The second time's a charm. With a stunning win by Charles Leclerc, the Prema team cruised to an early driver title in race 1 of the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship at Jerez. Taking-off from pole position, 19-year-old Charles Leclerc scored a stunning lights-to-flag victory. The young Monegasque delivered his sixth win of the year, enough to bring home an early title with three races still to go.
At his first season in the series, Leclerc, a Ferrari Driver Academy graduate, put together an unprecedented accomplishment, and the same goes for Prema, taking a back-to-back driver title after debuting in the GP2 Series last season.
To make it an even more amazing day, Antonio Fuoco was able to charge through the pack from the 15th position on the grid to a podium finish. The fellow FDA driver finally showed his true potential after his qualifying struggles and helped Prema to cruise to the lead of the team standings.
# 1 - Charles Leclerc
“I’m absolutely over the moon for winning the championship here in Jerez one round early. It’s amazing but it hasn’t been an easy race because obviously, we were struggling a little bit more with the prime tires than with the options. We have to analyze the situation and find something to improve on primes for tomorrow but I’m really satisfied. I want to dedicate this title to my late father who has always been here for me. He gave absolutely everything and it’s thanks to him if I won this championship.”
# 2 - Antonio Fuoco
“I believe that this has been, together with Monza, one of the best races of my career. The last few laps have been spectacular. With soft tires the car was great and we had a good pace. When the safety-car came back in, I knew I had good hopes for the podium even though I lost a little bit of time with Gelael and Deletraz. We could have fought for the win, but I’m really happy for the podium and for Charles’ title too. We are also leading the team championship and we must keep pushing in this direction.”