Yifei Ye leaves the Red Bull Ring with a 78-point lead in the Euroformula standings after claiming his fifth win of the season.
The Chinese driver’s race did not go to plan, as he lost his pole advantage into Turn 1 to Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sebastian Estner. That overtake didn’t last for long though, as Ye braked late into the uphill Turn 3 to briefly reclaim first place. That actually put him wide though and allowed Motopark’s Manuel Maldonado to get involved, and the Venezuelan was inches ahead until Turn 4 where Ye got back ahead at the exit of the corner.
From then on, CryptoTower Racing Team driver Ye knew what he had to do and he pulled away to repeat his race one win.
“The start was a bit hectic, I would say,” Ye explained. “There was a lot of action through to Turn 3, I was going two abreast into Turn 4, had quite a hairy moment with my team-mate Manuel. But luckily I got out in P1, and then held the lead after that so I’m very happy about that.
“The next one at Monza will be quite interesting with all the tow and slipstreaming in the race going on, so winning will not be easy anymore. So let’s see what we can do there."
Estner also lost a spot to Maldonado’s Motopark team-mate Niklas Krutten and Carlin’s Ido Cohen on lap one, and Krütten lurked behind Maldonado for as long as he could in a race where the performance between the drivers and cars was very equal.
Maldonado’s second podium in a row brings him up into title contention, while it was rookie Krütten’s first podium.
Estner moved back up to fourth after Cohen went deep into the Turn 10 run-off early on, and chipped away at the gap to the Motopark drivers but ultimately couldn’t gain enough to be involved in a podium battle.
Glenn van Berlo claimed a fifth place finish for Drivex School with a great drive, making the most of two of Cohen’s mistakes to take the position and then all but secure it once Cohen behind came under pressure from Double R Racing’s Ayrton Simmons.
Sixth for Cohen also helps him in the battle for second in the championship standings, after two of Ye’s closest rivals suffered misfortune. Andreas Estner (VAR) had his race ended by contact on the opening lap, while engine issues prevented Cohen’s team-mate Zane Maloney from getting any further than lap one.
Shihab Al Habsi had a lonely run to eighth in the second Drivex car, while a crash between Alexandre Bardinon (VAR) and Rui Andrade (CryptoTower) left them half-a-minute down and one lap down respectively in ninth and 10th.