Formula 2

Formula 2: Vesti slides to wet-weather win in Barcelona

Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter

Prema’s Frederick Vesti extended his FIA Formula 2 points lead after climbing from third to take his second consecutive victory in a wet-dry sprint race in Barcelona.

Vesti came home ahead of ART duo Theo Pourchaire and Victor Martins following a late safety car period where most of the field changed from wet tyres to slicks.

Earlier rain resulted in drivers taking the start on the intermediate tyre behind the safety car. Virtuosi’s Amaury Cordeel led in the spray from reversed-grid pole once the safety car was withdrawn.

Vesti challenged Hitech GP’s Jack Crawford for second into turn one, but contact resulted in Crawford retiring with damage while Vesti held onto second despite going off the road.

Despite a sideways moment exiting turn nine on lap two, Vesti snatched the lead when Cordeel ran wide at the following corner. Martins then took second away from Cordeel into turn one on the following lap, while Vesti built more than a three-second lead.

As conditions started to improve, Pourchaire took advantage of a mistake from Virtuousi’s Jack Doohan to move up to fifth behind Dennis Hauger, while Doohan fended off Sunday’s feature race pole winner Ollie Bearman for sixth.

Cordeel eventually dropped to sixth after sliding off the road and avoided losing a further place after being challenged by Bearman.

As the race entered the final 10 laps, some of the drivers running outside of the top 10 made the gamble to switch to slick tyres. One of those was Juan Manuel Correa, who subsequently slid off the road into the gravel and caused a late safety car period.

But, with the other slick-shod runners showing pace, the rest of the field dived into the pitlane to get rid of their intermediate tyres.

Vesti maintained the lead after his tyre change from Martins, Hauger and Pourchaire.

The race resumed with three laps remaining, with Pourchaire immediately taking third from Hauger by being better on the brakes into turn one. Pourchaire then swept around the outside of Martins three corners later, but he was unable to challenge his chief title rival Vesti in the final couple of laps.

Hauger remained in fourth ahead of Doohan, while Van Amersfoort’s Racing’s Richard Verschoor passed Bearman for sixth after the late restart. Ayuma Iwasa edged DAMS team-mate Arthur Leclerc to the final points-paying spot in eighth, while Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi came home 10th.

MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala and Charouz driver Roy Nissany ended up at the rear of the field after colliding on the final lap.


Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter

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