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F2 Bahrain: Maloney doubles up with dominant feature race victory

Zane Maloney backed up his Formula 2 sprint race victory in style with a dominant display in Saturday’s Bahrain feature outing.

Zane Maloney, Rodin Motorsport, 1st position, celebrates on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Maloney climbed from eighth to top the podium in Friday’s opening race of the F2 season and put on another fine display on Saturday to establish an early championship lead with a maiden feature race win.

Maloney went against the trend to start on soft tyres but was able to switch onto the harder rubber late on to maintain his advantage after a safety car interruption.

Front row pair Gabriel Bortoleto and Isack Hadjar endured a dreadful start as the pair collided at Turn 1 after being jumped by Maloney.

While the majority of the field were able to avoid Hadjar’s stricken car, Enzo Fittipaldi was the unlucky party as he ploughed into Hadjar’s sidepod with his Van Amersfoort Racing entry, causing the safety car to be called into action.

Both drivers retired on the spot while Bortoleto, who sustained front wing damage, was handed a 10-second penalty.

Williams Academy driver Zak O’Sullivan and MP Motorsport driver Dennis Hauger climbed to second and third in the early melee, both on hard tyres.

After the safety car returned to the pits, Jak Crawford began to make moves through the order on his soft rubber, passing Hauger at Turn 10 for fourth.

This momentum was tempered when he was among a handful of drivers to have been noted for a safety car infringement, although no further action was the eventual ruling.

Marshalls on track, after an incident between Isack Hadjar, Campos Racing, and Enzo Fittipaldi, Van Amersfoort Racing

Marshalls on track, after an incident between Isack Hadjar, Campos Racing, and Enzo Fittipaldi, Van Amersfoort Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Also making moves was Pepe Marti, who was freed by the hard-shod O’Sullivan into second after starting in 11th.

At the end of lap 10, Martins was the first driver to pit for their mandatory stop, switching onto the soft tyres with 22 laps still to complete, dropping from 11th to the rear of the field.

Another early stopper was PHM AIX driver Taylor Barnard who, after a slow stop, was forced to return to the pits after his right rear tyre was not fitted correctly.

Oliver Bearman’s day had gotten off to a poor start as he was forced into the pits at the start with a technical issue.

But as he headed for the pits to take his mandatory stop, he came together with Amaury Cordeel, leading to the latter’s retirement. Shortly after, Bearman lost a front wing endplate as a result of the contact.

The pitstop phase continued to deliver drama as Crawford retired at his stop. It initially appeared that the American had stalled, but as the laptop came out and was plugged into the car, it became clear that there was more drama than had initially appeared to be the case.

Moments before leaders Maloney and Marti pitted, Martins retired from the race with a loss of power, causing the safety car to be deployed once more.

The big winner of the safety car was Kush Maini, who had originally taken pole position on Thursday before being disqualified. Fitting the soft rubber, he returned to the track in 11th. By the chequered flag, he was able to recover to seventh.

Zane Maloney, Rodin Motorsport

Zane Maloney, Rodin Motorsport

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

When the safety car returned to the pits, the action was frenetic, with the Rodin-run Ritomo Miyata dropping back on his recently fitted hard tyres.

But at the front, Maloney bucked the trend and streaked ahead on hard tyres, with O’Sullivan unable to do anything on the soft equivalent.

More of a concern for O’Sullivan was Marti behind, who had closed to within DRS range and made his move for second at Turn 1 on lap 27. One lap later, it was Paul Aron’s turn to push back O’Sullivan, promoting himself into the podium places.

For Maloney and Marti, it was their second trip to the podium in as many races, while it was a career-first top three result for Aron.

F2 Bahrain - Feature race results

   
1
 - 
4
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1 Barbados Z. Maloney Rodin Motorsport 5 32

-

      25    
2
P. Martí Campos Racing
21 32

+4.600

4.6

4.600     18    
3
P. Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight
17 32

+11.700

11.7

7.100     15    
4 United Kingdom Z. O'Sullivan ART Grand Prix 2 32

+12.500

12.5

0.800     12    
5
G. Bortoleto Invicta Racing
10 32

+12.500

12.5

0.000     10   2
6 Argentina F. Colapinto MP Motorsport 12 32

+13.600

13.6

1.100     8    
7 India K. Maini Invicta Racing 9 32

+14.700

14.7

1.100     6    
8 Norway D. Hauger MP Motorsport 11 32

+16.000

16.0

1.300     4   1
9 Japan R. Miyata Rodin Motorsport 6 32

+16.200

16.2

0.200     2    
10
A. Kimi Prema Powerteam
4 32

+20.400

20.4

4.200     1    
11
J. Duerksen PHM AIX Racing
24 32

+24.000

24.0

3.600          
12 Mexico R. Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 15 32

+29.500

29.5

5.500          
13 Czech Republic R. Staněk Trident 23 32

+31.100

31.1

1.600          
14 Netherlands R. Verschoor Trident 22 32

+33.700

33.7

2.600          
15 United Kingdom O. Bearman Prema Powerteam 3 32

+51.100

51.1

17.400          
16
T. Barnard PHM AIX Racing
25 32

+58.900

58.9

7.800          
dnf France V. Martins ART Grand Prix 1 17

15 laps

        Retirement  
dnf United States J. Crawford DAMS Lucas Oil 7 16

16 laps

        Retirement  
dnf Belgium A. Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight 16 14

18 laps

        Retirement  
dnf United States J. Correa DAMS Lucas Oil 8 6

26 laps

        Retirement  
dnf France I. Hadjar Campos Racing 20 0

 

        Retirement  
dnf Brazil E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 14 0

 

        Retirement  

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