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Jack Doohan Wins Chaotic Formula 2 Feature Race at Spa

Written by Jasmin Low, Edited by Meghana Sree

Credit: Formula 2 / Twitter

In an action-filled F2 feature race, Invicta Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan took an unexpected victory from 11th on the grid, his second feature race win in a row, and back-to-back victories at the Belgian circuit.

Frederik Vesti was forced to retire his Prema Racing car before the race even began, after going off during the laps to the grid. Vesti, who was set to start second, took a blow to his championship position as Theo Pourchaire finished second, crowning him the new championship leader.

Oliver Bearman in the other Prema car also had an unfortunate race. The British driver won in Spa in 2022 during his first and only season in Formula 3, and started this race on pole position. Whilst he had a good start, pulling away from the rest of the chasing pack, Ayumu Iwasa and Dennis Hauger’s contact on lap one brought out the safety car, which pushed the field closer together.

Bearman battled with Pourchaire who was behind him until both cars pitted on lap 15. Pourchaire had a slightly faster stop and managed to come out of the pit lane ahead of Bearman. The Ferrari Driver Academy member also lost out to Doohan after the soon to be race winner pitted under a safety car, and Bearman was then handed a five-second time penalty at the end of the race for causing a collision with Victor Martins, stripping him of a podium position and landing him in seventh place.

Jehan Daruvala also had a weekend to forget after retiring from both the sprint and feature race, as well as rookie Joshua Mason who made his F2 debut at the circuit. Mason received a slew of penalties in the sprint and spun during the feature race just before the safety car restart on lap 19, prolonging the safety car period and further aiding Doohan in winning the race.

Evidently, the race saw its fair share of penalties and collisions. On top of Bearman’s time penalty, Roy Nissany was given a ten-second penalty for a collision with Arthur Leclerc, in which the Monegasque’s tyre was punctured. Rodin Carlin teammates Zane Maloney and Isack Hadjar collided on the fourth lap, as well as Juan Manuel Correa and Jak Crawford making contact on the sixteenth lap, taking Crawford out of the race. It was the same lap in which Martins was awarded a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

The pit lane was a troublesome place for many drivers such as Clement Novalak who was handed a five-second time penalty for running wide at the pit exit, and Hadjar who ran into the wall due to low tyre grip. Hadjar lost his front wing and was forced to run another lap of the circuit in order to return to the pit lane and retire.

The multiple safety cars proved useful to Doohan who pitted for soft tyres, meaning that he was faster than Pourchaire during the final stages of the race and could challenge for the lead. He managed to overtake Pourchaire on the 23rd lap and held onto the lead through to the end of the race.

Doohan and Pourchaire occupied the top two steps of the podium whilst Enzo Fittipaldi finished third, after both Martins and Bearman had their penalties applied. The race saw six retirements, with Vesti and Iwasa’s exits aiding Pourchaire in his championship campaign. He has now taken the championship lead from Vesti, in front by 12 points going into the summer break, and his team, ART Grand Prix is now 30 points ahead of Prema in the constructors’ standings.

Formula 2 returns in Zandvoort from the 25th to the 27th of August after the summer break, and with three more rounds left in the championship, it will be a fight for the title until the very final race in Abu Dhabi.


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