Formula 2

Drugovich Puts One Hand on 2022 Formula 2 Title with Zandvoort Feature Race Victory

3 Mins read
Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited

Felipe Drugovich put one hand onto the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship title on Sunday as he took victory at Circuit Zandvoort in a red-flag and safety car affected Feature race.

The Brazilian started from pole position and took his fourth Feature race victory of the season – his fifth win overall – to stretch his lead to sixty-nine points with just seventy-eight available.

Drugovich’s position was helped by main rival Théo Pourchaire enduring a difficult weekend that saw him score only two points, while Logan Sargeant and Jack Doohan both crashed out.

MP Motorsport’s Drugovich held onto the lead heading into turn one on lap one with Doohan slotting into second, but Sargeant ran wide and through the gravel trap at turn one, which put him towards the back of the field.  He would only get to turn seven, however, when the Carlin driver clipped the back of Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung and struck the barrier.

Initially the safety car was deployed, behind which David Beckmann and Roy Nissany found time to collide with each other, but soon the red flag was needed due to required repairs to the barriers where Sargeant crashed out.

The race resumed with a rolling start, with Drugovich heading the field ahead of Doohan and Prema Racing’s Dennis Hauger, with the third placed Norwegian driver one of the first to pit for tyres on lap seven.

Doohan was keeping Drugovich honest but suffered a big flat spot on his tyre that required him to pit on lap twelve, with the race leader following a lap later.  Trident’s Richard Verschoor made good gains to run a net third after his stop.

For those running the alternate strategy and hoping to go long before pitting for the soft tyre, Marino Sato’s retirement, caused by his left front tyre not being attached correctly to his car during his pit stop, ruined their afternoon.

The safety car was called upon again, with Carlin’s Liam Lawson leading the pack ahead Saturday’s Sprint race winner Marcus Armstrong and Frederik Vesti, but chaos was about to ensue on the restart, with the de facto race leader leaving it late before making his move.

As the field bunched up, Verschoor clipped Doohan and punted the unfortunate and blameless Virtuosi Racing driver into the barrier, while both Clément Novalak and Tatiana Calderón were also caught up in incidents and were also forced to retire.

The safety car was back on track immediately, and Lawson changed tactics on the next restart, making the early jump while Armstrong, Nissany and Boschung all made their mandatory pit stops immediately.

Pourchaire and Lawson then made their respective stops to give Drugovich back the race lead, with Verschoor, despite the contact with Doohan, up to second ahead of DAMSAyuma Iwasa.

Drugovich took the chequered flag just over 2.4 seconds clear of Verschoor, while Iwasa took the final spot on the podium ahead of Hauger and the ever-impressive Enzo Fittipaldi, the Charouz Racing System driver staying out of trouble to take another top five result.

Equally impressive and taking his very first points finish in FIA Formula 2 was Van Amersfoort Racing’s Amaury Cordeel in sixth, the Belgian having by far his best performance of his rookie season, while Jüri Vips ended the day eighth for Hitech Grand Prix.

Beckmann ended eighth for Van Amersfoort Racing but was handed a post-race ten-second time penalty for his earlier contact with Nissany, promoting Campos Racing’s Olli Caldwell, who secured only his second top ten finish of the season, to eighth.

Pourchaire made good use of his soft tyres to get into the points, the ART Grand Prix driver taking ninth in the final standings, while Jehan Daruvala took a solitary point in tenth on what was a largely forgettable weekend for the Indian driver.

The penultimate round of the season takes place next weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and Drugovich will having his first opportunity to clinch the title during the Sprint race on Saturday. It is surely now a case of when, rather than if, he clinches the championship in 2022.

Circuit Zandvoort Feature Race Result

111Felipe DruogvichBRZMP Motorsport1:25:22.484
220Richard VerschoorNEDTrident+2.405
317Ayuma IwasaJPNDAMS+3.645
41Dennis HaugerNORPrema Racing+6.947
522Enzo FittipaldiBRZCharouz Racing System+7.987
625Amaury CordeelBELVan Amersfoort Racing+10.872
78Jüri VipsESTHitech Grand Prix+12.400
814Olii CaldwellGBRCampos Racing+14.609
910Théo PourchaireFRAART Grand Prix+15.562
102Jehan DaruvalaINDPrema Racing+17.281
1121Calan WilliamsAUSTrident+18.499
125Liam LawsonNZLCarlin Racing+20.264
1324David BeckmannGERVan Amersfoort Racing+23.196
147Marcus ArmstrongNZLHitech Grand Prix+25.601
159Frederik VestiDENART Grand Prix+29.385
1616Roy NissanyISRDAMS+37.144
1715Ralph BoschungCHECampos Racing+50.639
RET23Tatiana CalderónCOLCharouz Racing SystemRetired
RET12Clément NovalakFRAMP MotorsportRetired
RET3Jack DoohanAUSVirtuosi RacingRetired
RET4Marino SatoJPNVirtuosi RacingRetired
RET6Logan SargeantUSACarlin RacingRetired
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