Home Featured Fittipaldi takes maiden F2 feature race win after superb drive in Jeddah

Fittipaldi takes maiden F2 feature race win after superb drive in Jeddah

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi took an excellent victory in the Formula 2 feature race in Jeddah, thanks to a stunning double pass to take the lead with six laps remaining.

An emotional Fittipaldi dedicated his victory to his great-uncle, former Formula 1 driver, Wilson Fittipaldi, who recently passed away.

With most of the field starting on the supersoft tyres, requiring pit stops from as early as lap six, DAMS’ medium compound-shod Juan Manuel Correa inherited the lead, with fellow alternative strategy runners Hitech Grand Prix’s Amaury Cordeel and PHM Racing’s Taylor Barnard completing the top three.

While Cordeel and Barnard were able to take advantage of a safety car to change tyres, leaving them to manage the supersoft over a 10-lap run to the flag, Correa stayed out, ultimately dropping out of contention when he finally made his stop.

Fittipaldi had made his way to the front of the supersoft runners prior to the stops, and immediately disposed of Barnard once racing resumed and closed onto the tail of the two leaders. Completing lap 21, Fittipaldi sped past Correa on the pit straight before neatly passing Cordeel round the outside into Turn 1 in the same move to take the lead.

Virtuosi Racing’s Kush Maini, who had started from pole after Ollie Bearman’s withdrawal from the event after qualifying, took an early lead but succumbed to another fine move from Fittipaldi into the first corner as the Brazilian set a series of fastest laps mid-race.

In the latter stages, Maini finally found a way past Correa and Cordeel to take second but was too far adrift of Fittipaldi to challenge for the win.

Surprisingly, Cordeel was able to hold onto third place until the final lap as the supersofts began to go off.

Behind the Belgian, DAMS’s Jak Crawford, Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli and MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger were fighting over position as they looked for a way past.

In a thrilling finish, Crawford dived inside Cordeel into the final corner, Turn 27, on the last lap but was outdragged on the run down to the finish line by Hauger who took the final podium place on the line by just 0.031s.

There was drama at the start as Virtuosi’s Gabriel Bortoleto had a problem at the start, forcing him into retirement. Meanwhile Campos Racing’s Pepe Marti appeared to spin after running onto the kerb on the exit of Turn 2 and was collected by Trident’s Roman Stanek, bringing out the first safety car.

When racing resumed, the lead four of Maini, Fittipaldi, Antonelli and Crawford began to edge away as ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins held up the pack. Martins gradually dropped back through the field, ultimately picking up a single point in 10th.

Campos’ other driver, Isack Hadjar was looking strong, moving up to fourth before the stops. He enjoyed a spirited battle with Antonelli, the pair passing and repassing, before being sidelined with the same issue that had caused his sprint race retirement.

The Williams junior pairing of Franco Colapinto and Zak O’Sullivan completed miserable weekends with separate spins. Colapinto appeared to hit the wall at Turn 27, damaging his tyre which pitched him into a spin at Turn 1, bringing out the second safety car.

O’Sullivan spun at Turn 2 while defending from Rafael Villagomez to initiate a brief virtual safety car period late in the race.

Race result (28 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 56m57.579s
2 Kush Maini Invicta Racing +7.895s
3 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +9.348s
4 Jak Crawford DAMS +9.379s
5 Amaury Cordeel Hitech +9.506s
6 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +10.044s
7 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +10.442s
8 Richard Verschoor Trident +11.824s
9 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +17.541s
10 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +20.680s
11 Paul Aron Hitech +25.134s
12 Joshua Durksen PHM Racing +26.269s
13 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +30.424s
14 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS +38.415s
15 Ritomo Miyata Rodin +40.805s
Ret Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix
Ret Isack Hadjar Campos Racing
Ret Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport
Ret Gabriel Bortoleto Invicta Racing
Ret Roman Stanek Trident
Ret Pepe Marti Campos Racing
WD Ollie Bearman Prema
Fastest lap: Fittipaldi, 1m44.449s

Championship standings
 Maloney 47   2 Fittipaldi 32   3 Hauger 31   4 Aron 28   5 Maini 27   6 Marti 26   7 Crawford 24   8 Bortoleto 15   9 O’Sullivan 14   10 Antonelli 12