Greeted by cold and dry conditions, the mist loomed high over the Belgian hills and there were plenty of unknowns heading into the first race of the weekend after a lack of race runs in a highly disrupted practice session.
Whilst Ralph Boschung assumed his spot on reverse grid pole on his return to the the track after suffering an injury, Jehan Daruvala’s day was brought to an early end before the lights had even gone out as the PREMA Racing driver pulled over on the reconnaissance lap.
Unfortunately for the Swiss driver, the Belgian circuit isn’t short of overtaking opportunities. All over the back of the race leader, the Red Bull liveried Carlin sailed up into P1 along the Kemmel Straight.
The race made a turn on Lap 11, Logan Sargeant lost his rear end on the exit of Pouhom and skidded into the barriers, triggering the Safety Car.
The full top 10 are- P1: Lawson, P2: Doohan, P3: Boschung, P4: Drugovich, P5: Verschoor, P6: Pourchaire, P7: Armstrong, P8: Beckmann, P9: Iwasa and P10: Hauger.
Drugovich surged off the line and Doohan cleared Enzo Fittipaldi to take second into La Source. David Beckmann followed through down the Kemmel Straight on the Charouz Racing System at Les Combes to take third.
Theo Pourchaire’s title hopes took a major hit, as he slid down the order and out of the race with an issue. Richard Verschoor took fifth from the Charouz on the next lap, using DRS.
Fittipaldi and Sargeant were the first to pit for mediums on Lap 8, feeding back out in 14th and 15th places respectively. Lawson responded on the following lap, but it was a slow stop for the Carlin driver.
Juri Vips and Lirim Zendeli were the first of those on mediums to swap to softs on Lap 15 whilst Verschoor and Iwasa continued to extend their stints at the front.
The full top 10 are- P1: Doohan, P2: Drugovich, P3: Lawson, P4: Verschoor, P5: Fittipaldi, P6: Sargeant, P7: Beckmann, P8: Iwasa, P9: Vips and P10: Novalak.