Home Formula 2 Verschoor wins close-fought F2 Jeddah sprint race

Verschoor wins close-fought F2 Jeddah sprint race

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Richard Verschoor scored his fourth career Formula 2 victory in an action-packed Jeddah sprint race.

Following the withdrawal of Ollie Bearman’s car for the rest of the weekend as the Prema driver steps up for his surprise Formula 1 debut with Ferrari, those outside the top 10 were moved up a place on the grid with Paul Aron remaining on reversed-grid pole.

While Aron kept the lead at the start, others did not fare so well. Victor Martins made a good initial getaway from seventh to challenge Dennis Hauger for fourth place, but hit the wall on the exit of turn 2 as he tried to pull alongside.

Williams juniors Franco Colapinto and Zak O’Sullivan both failed to get away from 12th and 13th on the grid, creating a tight squeeze for those behind them on the grid. They were pushed to the pit lane where they were restarted as the safety car bunched up the field.

Two laps after the restart, Aron had to defend the inside from Verschoor into the first corner, and the Trident driver dived to the inside himself a lap later to grab the lead.

Hauger meanwhile cleared Isack Hadjar for third a couple of laps later, just before Amaury Cordeel spun and stalled in turn 2, triggering another safety car.

After that restart, most of the action was behind the top three, but a virtual safety car with just a few laps remaining – to retrieve debris after Juan Manuel Correa hit the turn 22 wall – was followed quickly by Hauger passing Aron for second place.

The MP Motorsport driver set the fastest lap in the process, cutting Verschoor’s lead to 1.1 seconds with two laps left. However, it was Aron that then responded with an even quicker lap to keep the pressure on Hauger, and Verschoor held on to win by 0.7s.

Hadjar was passed by Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney – who again showed rapid race pace for Rodin from 15th on the grid – before slowing with an issue on the penultimate lap.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli made a slow getaway from fifth on the grid and tagged Jak Crawford in turn 1 in his attempts to recover, losing a front-wing endplate in the process.

Crawford seemed unaffected, at one point going side-by-side and getting ahead of Maloney before finishing sixth, while Antonelli also had strong pace late on to finish seventh. Kush Maini slipped back at the end, conceding the final point in eighth to Pepe Marti when he ran deep in the final corner.

Race result (20 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Richard Verschoor Trident 41m38.745s
2 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +0.728s
3 Paul Aron Hitech GP +1.510
4 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing +4.712
5 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +7.493
6 Jak Crawford DAMS +9.127
7 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +11.868
8 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +14.391
9 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +14.744
10 Roman Stanek Trident +17.997
11 Joshua Duerksen PHM Racing +18.283
12 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +18.790
13 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +19.195
14 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +25.737
15 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +25.760
16 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +27.373
17 Isack Hadjar Campos Racing +1 lap
18 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +1 lap
Ret Juan Manuel Correa DAMS
Ret Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP
Ret Victor Martins ART Grand Prix
WD Ollie Bearman Prema
Fastest lap: Aron, 1m44.607s

Championship standings
Maloney 40   2 Aron 26   3 Marti 25   4 Bortoleto 15   5 Hauger 14   6 O’Sullivan 14   7 Crawford 11   8 Verschoor 10   9 Colapinto 8   10 Maini 6