Drivers Championship title! Leclerc has given Prema Theodore Racing a back-to-back drivers title after the team made it’s debut into the GP2 Series last season.
Antonio Fuoco also has a superb race. After starting off in P15 the Italian quickly got into the top ten. Taking advantage of the safety car restart he over took four cars in the last laps giving the team another podium in P3! Extreme skill and confidence in his car was shown from the fellow Ferrari Academy driver.
With the drivers title secured the team is now 16 points ahead of rival DAMS in the team championship. Prema Theodore Racing hopes to extend their lead in tomorrow’s sprint race 14:00 local time (GMT +2) with Charles Leclerc starting in P8 and Antonio Fuoco P6!
# 1 – Charles Leclerc
“I’m absolutely over the moon for winning the championship here in Jerez one round early. It’s amazing but it hasn’t been an easy race because obviously, we were struggling a little bit more with the prime tires than with the options. We have to analyze the situation and find something to improve on primes for tomorrow but I’m really satisfied. I want to dedicate this title to my late father who has always been here for me. He gave absolutely everything and it’s thanks to him if I won this championship.”
# 2 – Antonio Fuoco
“I believe that this has been, together with Monza, one of the best races of my career. The last few laps have been spectacular. With soft tires the car was great and we had a good pace. When the safety-car came back in, I knew I had good hopes for the podium even though I lost a little bit of time with Gelael and Deletraz. We could have fought for the win, but I’m really happy for the podium and for Charles’ title too. We are also leading the team championship and we must keep pushing in this direction.”
Teddy Yip commented:
“Yet another stellar performance by Charles and the whole team. He’s proven time and time again that he’s a special talent within this sport and is a truly deserving champion. This team has once again proven themselves to be the best in the business. I’m so happy for the whole team and am proud be a part of this Prema Theodore family.”