Formula 2

Formula 2: Verschoor victorious in Jeddah sprint race

Featured image credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Trident’s Richard Verschoor resisted a late charge from Dennis Hauger to take his fourth Formula 2 victory in the sprint race in Saudi Arabia

The field was reduced to 21 cars before the start of the reversed-grid contest with Ollie Bearman, due to line up from 10th, withdrawing from the F2 weekend following his Formula 1 call-up by Ferrari to replace the unwell Carlos Sainz.

Hitech GP’s Paul Aron led away from reversed-grid pole ahead of Verschoor and Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar, while Williams F1 academy duo Franco Colapinto and Zak O’Sullivan were both left stranded on the grid.

Hadjar was challenged into turn one by MP Motorsport’s Hauger, who swept around the outside but then was slow exiting turn two. That allowed Victor Martins to draw alongside, but the ART Grand Prix driver was squeezed into the wall and retired with suspension damage.

There was further contact behind with Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli making a slow start from fifth before losing a front-wing endplate in contact with Jack Crawford at turn two and slipping to 12th.

The race resumed on lap five following a safety car period, with Aron immediately breaking clear. His advantage didn’t last as he found himself under pressure from Verschoor, who had Hadjar and Hauger close behind, at the start of lap seven. Verschoor remained behind, but at the start of the next lap the Dutchman snatched the lead under braking for turn one.

The safety car made its second appearance at the end of lap 10 due to Hitech GP’s Amaury Cordeel spinning to halt on the exit of turn two, by which time Hauger moved ahead of Hadjar into third.

Following a late debris-induced virtual safety car period from a brush against the wall for Juan Manuel Correa, Hauger overtook Aron for second into turn one with three laps to go. Aron then responded with the fastest lap of the race to put the pressure back on Hauger who in turn closed to within a second of Verschoor.

But the order remained unchanged at the chequered flag, with Verschoor finishing 0.7s ahead of Hauger who finished with a similar gap to third-placed Aron.

Campos Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi passed Hadjar before finishing a further 3s behind in fourth, ahead of points leader Zane Maloney who stormed from 16th to 5th for Rodin Motorsport. Hadjar lost out to Maloney late on before slowing with an issue on the penultimate lap and retiring.

Crawford, who was involved in a mid-race dice with Maloney, came home sixth, while Antonelli recovered from his opening-lap drama to seventh ahead Pepe Marti who snatched eighth from Kush Maini on the final lap.


Featured image credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

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