Théo Pourchaire has won his second Feature Race of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 season after an eventful race which saw some of the race’s front runners crash out of the race early.
Charouz Racing System’s Enzo Fittipaldi also took his maiden F2 podium in second place which came after an excellent performance from the young Brazilian who started from fifteenth on the grid.
The eighteen-year-old Frenchman told journalists after the race, “
With thirty-five laps of the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari ahead of them, the grid fired away when the five lights went out. However, both Jüri Vips and Ayumu Iwasa who started on the front-row of the grid were swallowed by the fast starters behind them.
The 2021 FIA Formula 3 title rivals, Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan made contact on the run to turn 1 and ended each other’s race very early as well as bringing out a lap 1 Safety Car.
It was DAMS’ Roy Nissany who led into turn one, after a rocket start from the Israeli who started from the third row on the grid in sixth position.
Racing conditions got back underway on lap five but was bought out a lap later after pole-sitter Vips lost his Hitech Grand Prix car on the exit of the Villeneuve chicane and collided with the barriers.
The leading pack on the Supersoft to Medium strategy took the opportunity to pit under the SC with Jehan Daruvala inheriting the lead on his alternate strategy.
There was a period of calm after the race got back underway on lap nine, with Pourchaire overtaking Ralph Boschung for a crucial move in terms of net race positions on lap nineteen.
With the alternate strategy runners still on their first stint, the net race leader Roy Nissany collided with the wall at the pit entrance on lap twenty-one. It marked a disappointing end to Nissany’s race after looking so comfortable for much of it.
The shunt deployed a Virtual Safety Car and due to the debris left from the DAMS car, the pit-lane entry was closed to the rest of the grid. Nissany’s retirement handed the net lead of the race to Pourchaire behind him.
The drivers on the alternate strategy started to trickle into the pits starting on lap twenty six with Felipe Drugovich and Marino Sato opting to go even longer in hope of a late Safety Car.
Their prayers were answered on lap thirty-two when Liam Lawson found himself in the barriers on the exit of Acqua Minerali but race control opted for a VSC before deploying the full safety car a lap later.
As the full SC was called out, both Drugovich and Sato had just driven past the pits meaning they couldnt gain the full advantage of pitting on the slower track but Drugovich still managed to pick up the last points paying position of the race. Pourchaire was then crowned the Feature Race winner under safety car conditions at the end of lap thirty-five.
|1||10||Théo Pourchaire||FRA||ART Grand Prix||1:01:56.611|
|2||22||Enzo Fittipaldi||BRA||Charouz Racing System||+0.388|
|3||15||Ralph Boschung||CHE||Campos Racing||+0.729|
|4||12||Clément Novalak||FRA||MP Motorsport||+1.497|
|6||9||Frederik Vesti||DNK||ART Grand Prix||+2.122|
|8||23||David Beckmann||GER||Charouz Racing System||+3.229|
|9||2||Jehan Daruvala (FL)||IND||PREMA Racing||+4.191|
|10||11||Felipe Drugovich||BRA||MP Motorsport||+4.396|
|11||4||Marino Sato||JPN||Virtuosi Racing||+4.893|
|12||24||Jake Hughes||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||+5.044|
|13||7||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||Hitech Grand Prix||+6.287|
|14||14||Olli Caldwell||GBR||Campos Racing||+6.745|
|17||25||Amaury Cordeel||BEL||Van Amersfoort Racing||+1:21.403|
|8||Jüri Vips||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||DNF|
|3||Jack Doohan||AUS||Virtuosi Racing||DNF|
|1||Dennis Hauger||NOR||PREMA Racing||DNF|
With Pourchaire taking home his second FR win of the season, he moves himself back up into the top spot of the drivers standings, two points ahead of Drugovich. The positions are swapped in the team standings however, with Drugovich’s MP Motorsport two points ahead of Pourchaire’s ART Grand Prix.
We have another four week break until the next round of the F2 championship with the grid reconvening in Barcelona for round four on May 20th – 22nd.