Home Featured How often do drivers do the double win in F1’s primary feeder series?

How often do drivers do the double win in F1’s primary feeder series?

by Ida Wood

Photos: LAT Images & Formula Motorsport Ltd

Ollie Bearman claimed pole, won both races and set fastest lap in the sprint in the most recent F2 round in Baku. Looking back through the history of F1’s primary feeder series, who else has won twice in a weekend?

Aside from title success, one of the greatest things you can achieve in Formula 2 is to win both races at a single event. It’s a feat made difficult by the use of a reversed grid for the sprint race, meaning a driver will never get to start on pole for that and the feature race unless there were a lot of penalties, and with the most recent three rounds of the 2023 season having all taken place on temporary circuits it has made it even harder for a driver to come from 10th on the grid in either race to win.

Ollie Bearman became the first rookie to do the double since fellow Prema driver Oscar Piastri in Jeddah two years ago, although that year F2 utilised a three-race format and Piastri won the second sprint race from third on the grid and then the feature race from pole.

Earlier that year Hitech GP’s Juri Vips came from third and second on the grid respectively to win the second sprint race and feature race in Baku, although he was not really a rookie having already raced at the top level with a 2019 Super Formula cameo and having done four F2 rounds in 2020.

Baku was also the location of rookie Antonio Giovinazzi’s 2016 double, which marked Prema’s first wins in the secondary tier of single-seater racing as it joined GP2. The series was renamed F2 a year later, before actually using a new F2 car in 2018.

Modern F2’s only other double winner is Felipe Drugovich, who was unbeaten at Barcelona en route to the 2022 title.

A driver winning both races in a weekend was more common in the early days of GP2 when the weekend format was different. Rather than reverse the results of qualifying for the Saturday sprint race, then hold the feature race on Sunday, instead the feature race was on Saturday and then the top eight finishers from that were reversed to form the front of the sprint race grid.

Drugovich en route to his Barcelona double

Nico Rosberg wrapped up the inaugural GP2 title in 2005 by winning twice at Bahrain, then the next year there were double winners in four of the 11 rounds. Lewis Hamilton was unbeaten at the Nurburgring and in front of his home fans at Silverstone, while fierce title rival Nelson Piquet Jr won twice at the Hungaroring. For both drivers it marked a three-race victory run as Hamilton had won the sole Monaco race prior to the Nurburgring round while Piquet won the Istanbul Park feature race after his Hungaroring double. However his winning spree wasn’t enough to beat Hamilton to the title.

The season ended with two wins for Giorgio Pantano at Monza, putting him fourth in the standings despite missing three rounds and scoring in less than half of the season’s races.

The GP2 Asia series was launched at the start of 2008 for teams to race during winter, and Romain Grosjean kicked things off by winning the two first ever races at Dubai Autodrome. A year later a 21-year-old Nico Hulkenberg kickstarted a title challenge in the main series by rocketing to pole and winning twice at Niurbugring then there wasn’t another double victor again until 2012 when Davide Valsecchi claimed pole and won twice at Bahrain. A week later he won another feature race at the track.

Before GP2 was International Formula 3000, which stuck to a single-race format all the way from 1985 to 2004. Preceding that was the European F2 championship, and it did have two-race weekends but a very different format to GP2.

Not every round in the series was a double-header, but a circuit that almost always featured with two races was Hockenheim. Points from a round held there were awarded based on the aggregated results of two races, which meant if you won twice you definitely recieved the points for victory. But if there were different winners, then it could be a driver who finished second and third for example whose combined time across two races was quickest and therefore scored the most points.

The last time this format appeared was at the 1979 Rhein Cup, and Project Four Racing’s Stephen South dominated the opening 20-lapper over team-mate Derek Daly then led him home by 1.68 seconds in the follow-up race.

Hulkenberg celebrates first GP2 win at the Nurburgring

Earlier in the year their team-mate Keke Rosberg won both races of the Germany Trophy at Hockenheim by a combined margin of 27.2s over Toleman’s Rad Dougall. Project Four’s team principal Ron Dennis merged his outfit with McLaren at the end of 1980 and was at the helm there for several decades, and Toleman moved up to Formula 1 at the same time.

Bruno Giacomelli won twice to claim the Germany Trophy in 1978, Jochen Mass did the same in 1977, and factory March driver Hans-Joachim Stuck did the double twice for the Germany Trophy and the Rhein Cup in 1976. Stuck also claimed the Germany Trophy in the same fashion in 1974. Remarkably, Rosberg managed to win the 1977 Mediterranean Grand Prix at Enna-Pergusa by 49.8s despite finishing second in both races.

