top of page

Formula 2 Feature Race: Hadjar claims the championship lead in Silverstone

Written by Jasmin Low

Isack Hadjar claimed victory and the F2 championship lead in Silverstone. Image Credit: Formula 2

Formula 2 arrived this weekend to its third and final stop of three consecutive race weekends- Silverstone’s iconic British Grand Prix. The circuit proved difficult yet again for the young drivers, resulting in a chaotic Feature Race in which Isack Hadjar claimed a hard-earned victory. 

The Saturday Sprint saw Kimi Antonelli lead the race all the way through, despite a rolling start, multiple safety cars, and a red flag. The perilous conditions much like last year’s Silverstone sprint meant that the conditions became too dangerous for the drivers, with many having to retire from the race due to incidents and mechanical failures. Among the retirements were championship rivals Paul Aron and Isack Hadjar, allowing Zane Maloney and Gabriel Bortoleto to eat into the points gap the top two had created in the rounds earlier.

It would be Isack Hadjar who led the field off the line for the Sunday Feature Race, joined by another of the Sprint’s retirees- Victor Martins- for an all-French front row of the grid. However, the race lead switched multiple times over the course of the Silverstone spectacle, and promoted Hadjar to the championship lead.

The Race

Bortoleto endured a near-miss moment during the formation lap, sliding through Stowe. Hadjar suffered a poor start, with Martins inheriting the lead, whilst Oliver Bearman catapulted himself from fifth to second at the race start. It was a weekend of highs and lows for Antonelli as he spun on the first lap after being tagged from behind by Kush Maini, unable to recover the engine and prompting an early safety car. 

Racing resumed entering into lap three, with the tight-knit field all scrabbling for track position. Franco Colapinto suffered on the hard tyres in the first stint, battling with his teammate Dennis Hauger. However, the race was again neutralised as Joshua Durksen found himself beached in the gravel after an incident with Aron, bringing out a second safety car. The Hitech of Aron made his way to the pit lane under the safety car after making contact with Maini. It was a weekend to forget for the Estonian, ending his streak of a podium each race weekend. 

The green flags flew as lap six ended, and the drivers began to cycle into the pits, Enzo Fittipaldi and Richard Verschoor being the first two to change their tyres under racing conditions. Hadjar was immediately on the tail of Bearman, as Martins escaped up the road. Hadjar passed Bearman on lap eight, both cars immediately making their way to the pits with a delayed stop for Bearman as well as a potential pit lane infringement setting him further back from Hadjar. Martins was a part of the next group of cars to rid themselves of the soft tyres, also suffering a slow stop, whilst Jak Crawford and Zane Maloney almost collided coming out of their boxes and back into the fast lane. 

Hadjar and Martins went wheel to wheel on their new hard tyres, running Hadjar wide through Stowe. Aron was the first to be dealt a ten second penalty for his incident with Durksen. Rafael Villagomez made a stunning overtake on Roman Stanek on lap seventeen, proving instrumental as he moved up within the pack of cars yet to pit. The battle between Hadjar and Martins continued through lap 18, however, Martins ran wide on lap 19, giving up places to Hadjar, Maloney, and Crawford. Hadjar was quickly passed by Crawford, before the American was given a five second penalty. 

Hometown hero Taylor Barnard and Ritomo Miyata were the first on the alternate strategy to pit on lap 22, pushing them to the rear of the field. Colapinto made his crucial pit stop, coming out of the pits behind Maloney, before quickly losing a place to Martins. Juan Manuel Correa suffered an unfortunate puncture on lap 24, whilst Maini was given a five second penalty for track limits. Colapinto was flying through the final stages of the race, quickly hunting down the leading pack before his tyres fell away, rendering him unable to reach the podium positions. Pepe Marti claimed the final points paying position from Hauger, fighting his way up from eighteenth on the grid. Hauger managed to re-pass Marti on the penultimate lap, however, Aron’s pit stop meant both drivers were still within the points paying positions. 

Maini was handed a second five-second penalty on the final lap, as Crawford crossed the line, however, he was demoted to third after applying his penalty. It would be Hadjar who inherited the top step of the podium, followed by Maloney. With that he moves up to take the championship lead, sitting on 133 points whilst Aron sits on 117. It is still all to play for as we officially enter into the second half of the season, with 13 different drivers taking to the top step thus far. 

Formula 2 will continue its tour through Europe, travelling next to Hungary on the 19th of July. 


bottom of page