BWT Arden drivers Günther and Nirei Fukuzumi enjoyed a solid qualifying session for the opening round of the 2018 FIA F2 Championship by setting the 7th and 10th fastest times of the session respectively - giving them both strong top ten starting berths for the first race of the championship.
With the tension increased due to an aborted first start - due to two stalled cars, Fukuzumi and Günther both made great getaways when the lights went green, moving up to 4th and 7th positions respectively.
Clear from the early stages however, tyre degradation was going to play a critical part in this race - as Fukuzumi was under huge pressure from former GP3 rivals Alexander Albon and George Russell. Likewise, Günther was under pressure from Jack Aitken and Artem Markelov as the opening stint of the race developed.
The Honda Junior ultimately had to succumb to the challenge of Russell and Albon, however he kept with the pack as was running in 6th position as the pitstop window opened. Günther sustained a firm challenge from Jack Aitken and Artem Markelov, having to take to the escape road at turn five to avoid contact on one occasion.
Fukuzumi rejoined from his pitstop in a net 8th position after a difficult pitstop, his fortune was compounded by picking up a 5-second time penatly due to speeding in the pitlane, ruining his good work up until that point.
Günther enjoyed a strong end to the season on his FIA F2 debut, running solidly in the points and battling for the reverse grid pole position slot of 8th position.
Günther prevailed in his battle with Aitken to secure 8th at the chequered flag, earning himself 6 Championship points and the Pole Position for Race two tomorrow.
Race two, the partially reversed Sprint Race begins at 14:15 (GMT+3) and is shown live on Sky Sports F1 HD. Günther will start from pole position with Fukuzumi starting from 18th position after his post-race penalty.