Home Featured Where it went wrong for Alpine’s F2 title aspirants at Zandvoort

Where it went wrong for Alpine’s F2 title aspirants at Zandvoort

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Although Victor Martins brought himself closer to the top four in the Formula 2 standings at Zandvoort, he actually only scored two points in a bizarre weekend.

The sprint race, which he finished second in, was called off after two laps due to rain and therefore was classified as a non-championship bout awarding no points, while in the feature race he was the highest placed driver in the championship to score by finishing ninth.

The top two in the standings retired, third place non-scored and fellow Alpine junior Jack Doohan failed to even start the race.

“It was an unfortunate weekend for us in Zandvoort. We had strong pace in qualifying but with the way the red flags played out at the end we weren’t able to get a solid time on the board,” said Doohan. The Virtuosi Racing driver qualified fifth, 0.148 seconds off pole.

“Saturday’s sprint race being stopped was the right decision, but it was unfortunate to miss out on the race and the chance to score some good points [for sixth place].

“On Sunday it was due to be another race in mixed conditions but unfortunately, I lost the car at the final corner of the rolling start and was unable to get going. It was a very difficult circumstance and a hard one to swallow but I have accepted it and moved past it to keep my focus ahead.

“We didn’t lose anything in the end, but it would have been good to capitalise on getting some big points. All-in-all we can’t change what happened and we need to keep our attention on the race in Monza.”

ART Grand Prix’s Martins qualified eighth, 0.232s off pole, and was unhappy despite marginally boosting his title hopes in what is still a 10-way fight with two rounds remaining. But Doohan is last of the serious contenders in fourth, with Martins eight points further behind.

“The weekend in Zandvoort was a frustrating one for myself and the team,” said Martins. “We knew it would be a challenging weekend because the circuit is a difficult track.

“We felt we had good pace in qualifying but due to the red flags we couldn’t quite deliver our maximum. In the end we qualified eighth which we knew would make the races difficult at such a narrow and short track.”

After being denied points as sprint race runner-up, “we didn’t have much luck in the feature race either”.

“I had to take evasive action at the start and then received a penalty for an incident later in the race. The way it ended is not what I wanted, receiving the penalty, and having contact with another driver but I believed there was enough space to go for it and try to get some more points. In the end it didn’t go in our direction and that’s how it is in racing.”

Martins’ 10s penalty for contact with Prema’s Ollie Bearman cost him fifth place, which would have put him level with Doohan on points.