Home Featured Zane Maloney completes F2 Bahrain double with feature race win

Zane Maloney completes F2 Bahrain double with feature race win

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Zane Maloney completed a double victory in the first round of the Formula 2 season in Bahrain by controlling the feature race from start to finish.

The Rodin Motorsport driver was one of a handful of drivers to start the race on the soft compound tyre and he used the extra grip to shoot immediately from third on the grid to take the lead on the inside of front row starter Isack Hadjar.

Rookie Gabriel Bortoleto was slower away from pole position and then locked a brake at the first corner, tagging Hadjar into a spin. While most of the field could avoid the Campos car, Enzo Fittipaldi collected him, leading to a safety car.

Just as in the sprint race, Zak O’Sullivan got a good start and a clean run around the outside to go from sixth to second.

Pepe Marti was another to start on soft tyres and went from 11th to fifth at the start, then moved up to third on the first lap after the restart. A couple of laps later, he took second from O’Sullivan.

Despite starting on the softer rubber, Maloney and Marti were among the later drivers to pit on lap 18 of 32, and rejoined either side of O’Sullivan who had swapped hard for soft tyres three laps earlier.

When O’Sullivan pitted he rejoined only just in front of his ART Grand Prix team-mate Victor Martins, who had been the first to pit for new tyres from 11th place on lap 10. But he slowed and retired with a technical issue, triggering a second safety car period just after the leaders pitted.

That put O’Sullivan onto Maloney’s rear at the restart on the softer rubber, but Maloney had little trouble creating a gap and ultimately won by 4.6 seconds ahead of Marti – who passed O’Sullivan again with six laps to go and scored the second podium of his debut weekend in F2.

Paul Aron took the restart in sixth but was the fastest driver on soft tyres at the end of the race. The Hitech driver followed Marti past O’Sullivan but had a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. He just managed to build a sufficient gap to finish on the podium, 0.7s ahead of O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan just held on to fourth by 0.068s over Bortoleto, who pitted with Maloney and Marti onto soft tyres but had to serve a 10s penalty for the contact with Hadjar at the start and took the restart in 12th place.

Bortoleto’s Invicta team-mate Kush Maini came from the back of the grid to finish seventh between MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto and Dennis Hauger, having made his pit-stop under the second safety car.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli scored his first F2 point in 10th behind Ritomo Miyata, with Prema team-mate Ollie Bearman 15th of the 16 finishers having had to be pushed off the grid at the start.

Another to start on softs, Jak Crawford climbed up to fourth after the first restart but suffered an issue in his pit-stop that forced him out of the race.

Race result (32 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport 1h02m46.435s
2 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +4.621s
3 Paul Aron Hitech GP +11.781s
4 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +12.523s
5 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +12.591s
6 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +13.609s
7 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +14.719s
8 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +16.002s
9 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +16.272s
10 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +20.405s
11 Joshua Duerksen PHM Racing +24.035s
12 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +29.532s
13 Roman Stanek Trident +31.193s
14 Richard Verschoor Trident +33.702s
15 Ollie Bearman Prema +51.135s
16 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +58.999s
Ret Victor Martins ART Grand Prix
Ret Jak Crawford DAMS
Ret Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP
Ret Juan Manuel Correa DAMS
Ret Isack Hadjar Campos Racing
Ret Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing
Fastest lap: Hauger, 1m46.743s

Championship standings
1 Maloney 36   2 Marti 24   3 Aron 19   4 Bortoleto 15   5 O’Sullivan 14   6 Crawford 8   7 Colapinto 8   8 Maini 6   9 Hauger 6   10 Hadjar 5