Home Featured Hadjar: Imola feature race win “probably the toughest race of my career”

Hadjar: Imola feature race win “probably the toughest race of my career”

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar claimed a second consecutive Formula 2 feature race win at Imola in a race he labelled as “probably the toughest” of his career.

The victory lifted Hadjar to third in the standings, nine points off the championship lead, and put Campos top of the teams’ standings by one point.

“I had a good first stint behind Ollie [Bearman],” Hadjar told media including Formula Scout post-race.

“I felt the car was pretty good, and I had a good pitstop as well. I just managed to from there take the lead, and Gabriel [Bortoleto] was putting the pressure, was really quick. He actually caught me. There was a three-second gap at some point and then he caught me. Then I pulled away a bit again. And I did a mistake and the last few laps he was in my gearbox. So I had to defend. But it’s good to again be on the top step.”

The Red Bull junior described the victory battle as “really intense and really tiring”, saying it required a level of focus he had “never approached” before in his career. He was satisfied with the points haul, especially after a “painful” sprint race where he was “really mad” to get caught up in a lap one accident that led to a fourth non-score in seven races.

“If you look at the start of the season, it’s none of my fault at all,” he claimed. “You can’t predict a mechanical failure or an incident. I mean not every incident. But it was a lot of points lost in the first two rounds and now we are making up for it. It’s part of the championship. You have highs and lows, and at the moment it’s definitely a high.”

In the paddock, Campos team principal Adrian Campos Jr shared his reaction with Formula Scout.

“It was all about Gabriel and Isack. They were matching times trying to be faster than the other, doing the same laptime every lap. And at the end, we caught some cars that didn’t pit yet. That made Isack lose a little bit of time against Bortoleto, and Bortoleto got the DRS. So the last laps were a bit intense. But Isack was managing very well. He knew where to slow down the car to have a good exit and then avoid the pass in the main straight with the DRS.”

“[Leading the points] means that we’ve done a really good job. We’ve been one of the best teams since the beginning with this new car. And if we’re now leading, imagine what could have been if we didn’t have this bad luck. Not only the technical issues, but also the accidents that were out of our control.

“I’m very proud of all of them [team members], and we need to keep working because the rest will improve. The level here is extremely high and we’ll need to keep improving and keep pushing a lot to stay in front until the end.”