Latvian driver Victor Kunitch held off a tremendous challenge in the final six laps to win the Grand Prix of the Mediterranean in Southern Sardinia on July 1.

Latvian driver Victor Kunitch held off a tremendous challenge in the final six laps to win the Grand Prix of the Mediterranean in Southern Sardinia on July 1. It was his first ever Formula I World Championship victory and was won in front of tens of thousands of fans

Kunitch, who had qualified for second pole position and chased Italian points leader Guido Cappellini into the first corner after the start, later fell back to seventh.

Cappellini, winner of 4 straight events, held the margin over Laith Pharaon of Saudi Arabia by as much as five seconds early on until crashing out on the final turn of 2.5 kilometre course. Cappellini, coming up fast on Brazilian Paul Gaiser attempted an outside approach at the next course marker but instead barrel rolled his boat twice ending his day prematurely.

With Cappellini gone, the restart saw Laith Pharaon in the Hyatt Hotel DAC taking the lead with Latvian driver Kunitch sneaking past American Scott Gillman and Italian Massimo Roggiero to fill second slot. From here it was only a matter of time before Kunitch took the lead from Pharaon before the race was stopped once again after Cappellini’s Japanese team-mate Yutaka Sugihara crashed in the same spot.

After a five lap caution period cleaning up bits and pieces from the Sugihara incident, it left just six laps to decide the event. Kunitch held his ground after the second restart when Pharon and Gillman went wide into the first turn vying for first place. Kunitch moved past on the inside, held his ground and went on to score the first F1 victory of his career.

World Formula I Championship

Positions after five rounds:

1. G.Cappellini (Ita) 80pts

2. P.Dessertenne (Fra) 49pts

3. F.Cantando (Ita) 47pts