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Race report
FIA F2 Spielberg

F2 Austria: Bortoleto takes first victory in feature race

McLaren junior driver Gabriel Bortoleto took his first Formula 2 victory in the Austrian feature race

Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA, Invicta Racing), 2nd position, in Parc Ferme

Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA, Invicta Racing), 2nd position, in Parc Ferme

Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto opened his Formula 2 win account with a dominant drive in the Austrian feature race, as Franco Colapinto emerged in second on the alternate strategy.

Invicta driver Bortoleto had started from the third-place grid slot, but quickly established himself in the lead and secured himself the victory following his pitstop with a pass on Campos rival Pepe Marti, who became the net race leader courtesy of stopping during a brief virtual safety car period.

Four drivers stalled when the formation lap commenced, among them MP Motorsport’s pole-sitter Dennis Hauger, who was forced to start from the pits as a result.

This elevated Joshua Durksen (AIX) to a de facto pole position and the German led the early laps before Bortoleto made his move on lap four with a textbook move aided by DRS.

Early championship leader Zane Maloney (Rodin) has endured a torrid time of late and this continued in Austria, as the Sauber junior stalled at the start of the race before retiring on lap six, causing the virtual safety car to be deployed.

At the same time as the race was neutralised, Marti was entering the pits. The stop is subject to a post-race investigation as drivers cannot enter the pits for their mandatory stop under the VSC, but the stop can be completed if they are already in.

The subsequent investigation determined that although Marti had committed to pitting, he had not reached the first safety car line by the time that the VSC was deployed. Despite conceding Marti had been "incredibly close" to the marker, the stewards deemed this could not count as his mandatory stop, and awarded a 10s stop-and-go penalty, converted to a 30s time penalty.

Following Bortoleto’s stop, he rejoined 5s behind Red Bull junior Marti, but a show of pace to quickly close this gap ultimately proved decisive as the Brazilian pulled his race-winning move on lap 20 at Turn 3.

Running the alternative strategy by starting on the harder of the two tyre compounds, Colapinto (MP Motorsport) stayed out to lead sprint winner Oliver Bearman, but the Prema driver's hopes were dashed when a reliability issue forced him to retire at the lap 20 mid-point of the race.

Colapinto's exploits in playing the long game yielded rewards once he stopped with eight laps to go and switched to the super soft rubber. After rejoining eighth, the Argentine charged through to second with completing late moves on warring Campos duo Marti and Isack Hadjar.

Tensions had risen for Campos after Marti was slowed to allow championship-contending Hadjar through to chase Bortoleto.

But it was further ramped up when Hadjar, unable to demonstrate the pace he had claimed to have, failed to return the favour in the closing stages and instead kept the final podium position for himself.

Championship leader Paul Aron (Hitech) crossed the line in fifth, but dropped a place to Enzo Fittipaldi after he was handed a five-second penalty for moving under braking when battling with Hadjar early on.

Marti's penalty moves Aron back to his original finishing position, with the Camps driver dropping out of the points to 15th.

However, Aron remains at the top of the standings with a nine-point lead over Hadjar.

Bortoleto is boosted third, 10 points clear of Maloney, who has scored once in the last four races, while Colapinto is now tied with the Barbados driver, but remains fifth by virtue of having only one win to the Rodin driver’s two.

F2 Austria Feature Race Results

Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
G. Bortoleto Invicta Racing
10 40


2 Argentina F. Colapinto MP Motorsport 12 40



4.200   1      
3 France I. Hadjar Campos Racing 20 40



1.300   1      
P. Martí Campos Racing
21 40



0.500   1      
5 Brazil E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 14 40



5.300   1      
P. Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight
17 40



0.100   1      
J. Duerksen PHM AIX Racing
24 40



1.100   1      
8 Belgium A. Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight 16 40



10.000   1      
T. Barnard PHM AIX Racing
25 40



5.100   1      
10 United Kingdom Z. O'Sullivan ART Grand Prix 2 40



4.500   1      
11 United States J. Crawford DAMS Lucas Oil 7 40



0.100   1      
12 France V. Martins ART Grand Prix 1 40



0.400   1      
13 Norway D. Hauger MP Motorsport 11 40



0.800   1      
14 Italy A. Antonelli Prema Powerteam 4 40



1.300   1      
15 United States J. Correa DAMS Lucas Oil 8 40



0.400   1      
16 Mexico R. Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 15 40



14.600   1      
17 India K. Maini Invicta Racing 9 40



1.700   1      
18 Czech Republic R. Staněk Trident 23 40



4.000   1      
dnf Japan R. Miyata Rodin Motorsport 6 34

6 laps

    2   Retirement  
dnf Netherlands R. Verschoor Trident 22 21

19 laps

    2   Retirement  
dnf United Kingdom O. Bearman Prema Powerteam 3 20

20 laps

    1   Retirement  
dnf Barbados Z. Maloney Rodin Motorsport 5 4

36 laps


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