Home Featured Hadjar wins another F2 feature race after Bearman suffers disaster stop

Hadjar wins another F2 feature race after Bearman suffers disaster stop

by Peter Allen

Photo: Red Bull

Isack Hadjar held off Gabriel Bortoleto to win a second consecutive Formula 2 feature race at Imola after Ollie Bearman experienced a disastrous pit-stop.

Bearman took at the lead at the start from second on the grid ahead of Isack Hadjar while a slow-launching Gabriel Bortoleto lost third to Joshua Duerksen in the first corner. However, Bearman’s hopes of taking a win to kick-start his F2 campaign fell to pieces when he pitted at the end of lap seven and stalled twice, dropping the Prema driver to the back of the pack.

Campos Racing’s Hadjar had pitted at the first opportunity after lap six together with Duerksen and took over the net race lead, with Invicta Racing’s Bortoleto rejoining back in front of AIX Racing’s Duerksen when he pitted with Bearman a lap later. Andrea Kimi Antonelli waited one lap longer to pit and rejoined briefly in front of Duerksen before dropping behind on his cold tyres a few turns later.

Hadjar remained around 1.3 seconds in front of Bortoleto for much of the middle part of the race, but the McLaren junior suddenly closed up on the Red Bull junior with three laps to go when Hadjar caught Rafael Villagomez, the last driver to pit.

Taking the benefit of the DRS from Villagomez to remain ahead into Tamburello and held on through the last three laps to take victory by just half a second.

Duerksen scored a historic podium in third, not only the first points and podium for a Paraguayan driver in F2, but also the first for his newly renamed AIX team since it joined the series as PHM Racing last year.

He finished 4.2s in front of his fellow Formula Regional graduate Antonelli, the driver from Bologna repeating his fourth place from the Melbourne feature race. He had to hold off both Franco Colapinto and Paul Aron, who resumed their duel from Saturday’s sprint race.

Championship leader Zane Maloney ran sixth early on but lost out in his pit-stop and got stuck behind his former Formula 3 team-mate Roman Stanek, who he complained was moving around under braking. He was urged to get on with it by his Rodin team and by the chasing Jak Crawford, who eventually launched a move on lap 20 into Tamburello and completed it several corners later into Piratella.

Crawford eased past Stanek five laps later and finished up seventh, just in front of his DAMS team-mate Juan Manuel Correa, who ended up as the best of the six drivers who stayed out on prime tyres, 7s in front of Victor Martins.

Amaury Cordeel had the best pace of that group, opening up a 7s lead over Pepe Marti before he pitted. When released, his right-rear tyre flew off and came close to hitting the left-rear mechanic of Marti in front. Perhaps distracted, Campos then released Marti’s car without his left-rear tyre attached at all.

Maloney did eventually force his way past Stanek just a few laps from the end to finish 11th behind Richard Verschoor, but still ahead of one of his title rivals, Dennis Hauger.

Race results (35 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Isack Hadjar Campos Racing 54m01.509s
2 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +0.569
3 Joshua Duerksen AIX Racing +13.736
4 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +18.034
5 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +18.489
6 Paul Aron Hitech GP +18.815
7 Jak Crawford DAMS +20.737
8 Juan Manuel Correa Trident +21.240
9 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +28.364
10 Richard Verschoor Trident +33.507
11 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +34.107
12 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +34.346
13 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +37.657
14 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +37.957
15 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +38.402
16 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +42.357
17 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing +43.055
18 Roman Stanek Trident +43.575
19 Ollie Bearman Prema +44.017
20 Taylor Barnard AIX Racing +44.786
Ret Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP
Ret Pepe Marti Campos Racing
Fastest lap: Martins, 1m29.580s

Championship standings
 Maloney 68   2 Aron 63   3 Hadjar 59   4 Hauger 41   5 Bortoleto 36   6 Antonelli 36   7 Colapinto 34   8 Maini 34   9 Fittipaldi 32   10 Crawford 32