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FIA F2 Red Bull Ring

F2 Austria: Crawford scores maiden victory in mixed conditions

Jak Crawford took his maiden Formula 2 win in the sprint race in Austria, starting on pole in mixed conditions and slipping back before recapturing the lead.

Jak Crawford, Hitech GP

The Hitech driver started on the slick tyres despite a damp track, slipping back off the line as those on wet tyres profited.

But as the Red Bull Ring dried and those ahead pitted for primes, he was able to claw back positions and retook control on lap five.

From there, the Red Bull junior was able to build a 2.5s lead to take his maiden win ahead of 2022 F3 champion Victor Martins (ART) and Trident driver Clement Novalak, who lined up 20th before charging through the field for his first podium since Zandvoort last year.

Despite wet conditions, the field lined up for a standing start on a mix of wet and slick tyres, with Crawford and Jehan Daruvala (MP Motorsport) opting for slicks with third-place starter Arthur Leclerc on the wets for DAMS.

Leclerc benefited from the additional grip to take second by Turn 1, while Crawford’s slicks proved ineffective and he fell to sixth, with Daruvala suffering a similar fate.

Championship leader Frederik Vesti started ninth on the wet tyres and was up to third by midway through the first lap, though his good fortune would soon run out as he was forced to pit for slicks.

Jack Doohan took a trip into the gravel at Turn 4 in his Virtuosi-run car before the safety car was deployed as Daruvala did the same at Turn 7, becoming beached.

Enzo Fittipaldi, Carlin

Enzo Fittipaldi, Carlin

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Theo Pourchaire, who was running second, Vesti, Dennis Hauger (MP), PHM driver Brad Benavides and Ollie Bearman all pitted for slicks under the safety car, with Pourchaire handed a five-second penalty for an unsafe release between the two Prema cars.

The safety car ended on lap five but was almost immediately redeployed as Richard Verschoor, who had inherited the lead, spun out at Turn 1 and into the wall.

This left Leclerc to lead before the Monegasque driver and team-mate Ayumu Iwasa both pitted, handing the front spot back to Crawford, leading from Juan Manuel Correa (VAR) and Rodin Carlin driver Zane Maloney.

The 2022 F3 runner-up was then swamped on his wet tyres, with Martins taking his position as he fell back through the field.

Novalak, who had made an incredible charge through the field, taking advantage of pitstops and incidents ahead, passed Isack Hadjar (Hitech) for fourth on lap 13 at Turn 4, as further back Bearman made it past Kush Maini (Campos).

Martins took second from Correa the following tour, using DRS to pass up the inside of Turn 3, though Crawford was still two seconds clear at the front.

Correa and Novalak then tussled for third over the closing stages, with both Novalak and Hadjar making it past the VAR driver, who fell to fifth.

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Enzo Fittipaldi then spun his Rodin Carlin entry on the straight down to Turn 4 while running in 10th, having been forced onto the grass in his battle with Maini, prompting a virtual safety car.

Hadjar took fourth in his best result of the season so far, with Correa in fifth and Trident’s Roman Stanek in sixth, having also made a superb charge from 17th.

Hauger made it past Bearman and then Doohan in the final few laps to finish seventh, with the Australian rounding off the points-paying positions.

Clement Novalak was disqualified after the race after it was found his car’s rear tyre pressures were below the limit required.

As a result, Isack Hadjar was promoted to the podium in third, with Ollie Bearman moving up to claim the final points-paying position in eighth.

F2 Red Bull Ring Sprint Race Results

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 United States Jak Crawford Hitech Pulse-Eight 39'36.231    
2 France Victor Martins France ART Grand Prix 39'38.517 2.286 2.286
  France Clement Novalak Italy Trident 39'40.141 3.910 1.624
3 France Isack Hadjar Hitech Pulse-Eight 39'40.597 4.366 0.456
4 United States Juan Manuel Correa Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 39'45.755 9.524 5.158
5 Czech Republic Roman Staněk Italy Trident 39'46.406 10.175 0.651
6 Norway Dennis Hauger Netherlands MP Motorsport 39'46.859 10.628 0.453
7 Australia Jack Doohan Invicta Virtuosi Racing 39'47.632 11.401 0.773
8 United Kingdom Oliver Bearman Italy Prema Powerteam 39'48.689 12.458 1.057
9 Denmark Frederik Vesti Italy Prema Powerteam 39'49.154 12.923 0.465
10 Israel Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz 39'49.769 13.538 0.615
11 Japan Ayumu Iwasa France DAMS 39'53.989 17.758 4.220
12 United States Brad Benavides PHM Racing by Charouz 39'55.321 19.090 1.332
13 Monaco Arthur Leclerc France DAMS 39'56.838 20.607 1.517
14 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 39'58.261 22.030 1.423
15 Belgium Amaury Cordeel Invicta Virtuosi Racing 39'58.436 22.205 0.175
16 India Kush Maini Spain Campos Racing 40'12.718 36.487 14.282
17 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 40'13.127 36.896 0.409
18 Barbados Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin 40'37.709 1'01.478 24.582
  Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin 10 laps    
  Netherlands Richard Verschoor Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 23 laps    
  India Jehan Daruvala Netherlands MP Motorsport 27 laps    

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