Race 1 was delayed as they waited for the fog to clear but there were no such problems this morning as the sun shone over the Red Bull Ring for the start of Race 2.
Tadasuke Makino and Guanyu Zhou were a bit over keen off the line and both received drive through penalties for jumping the start. Devlin Defrancesco stalled and never got going but the front runners got away cleanly.
Third placed man, Nikita Mazepin was able to get alongside Lando Norris heading down into turn 1. He wasn’t able to take the place as Norris got a great exit off the corner and steamed ahead to challenge Eriksson for the lead.
For a good portion of the first lap, the top two were alongside each other in some close but fair racing, but as they approached the tight third sector, Norris dropped back into second.
Championship challenger, Maxi Günther started in ninth and, rather than make up places as he desperately needs to do to keep his title hopes alive, he dropped back a place into tenth off the start but was able to retake the place heading into lap 2.
Unfortunately, Günther wasn’t able to make progress from here and found himself in a train of cars headed up by Jake Hughes in seventh. The fourway battle allowed the front runners to really pull away into the distance meaning that anything higher than seventh was out the question.
Spielberg is not known for its array of overtaking opportunities and, in the end after a race long battle, the only progress that was made here was due to a questionable last lap move by Hughes. As Habsberg got along side him to try for the outside line, Hughes closed the door completely, forcing the home favourite onto the gravel and down the order. He was able to scoop up the last point with Hughes holding onto seventh ahead of Günther and Mawson.
Hughes is under investigation for the move and may find himself dropping down the order in Race 3 before the lights have even gone out.
In the closing stages, Callum Ilott really started to make inroads on Nikita Mazepin in third but the flag came too soon for the Brit who couldn’t get close enough to make a move.
The front pair were in a league of their own and remained unchallenged to finish as they started with Eriksson taking the win from Norris in second. After a spirited challenge for the lead in lap one, there was a sense that the Championship leader felt the points for second were plenty, given his advantage over his rival.
Here is the provisional classification from Race 2 in Spielberg
Race 3 gets underway at 16.55 local 🇦🇹 time and the championship could be clinched here. Not to be missed!