BWT Arden took their first victory of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship at Silverstone after Maximillian Günther led from lights-to-flag in the Sprint Race.
It was the home race for the Banbury team a for round seven and Gunther produced a faultless drive at the head of the field.
Qualifying for Saturday’s feature race saw Günther set the tenth fastest time with team-mate Nirei Fukuzumi setting the 19th fastest time in the challenging session.
The 29-lap Feature Race had another rolling start and Günther held his position challenging Luca Ghiotto ahead for ninth down the Wellington Straight.
Fukuzumi maintained position at the race as the driver’s immediately set into balancing pace and performance, against tyre management and strategy.
Fukuzumi suffered from an electrical issue, bringing his race to a halt on lap 15.
Günther had a battle for reverse grid pole position as a train of cars battled for fifth. Sean Gelael stopped at Brooklands Corner and, after, Sergio Sette Camara suffered an engine failure, Günther was promoted to eighth following a time penalty demoting ART Grand Prix’s Jack Aitken out of the points.
The 21-lap Sprint Race on Sunday morning saw Günther make a brilliant start to pull away from nearest rival Nyck de Vries.
Cruelly for Fukuzumi, a puncture to the radiator on the lap to the grid, meant he was not able to take the start of the race – leaving only one BWT Arden in contention.
Günther continued to lead from the front, managing the gap to his rivals behind and staying out of threat of the DRS. The BWT Arden driver was again balancing performance against tyre life as he managed the race from the front of the pack.
As his rivals behind began to battle, Günther pulled out a 4.5 second advantage on the chasing pack with four laps to go.
During the last few laps championship leader George Russell moved into second position and started to rapidly gain on Günther. Into the final lap, Russell had just got within DRS range on Hanger Straight but Günther held firm, holding on to take his maiden FIA Formula 2 victory, as well as the first of the season for the team.