Home Featured Martins takes first podium of 2024 by winning F2’s Barcelona sprint race

Martins takes first podium of 2024 by winning F2’s Barcelona sprint race

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Victor Martins sealed a commanding victory in Formula 2’s Barcelona sprint race, as a track limits penalty denied Ritomo Miyata a maiden podium.

ART Grand Prix driver Martins finished 2.641 seconds ahead of Rodin Motorsport’s Miyata, whose penalties dropped him to eighth and meant Virtuosi Racing’s Kush Maini and DAMS’ Juan Manuel Correa joined Martins on the podium.

A great launch from the inside of the front row gave Martins a clear lead into turn one while Miyata snatched second from Correa. Having started from reversed-grid pole, Maini slipped to fourth and avoided losing a further place to team-mate Gabriel Bortoleto after going wheel-to-wheel with him twice on lap one.

Maini reclaimed third from Correa at the beginning of lap two, with Bortoleto then sweeping around the outside of the latter at turn four. Having climbed to sixth at the start, Hitech GP’s points leader Paul Aron was next to challenge Correa but could not find a way by.

Martins faced pressure from Miyata at the start of lap four, but the Alpine junior then edged away and maintained a one-second advantage over the next few laps. That gap had doubled by the final third of the race as Martins went on to claim his first top-six finish in 11 races and first win in almost a year.

Miyata’s podium hopes were ended by two separate five-second penalties for track limits infringements, and Maini came home 4.4s behind Martins to inherit runner-up spot.

A four-way scrap raged behind him in the closing stages. Bortoleto’s tyres started to fade, and Correa, Aron and DAMS’ Jak Crawford bunched up behind. A lock-up from Bortoleto on the penultimate lap allowed Correa to pounce into turn 10 to snatch third place and his first F2 podium since he finished third at Paul Ricard five years ago almost to the day.

With his resistance finally broken, Bortoleto also lost out to Aron and Crawford before the finish.

Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar spent the early stages trying to pass Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli for eighth, and after finally making it by at the halfway stage the Red Bull junior gained a further place at the finish due to Miyata’s penalty.

Antonelli lost out to MP Motorsport‘s Dennis Hauger and finished 10th. His team-mate Ollie Bearman dropped down the order in the early stages and finished 21st, two places behind championship contender Zane Maloney who was another to receive a penalty for exceeding track limits.

Race results (26 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 39m47.280s
2 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +4.411s
3 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS +7.968s
4 Paul Aron Hitech GP +8.625s
5 Jak Crawford DAMS +9.096s
6 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +10.742s
7 Isack Hadjar Campos Racing +11.612s
8 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +12.641s
9 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +17.834s
10 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +24.995s
11 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +25.554s
12 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +25.925s
13 Joshua Duerksen AIX Racing +26.814s
14 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +27.433s
15 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +28.049s
16 Richard Verschoor Trident +29.362s
17 Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP +29.819s
18 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing +31.765s
19 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +36.445s
20 Taylor Barnard AIX Racing +38.349s
21 Ollie Bearman Prema +41.456s
22 Roman Stanek Trident +41.518s
Fastest lap: Miyata, 1m30.617s

Championship standings
 Aron 87   2 Hadjar 80   3 Maloney 69   4 Hauger 56   5 Bortoleto 53   6 Antonelli 48   7 O’Sullivan 40   8 Maini 42   9 Colapinto 38   10 Crawford 36