Richard Verschoor claimed a “really needed” win in Formula 2’s Red Bull Ring feature race, which he put in part down to luck courtesy of a late safety car period.
The Van Amersfoort Racing driver started the race in 11th place, and on the soft compound tyres, and was running in second when a virtual safety car period began on lap 28 of 40 to recover the car of DAMS driver Arthur Leclerc whose rear-right tyre had come loose after his pitstop.
The VSC became a full safety car one lap later, allowing those who were yet to pit to come in. Rodin Carlin’s race leader Enzo Fittipaldi missed the pit entry, but the timing was perfect for Verschoor who was able to put on the supersoft tyres and rejoin in fifth place with eight laps to go.
The Dutchman won F2’s feature race at the Red Bull Ring with Trident in 2022, but was later disqualified as he couldn’t provide the fuel sample required by the FIA.
That made his 2023 victory feel “much better”, although “this was too much luck to call it my best [win]”. He also received a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits, which was reverted during the race.
“I still had to do the job today,” he added later.
“Our pace was decent. I wouldn’t say super good. I couldn’t really keep up with Fittipaldi. I think he was just two, three tenths a lap quicker, which is definitely what we are missing to have a good result even without the safety car. And then of course, we had a super lucky moment with the safety car. Good pace on the option. But we were, of course, lucky that the others were on 20 lap old tyres. But it was still a good fight. It was not that easy to pass them in the end.”
Verschoor resisted pressure from DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa, who “was coming like a rocket” and got alongside him braking into turn four on the last lap.
“I was just saying to Ayumu that we [at VAR] really needed this. I think this season hasn’t gone to plan for me. I’ve been struggling quite a bit. I don’t feel like I’ve been at my best this year so I really hope we can turn it around and I hope this is a good starting point for that. Of course, some nice points to start off with it.
He then followed in reply to Formula Scout: “I haven’t always been able to adapt to the car and also I don’t feel like we always got exactly how I like to drive a car set-up wise. Last year, at some point, we really had a good idea with Trident what I really like.
“We are still trying to get into that direction right now. But to be honest, we have made some very good progress and I’m proud of my team.”