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Heartbreak for Martins and Celebrations for Vesti: F2 Feature Race Overview

Written by Caitlyn Gordon, Edited by Sameena Khan

Image Credits: Clive Mason/Getty Images

After a spectacular sprint race in Jeddah on Saturday afternoon, there was a lot of anticipation for the Feature Race on Sunday. After a disappointing end to the sprint race, Oliver Bearman was looking to redeem himself and race for the trophy. Victor Martins, who was starting pole position for the first time in his Formula 2 career, was chasing down his first victory and hoping to gain some more points in his fight for the championship.

Three drivers were given penalties before the start of the race. The two Tridents received a 5-place grid penalty after mechanics failed to return both drivers' tyres into parc fermé; Roman Stanek dropped to P21, and Clément Novalak dropped to P16. After causing a crash in the sprint race, Theo Pourchaire got handed a 5-place penalty and started eighth.

The First Few Laps

Lights out had adrenaline pumping after Bearman got a lightning start and took first place out of Martins’s hands. The battle for first was not the only place where drama was taking place; down in the midfield, Dennis Hauger and Arthur Leclerc were providing a feisty scrap through the first sector for 14th place. It wasn’t long until the first Virtual Safety Car of the race, caused by an altercation between Amaury Cordeel and Brad Benavides on the second lap, saw Benavides out of contention. Cordeel received a ten-second time penalty and also two penalty points.

Bearman was slowly getting out of reach as he was two seconds ahead of Martins and out of DRS range. Meanwhile, Jack Doohan and Frederick Vesti were creeping up on Martins, hunting down second place. With Vesti getting the fastest lap, the pressure was slowly building on Doohan.

Battle Between the Rookies

Image Credits: Clive Mason/Getty Images

On lap eight, the pair fighting for first position headed into the pits, and it was a contest for who could get the tires on the fastest. Martins' pitstop was just a few tenths of a second slower than Bearman's, which meant they would maintain their exact positions.

Only two laps later, Martins caught up with Bearman with DRS, and a struggle between the pair was now happening on the track. Bearman headed to the inside while Martins went wide and cut the corner. Martins gave the position back before overtaking him again on lap 11. Bearman was pushed close to the wall leaving him vulnerable and allowing a way for his teammate Vesti to go through and steal second place.

The bad luck from the sprint race stuck to Bearman in the feature race as he lost the rear and spun when he headed into the corner on turn 22 on lap 16. The spin made him drop several places and put him out of the top ten.

Another Twist in the Race

A turn of events shows a shocking spin out from Martins just one lap after Bearman spun. Unfortunately for Martins, he hit the wall, and his car started smoking; this was the end of the road for Martins who gave all his might, but sadly it didn't work out for him.

Vesti, however, got an advantage from this and gained Martins’ place, placing him in net race lead with over four seconds ahead of Doohan. Vesti pushed the car to the limit to make sure Doohan was far enough behind him. Vesti, who started in sixth position, gained the lead and went on to get his first-ever feature race win. With Doohan not far behind, getting his first podium of the season, and Jehan Daruvala getting back-to-back podiums.

Thrilling Midfield Battle

Image Credits: Joe Portlock/Getty Images

It was not just the front four who brought all the drama in Jeddah. Dennis Hauger put on a show of the century by fighting up the ladder from P15 and finishing in fifth place. He put his all into the race, and it really showed in the end.

Lap one saw Maini being issued a penalty after pushing Crawford off the track, causing him to get a five-second penalty and one penalty point. These penalties hindered the rest of the race for him, and he, unfortunately, ended up finishing P12.

Theo Pourchaire had a poor race after starting eighth and finishing 15th. Pourchaire will want to move on from this weekend as quickly as possible after the unfortunate collision between him and Bearman in the sprint race, ending without any points on Sunday.

Arthur Leclerc decided to have an alternative strategy and led the race for several laps. Leading several seconds ahead, due to Martins’ car being out on Sector one, a Virtual Safety Car was deployed, and this strategy now was no longer helpful as no driver is allowed to pit under a VSC. When he did go in for his pitstop, it wasn’t the quickest, and it saw him drop down the ladder and finish in eighth place. He put up an intense fight at the front and secured much-deserved points.

Jeddah was a dramatic race with penalties being issued and a turn in events seeing Vesti get his first-ever feature race win. With just five points separating the top four, the championship is all to play for in Australia. The two-week countdown until the next Grand Prix is in full swing, and Formula 2 fans now wait eagerly for the action that will commence on the track.


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