The race was started behind the safety car after overnight rain had saturated the demanding street circuit, with Ocon, Felix and Max Verstappen opening up an instant gap over the rest of the field once racing got underway for real on lap six.
Verstappen couldn’t quite keep up with the pace established by Ocon and Felix up front, and the race increasingly turned into a two-way fight between France and Sweden. When Verstappen crashed out at the infamous Foch chicane on lap 11, all threats from behind seemed to have vanished, with Tom Blomqvist now sitting third a full 12 seconds in arrears.
Felix and Ocon swapped fastest laps as they gradually upped the pace on a drying track, until Felix finally laid down the hammer with a 1m22.871s effort on lap 13 that would stand as the fastest time of the race (half a second quicker than Ocon’s best). As they set out on lap 14, Felix was right on Ocon’s gearbox – and went for an attack going into the Pont Oscar hairpin.
He dragged himself alongside Ocon under braking for the corner, but the Frenchman suddenly steered back across – right into the path of Felix. The pair made contact, sending Felix into the barriers and inevitable retirement. Ocon, however, could continue, although he later missed out on victory after losing out to Blomqvist following a second safety car phase in the closing stages.
The stewards investigated the matter, but opted to take no action on Ocon, who therefore kept second place.
Felix will be given another shot at the podium in the concluding Race 3 later this afternoon.
“Such a shame. I felt a lot quicker than Esteban, and he always braked very early at Pont Oscar – so I decided that was the place to make the move. I got up alongside him into the corner, but then he steered across on me under braking. There was nowhere to go and the race was over. At least the pace was very strong today, and there is still one more race to go. We’ll try again by then.”
|1||31||Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||22||36:11.933||-|
|2||2||Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam||22||36:16.484||4.551|
|3||28||Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin||22||36:16.585||4.652|
|4||19||Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||22||36:16.843||4.910|
|5||26||Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam||22||36:17.352||5.419|
|6||9||Mitchell Gilbert / AUS Fortec Motorsports||22||36:21.267||9.334|
|7||3||Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||22||36:21.534||9.601|
|8||21||Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3||22||36:22.022||10.089|
|9||4||Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||22||36:28.780||16.847|
|10||22||Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3||22||36:30.510||18.577|
|11||10||John Bryant-Meisner / SWE Fortec Motorsports||22||36:32.135||20.202|
|12||8||Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational||22||36:42.402||30.469|
|13||16||Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing||22||36:45.946||34.013|
|14||7||Riccardo Agostini / ITA Eurointernational||22||36:46.570||34.637|
|15||14||Felipe Guimaraes / BRA Double R Racing||21||36:22.502||1 Lp.|
|16||12||Alexander Toril / ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport||21||36:31.244||1 Lp.|
|17||1||Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam||20||33:24.943||2 Lp.|
|18||5||Jordan King / GBR Carlin||20||33:25.490||2 Lp.|
|19||25||Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam||20||33:29.268||2 Lp.|
|-||6||Edward Jones / UAE Carlin||16||26:38.690||6 Lp.|
|-||18||Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing||15||25:13.000||7 Lp.|
|-||15||Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||15||25:59.335||7 Lp.|
|-||27||Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||13||21:38.456||9 Lp.|
|-||20||Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||13||22:18.625||9 Lp.|
|-||30||Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||11||18:55.456||11 Lp.|
|-||11||Richard Goddard / AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport||7||13:42.931||15 Lp.|