Nine of the 14 rounds in 1975 were double-headers awarding points using the aggregate format, but only in three of them did the same driver win both races. Maurizio Flammini achieved it at Mugello, Michel Leclere won Zolder’s Future Cup and Vittorio Brambilla won the Rome Grand Prix at Vallelunga. Patrick Depailler was the Rome GP victor the year prior, while Jean-Pierre Jabouille won the Rhein Cup.

Going further back into European F2’s history brings up more names, but many who claimed their victories in different fashions to the drivers of the second half of the 1970s and then the stars of the 21st century.

The series began in 1967 at Snetterton using two quick-fire heat races, which all drivers competed in, that then set the grid for the points-scoring Guards 100 race. Roy Winkelmann Racing’s Jochen Rindt won the first ever heat, and retired from the second with an ignition problem. But with his heat win being marginally faster than Denny Hulme’s, it meant he got to start from pole for the final. Lotus’s Graham Hill (already an F1 world champion) challenged him throughout the race, and Rindt triumphed in a photo finish by less than a tenth of a second.

On lap one a crash between Andrew Fletcher and Chris Irwin sent the latter somersaulting before his Lola turned into a fireball, but thankfully people stood on the pit straight were able to run to his car, douse the flames and pull him out to save his life.

Cystal Palace, 1970

Round two took place three days later at Silverstone using the aggregate format, with Rindt winning twice. Hill was his only opposition in race one before his rear suspension dismounted and he had to retire, and he only got his car repaired in time for race two due to the start being postponed by five minutes as the television broadcasters were slightly behind schedule!

Tyrrell’s Jacky Ickx won the single heat and the main race at the Zandvoort Grand Prix, and also won the aggregated Rome GP. His team-mate Jackie Stewart did the double to win the aggregated Mediterranean GP, and at Brands Hatch the field was split into two for the heats. Rindt won his heat, then was comfortably victorious in the points-scoring Guards Trophy race.

Jean-Pierre Beltoise started the 1968 season by winning the aggregated Germany Trophy, Rindt won his heat and the final at Thruxton and at Crystal Palace as well as winning both races on Austria’s Tulln-Langenlebarn airfield circuit (which he did again in 1969), and Ferrari’s Ernesto “Tino” Brambilla won the aggregated Rome GP.

Frank Williams Racing Cars, the predecessor to the current Williams F1 team, ran Piers Courage to victory at the aggregated Mediterranean GP in 1969 in a new Brabham BT30, and Matra’s Johnny Servoz-Gavin ended the season with Rome GP victory.

A colossal 35 cars turned up for the 1970 season opener at Thruxton, requiring the field to be split for the heats. Rindt took pole for and won the second heat, then in the final added another BARC 200 win to his CV. Reigning F1 world champion Stewart then came to London to thrill his home fans in a John Coombs-run Brabham at Crystal Palace, winning his heat and the London Trophy, but there is some disagreement in historical sources over whether that was a championship round.

A year later Thruxton proved even more popular, with 40 cars fighting over 30 places in the final. Hill won his heat, then just pipped Ronnie Peterson by 0.6s to win the BARC 200. Rising star Emerson Fittipaldi won the London Trophy, and Peterson started a winning run at the Rouen-les-Essarts Grand Prix that took him to the title.

Jarier fends off Gethin to win Kanonloppet at Karlskoga

Peterson continued his form into 1972 with BARC 200 victory, while Jean-Pierre Jaussaud won the aggregated Germany Trophy. The Pau Grand Prix switched to becoming a multiple-race weekend that year, as it still is now, and Peter Gethin won the titular race of the event after being closely matched with Patrick Depailler.

Fittipaldi won the Rhein Cup by a massive 1m26.4s on aggregate, and two weeks later won the Rouen GP too.

Mallory Park hosted the Radio Luxembourg F2 Trophy to kick off the 1973 season and Jean-Pierre Jarier won both races. On a dominant march to the title he did the double at Hockenheim, Nivelles, Rouen, Mantorp Park, Karlskoga and Enna too.

The other double victors of 1973 were Mass, who won the Swedish Gold Cup at Kinnekullering and the Rhein Cup for F1 world champion John Surtees’ fledgling manufacturer team, and Roger Williamson who won the Monza Lottery Grand Prix.

