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Hauger scores fourth F2 win as title race hots up in Hungary

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger took victory in Formula 2’s Hungaroring sprint race, while Theo Pourchaire closed to within one point of leader Frederik Vesti.

Hauger came home 4.2 seconds clear of fellow Red Bull junior Ayumu Iwasa and Prema’s Ollie Bearman. Pourchaire finished fourth, and Vesti failed to score in ninth.

Campos Racing’s Kush Maini started from reversed-grid pole, and was challenged off the line by Hauger and Bearman. 

Hauger snatched the lead on the inside line into turn one while Maini locked up, but Bearman ran wide and lost third to Iwasa.

Maini was passed around the outside by Iwasa at turn two and then lost another place at the chicane to Bearman, who had made a better exit from the previous corner to draw alongside.

Bearman tried to go defensive against Maini as the cars started lap two, with Maini squeezing up the inside to reclaim third at turn one. Bearman tried to fight back on the outside at turn two but had to concede while also facing pressure from Pourchaire.

Hauger pulled out a slender 1.5-second lead in the opening 12 laps before a collision further back caused a virtual safety car period.

Trident’s Clement Novalak had dived to the inside of Campos’s Ralph Boschung into turn one for 15th, but got sideways and hit Boschung, who was sent into the barriers and retired, while Novalak stopped shortly afterwards.

Arthur Leclerc tried to avoid the pair by running off the track, but ended up also making contact with Boschung.

Green flag running resumed one lap later, with Pourchaire being quick to react by stealing fourth from Bearman at turn two.

Hauger pulled further clear in the remaining 16 laps to take a comfortable win ahead of Iwasa, who finished well clear of the battle for third.

With five laps to go Pourchaire snatched third into turn one with a late move on Maini, who made light contact with the rear of Pourchaire’s car at the apex. Bearman then pounced at turn two to take fourth away from Maini.

Pourchaire briefly was in a position to tie the points lead with Vesti, but the ART Grand Prix driver then crucially lost out to Bearman, who dived to the inside at turn one with three laps to go and remained in third until the finish.

With his tyres fading, Maini went off the road on the penultimate lap. He initially kept hold of fifth into turn one on the final lap but then ran wide at turn two while defending from Jehan Daruvala, who took advantage to claim fifth.

Maini managed to fend off Victor Martins and Isack Hadjar until the chequered flag to finish sixth.

Vesti started the race in eighth, but lost a position to Martins on lap one. He tried to reclaim the position into turn one on the next lap, but was run wide by his opponent and then lost to Jack Doohan, who drove around the outside at turn two. A late move into turn one by Vesti on Doohan with a few laps to go meant he reclaimed ninth, where he remained until the finish.

Leclerc trailed home 15th while struggling with a loose seat, and Juan Manuel Correa was the final finisher in 20th after losing a lap in the pitlane due to an issue.

Race result (28 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 44m43.144s
2 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS +4.230s
3 Ollie Bearman Prema +14.196s
4 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +16.592s
5 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport +20.760s
6 Kush Maini Campos Racing +24.054s
7 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +24.388s
8 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +24.660s
9 Frederik Vesti Prema +25.316s
10 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing +25.714s
11 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin +26.060s
12 Zane Maloney Carlin +26.592s
13 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing +26.840s
14 Jak Crawford Hitech GP +27.122s
15 Arthur Leclerc DAMS +27.486s
16 Roman Stanek Trident +28.035s
17 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz +32.986s
18 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz +37.389s
19 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing +38.013s
20 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing +1 lap
Ret Ralph Boschung Campos Racing
Ret Clement Novalak Trident
Fastest lap: Iwasa, 1m32.585s

Championship standings
 Vesti 135   2 Pourchaire 134   3 Iwasa 120   4 Bearman 94   5 Martins 89   6 Verschoor 75   7 Doohan 74   8 Hauger 70   9 Fittipaldi 68   10 Maloney 66