Richard Verschoor triumphed from 11th on the grid as a safety car period brought a dramatic finish to the Formula 2 feature race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Dutchman gave Van Amersfoort Racing it’s first F2 triumph after a late pass on Frederick Vesti, who controlled most of the race before the safety car intervention, with DAMS driver Ayuma Iwasa finishing a close second.
Vesti led at the start from Theo Pourchaire, while Victor Martins made a slow launch from pole and slipped to third. Kush Maini and Jack Doohan also passed Martins on lap two, with Doohan then wrestling third away from Maini.
Pourchaire came in for his mandatory pitstop at the start of lap nine with a four-second deficit to Vesti. Martins recovered one place by passing Maini at turn three before following Doohan into the pits on the following lap.
Vesti stopped at the start of lap 11, emerging with a 2s advantage over Pourchaire to retain the net lead. He then edged clear once more in traffic, while Pourchaire faded and eventually lost out to Doohan.
Enzo Fittipaldi led from Verschoor until the latter stages, both having not pitted. Arthur Leclerc was another on the alternate strategy but, after eventually making his mandatory stop, lost his right-rear wheel and retired.
The safety car was deployed as a result with 12 laps to go, turning the race on its head. Fittipaldi and Verschoor were given the perfect opportunity to make their mandatory stops, with Verschoor rejoining in fifth and Fittipaldi in ninth.
Verschoor immediately passed both Pourchaire and Ayuma Iwasa at the restart to move into third. Verschoor and Iwasa soon moved on to the tail of Vesti and Doohan to create a four-way lead battle.
Verschoor and Iwasa soon passed Doohan, and the pair both picked off Vesti on the penultimate lap. On the final lap Iwasa challenged Verschoor for lead through turns three and four, but Verschoor held on to win by 0.4s.
Vesti came home third ahead of Doohan, while Vesti’s Prema team-mate climbed from 19th to fifth, having made his mandatory stop just before the safety car intervention. Fittipaldi climbed back up to sixth ahead of Pourchaire
Saturday’s sprint race winner Jak Crawford was eighth ahead of Martins and Jehan Daruvala, while Maini was another late retirement with a front-left puncture.
Featured image credit: fiaformula2.com