Double winners in F1’s primary feeder series
Year Series Circuit (event) Driver Win 1 Win 2
1967 Euro F2 Snetterton (Guards 100) Jochen Rindt Heat 1 Final
Silverstone (BARC 200) Jochen Rindt Part 1 Part 2
Zandvoort GP Jacky Ickx Heat Final
Enna-Pergusa (Mediterranean GP) Jackie Stewart Part 1 Part 2
Brands Hatch (Guards Trophy) Jochen Rindt Heat 1 Final
Vallelunga (Rome GP) Jacky Ickx Part 1 Part 2
1968 Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Jean-Pierre Beltoise Part 1 Part 2
Thruxton (BARC 200) Jochen Rindt Heat 1 Final
Crystal Palace (London Trophy) Jochen Rindt Heat 1 Final
Tulln-Langenlebarn (Airfield Race) Jochen Rindt Part 1 Part 2
Vallelunga (Rome GP) Tino Brambilla Part 1 Part 2
1969 Tulln-Langenlebarn (Airfield Race) Jochen Rindt Part 1 Part 2
Enna-Pergusa (Mediterranean GP) Piers Courage Part 1 Part 2
Vallelunga (Rome GP) Johnny Servoz-Gavin Part 1 Part 2
1970 Thruxton (BARC 200) Jochen Rindt Heat 2 Final
Crystal Palace (London Trophy) Jackie Stewart Heat 1 Final
1971 Thruxton (BARC 200) Graham Hill Heat 1 Final
Crystal Palace (London Trophy) Emerson Fittipaldi Heat 2 Final
Rouen-les-Essarts GP Ronnie Peterson Heat 1 Final
Tulln-Langenlebarn (Airfield Race) Ronnie Peterson Part 1 Part 2
1972 Thruxton (BARC 200) Ronnie Peterson Heat 2 Final
Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Jean-Pierre Jaussaud Part 1 Part 2
Pau GP Peter Gethin Heat 2 Final
Hockenheim (Rhein Cup) Emerson Fittipaldi Part 1 Part 2
Rouen-les-Essarts GP Emerson Fittipaldi Heat 1 Final
1973 Mallory Park (Radio Luxembourg Trophy) Jean-Pierre Jarier Part 1 Part 2
Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Jean-Pierre Jarier Part 1 Part 2
Kinnekullering (Swedish Gold Cup) Jochen Mass Part 1 Part 2
Nivelles (I G.B. GP) Jean-Pierre Jarier Part 1 Part 2
Hockenheim (Rhein Cup) Jochen Mass Part 1 Part 2
Rouen-les-Essarts GP Jean-Pierre Jarier Heat 1 Final
Monza Lottery GP Roger Williamson Part 1 Part 2
Mantorp GP Jean-Pierre Jarier Part 1 Part 2
Karlskoga (Kanonloppet) Jean-Pierre Jarier Heat 1 Final
Enna-Pergusa (Mediterranean GP) Jean-Pierre Jarier Part 1 Part 2
1974 Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Hans-Joachim Stuck Part 1 Part 2
Hockenheim (Rhein Cup) Jean-Pierre Jabouille Part 1 Part 2
Vallelunga (Rome GP) Patrick Depailler Part 1 Part 2
1975 Mugello GP Maurizio Flammini Part 1 Part 2
Zolder (Future Cup) Michel Leclere Part 1 Part 2
Vallelunga (Rome GP) Vittorio Brambilla Part 1 Part 2
1976 Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Hans-Joachim Stuck Part 1 Part 2
Hockenheim (Rhein Cup) Hans-Joachim Stuck Part 1 Part 2
1977 Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Jochen Mass Part 1 Part 2
1978 Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Bruno Giacomelli Part 1 Part 2
1979 Hockenheim (Germany Trophy) Keke Rosberg Part 1 Part 2
Hockenheim (Rhein Cup) Stephen South Part 1 Part 2
2005 GP2 Bahrain Nico Rosberg FR SR
2006 Nurburgring Lewis Hamilton FR SR
Silverstone Lewis Hamilton FR SR
Hungaroring Nelson Piquet Jr FR SR
Monza Giorgio Pantano FR SR
2008 GP2 Asia Dubai Autodrome Romain Grosjean FR SR
2009 GP2 Nurburgring Nico Hulkenberg FR SR
2012 Bahrain Davide Valsecchi FR SR
2016 Baku Antonio Giovinazzi FR SR
2021 F2 Baku Juri Vips SR2 FR
Jeddah Oscar Piastri SR2 FR
2022 Barcelona Felipe Drugovich SR FR
2023 Baku Ollie Bearman SR FR

Key: FR (feature race), SR (sprint race)