Home Featured Antonelli dominates at wet Silverstone as F2 title contenders retire

Antonelli dominates at wet Silverstone as F2 title contenders retire

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Formula 1

Andrea Kimi Antonelli converted reversed-grid pole into a maiden victory in Formula 2’s Silverstone sprint race, which was disrupted by rain and an early red flag period.

The Prema driver led lights-to-flag in treacherous conditions, finishing 8.7 seconds clear of Rodin Motorsport’s Zane Maloney. Gabriel Bortoleto edged Virtuosi Racing team-mate Kush Maini in a photo finish for third, while chief title rivals Paul Aron and Isack Hadjar retired in separate incidents.

A wet circuit resulted in a rolling start being used, and Antonelli made use of a clear track in front of him to build a 2.5s lead over Maloney and Maini on lap one as rain intensified.

Antonelli’s team-mate Ollie Bearman immediately challenged Bortoleto for fifth but made contact and lost his left front-wing endplate before slipping back three places. Bortoleto meanwhile swept around the outside of DAMS’ Jak Crawford for fourth at Copse before completing the move into Maggotts and Becketts.

Hitech GP’s Aron battled Hadjar on lap two before a brief virtual safety car period to recover debris from the circuit, and as soon as green flags waved Aron pounced to snatch 10th from his Campos Racing rival.

Hadjar was shuffled back to 14th before the safety car was deployed due to the deteriorating conditions, and officials then decided to bring out red flags. The race was restarted following a short delay on lap seven of 21 but it was not long until the safety car returned.

Aron started to struggle and lost out to ART Grand Prix’s Zak O’Sullivan, and after making a slow exit from the Loop was then hit from behind by Marti, putting both out with damage on the Wellington Straight. Hadjar retired moments later after sliding into the gravel at Copse.

Antonelli pulled clear again when the race got back underway on lap 13, while Bearman wrestled eighth away from MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger only to spin later in the lap and tumble to 17th before eventually pulling off with an issue. O’Sullivan drove around the outside of MP’s Franco Colapinto at Copse but then collided with his own team-mate Martins, the latter retiring on the spot while O’Sullivan stopped in the pits with damage.

Another VSC was called to retrieve Martins’ and Bearman’s sticken machines, and Antonelli then cruised to victory in the final three laps once the green flags were shown. Bortoleto prevailed in a thrilling battle with Maini to snatch the final podium spot. 

Colapinto passed Crawford to finish fifth, with Hauger coming home seventh. Trident’s Roman Stanek climbed from 22nd on the grid to make the points in eighth ahead of AIX Racing’s Taylor Barnard and Rodin’s Ritomo Miyata.

Race results (21 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 1h02m34.856s
2 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +8.683s
3 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +10.895s
4 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +11.257s
5 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +18.064s
6 Jak Crawford DAMS +18.791s
7 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +20.191s
8 Roman Stanek Trident +20.932s
9 Taylor Barnard AIX Racing +21.367s
10 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +24.332s
11 Richard Verschoor Trident +25.773s
12 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS +28.071s
13 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing +29.749s
14 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +32.521s
15 Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP +33.104s
16 Joshua Duerksen AIX Racing +33.960s
Ret Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix
Ret Victor Martins ART Grand Prix
Ret Ollie Bearman Prema
Ret Paul Aron Hitech GP
Ret Pepe Marti Campos Racing
Ret Isack Hadjar Campos Racing
Fastest lap: Antonelli, 2m01.267s

Championship standings
Aron 117   2 Hadjar 108   3 Bortoleto 91   4 Maloney 83   5 Colapinto 79   6 Crawford 69   7 Hauger 64   8 Antonelli 59   9 Maini 57   10 Enzo Fittipaldi 44