Virtuosi driver Jack Doohan has taken his first race win of the 2023 Formula 2 season, in a race that was decided by unexpected strategic calls and no incidents, while Prema’s Frederik Vesti further stretched out his lead in the championship.

Pole sitter Doohan got away well, immediately covering off fellow Alpine junior Victor Martins, who got overtaken by championship leader Frederik Vesti.

The other Prema of Oliver Bearman lost position at the start and got overtaken by Enzo Fittipaldi in the Carlin, while the Van Amersfoort Racing cars of Juan Manuel Correa and Richard Verschoor put the young British driver under pressure.

Clement Novalak, who served a grid penalty for Saturday’s collision with Ralph Boschung, parked his car at a marshal post in the opening stages of the race, briefly bringing out a yellow flag, making it a weekend to forget for the Frenchman.

Up front, Vesti slowly closed the gap to Doohan, bringing the Prema car on the cusp of the DRS range of the Virtuosi.

Carlin’s Zane Maloney was the first driver to make the call for his mandatory stop on lap eight, getting rid of the soft compound Pirellis in favour of the mediums, as both Jak Crawford and Boschung followed the Bajan driver’s example.

Iwasa, who had started on the alternative strategy with the medium tyre, started finding lap time as the soft-compound runners started to feel their tyres fall off.

At the back of the field, Maloney started to get frustrated with fellow Red Bull junior Crawford, who briefly sent the Carlin driver onto the grass but eventually lost out on the position to the number three car.

Hadjar was the first driver within the top six to dive into the pits, followed by Theo Pourchaire on the next lap, who had been running a few seconds behind his teammate.

Amaury Cordeel in his Virtuosi made life difficult for both of the French drivers, as the Belgian hadn’t pitted yet, but put up a fight to both the ART and the Hitech.

Iwasa, followed by Bearman, Leclerc, and Maini on the next lap, came in for soft tyres, making a strategic call before the two drivers at the front came in for their set of medium tyres, with the yellow-walled Pirellis not showing the expected benefit and the soft tyres holding up better than expected.

Vesti blinked first of the top two, needing to cover off both of his championship rivals Pourchaire and Iwasa, while Martins also responded with a change to the medium tyres, landing right in between Vesti and Pourchaire.

Pourchaire ran out of road by battling the other ART, dropping behind both Martins and Hadjar and falling right into the clutches of Iwasa on the softer tyres, with the Japanese breezing by.

As everyone had made their mandatory stops, Doohan was six seconds clear of Vesti, as the Australian showed no sign of slowing down and kept stretching the gap to the Danish driver.

Iwasa overtook Hadjar with three laps left, outbraking the Frenchman going into turn one and minimising the points damange, as Pourchaire was over a second behind Hadjar and failed to make up positions.

Doohan took a comfortable victory with the bonus point for fastest lap, his first of what has been a frustrating season for the Australian, Vesti and Martins.

Iwasa and Hadjar followed the podium finishers, with Pourchaire two seconds adrift and Hauger, Fittipaldi, Correa, and Verschoor completing the top ten.

The second place finish allowed Vesti to further extend his lead in the championship over Pourchaire and Iwasa.

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *