Lando Norris dominated and led a Carlin one-two at the season-opening 2018 Formula 2 feature race in Bahrain on the team’s return to the series, while Artem Markelov stormed from the pitlane to third place.
Norris began his F2 career with an incredible launch off the start which saw him race into a lead on the opening lap. He extended this to over 10 seconds by the time he made his mandatory pitstop.
Despite reporting a lack of power, Norris eased to the win by 7.6 seconds, leading his team-mate Sergio Sette Camara, who triumphed in a thrilling duel with Markelov, who charged through the field from the pitlane after stalling on the grid.
Markelov managed his medium tyres in the first stint, while the likes of front-row starter George Russell been forced to make earlier pitstops and struggling to take their soft tyres to the end.
Russell tumbled down the order at the start when he picked up too much wheel-spin, despite stopping earlier than most, he ended the race in fifth place for ART Grand Prix.
Alexander Albon was fourth for DAMS ahead of Russell and the Prema duo of de Vries and Sean Gelael (from 19th on the grid).
Formula 3 European graduate Maximilian Gunther was eighth and will start from reverse-grid pole tomorrow.
MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung went longer on his first stint than everyone in the top 10 and rose to 10th behind rookie Jack Aitken. Fellow series returnee Nicholas Latifi was 11th.
Luca Ghiotto picked up a drive-through penalty on his debut for Campos when he was deemed to have caused a collision with Russian Time’s Tadasuke Makino.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi was the only retirement, he never made the start after the MP Motorsport stalled on the grid.