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F2 Bahrain: Verschoor triumphs in season-opening sprint race

Richard Verschoor claimed the first FIA Formula 2 race of the 2022 season in the Bahrain sprint, snatching the lead in the opening metres and holding it to the flag.

Richard Verschoor, Trident, 1st position

Richard Verschoor, Trident, 1st position

Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

The Dutchman, a late addition to the Trident lineup after switching from MP Motorsport for his second season in the series, took advantage of polesitter Felipe Drugovich’s poor start to score his second series win, having broken his duck at Silverstone last year.

The result marks Trident’s first F2 win since Luca Ghiotto took the top step of the podium in Sepang in 2016.

MP Motorsport’s Drugovich tumbled out the top three after struggling off the line, with Ralph Boschung (Campos) and Jehan Daruvala (Prema) also taking advantage as the Brazilian dropped to an eventual fifth-place finish.

After a laps-long battle between Boschung and Daruvala, the Indian Red Bull junior emerged in front to finish second, with Liam Lawson snatching the final podium position from Boschung with just two laps to go.

Behind Boschung and Drugovich, Lawson's Carlin team-mate Logan Sargeant took sixth after passing a struggling Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) in the closing laps.

As Drugovich struggled off the line and dropped to fourth, Verschoor took the lead from Boschung and Daruvala. The polesitter then lost a further place to ART Grand Prix driver Theo Pourchaire on lap two, although his race was ended by an oil leak on lap six.

Following a safety car to recover Marcus Armstrong’s Hitech machine, the Kiwi retiring after contact from Jake Hughes - who was handed a 10-second penalty for the incident - Drugovich attacked Lawson, but had to stay in fifth.

Vips claimed sixth from feature race pole-sitter Jack Doohan on lap 13 on the inside of Turn 1, the Virtuosi driver slipping back to tenth at the finish.

Verschoor aced the start and was never headed thereafter as Daruvala and Boschung scrapped between them

Verschoor aced the start and was never headed thereafter as Daruvala and Boschung scrapped between them

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

With eight laps to go, Daruvala passed Boschung for second, but the Swiss driver's efforts to retaliate were halted by a virtual safety car for an incident involving Hughes and Clement Novalak. Hughes stopped on track, while Novalak was forced to pit for a new front wing and later received a 10-second penalty for causing the collision.

When the VSC ended, Boschung launched an attack on Daruvala to regain second into the Turn 10 left-hander, only for Daruvala to repass him again shortly afterwards.

The battle had taken the best out of Boschung's tyres, allowing Lawson to snatch third with two laps to go, while behind Sargeant demoted Vips to seventh.

Ayumu Iwasa, who started 22nd after spinning off on his outlap in qualifying, charged through the field to finish eighth while reigning FIA F3 champion Dennis Hauger moved up from 15th on the grid to ninth.

Bahrain F2 Race 1 Result - 23 laps

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Italy Trident -  
2 India Jehan Daruvala Italy Prema Powerteam 1.800 1.800
3 New Zealand Liam Lawson United Kingdom Carlin 4.900 4.900
4 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 6.900 6.900
5 Brazil Felipe Drugovich Netherlands MP Motorsport 8.800 8.800
6 United States Logan Sargeant United Kingdom Carlin 9.200 9.200
7 Estonia Jüri Vips United Kingdom HitechGP 13.300 13.300
8 Ayumu Iwasa Japan Nissan e.Dams 15.700 15.700
9 Norway Dennis Hauger Italy Prema Powerteam 17.600 17.600
10 Australia Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 21.400 21.400
11 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 22.900 22.900
12 Israel Roy Nissany Japan Nissan e.Dams 26.500 26.500
13 Denmark Frederik Vesti France ART Grand Prix 27.400 27.400
14 Turkey Cem Bolukbasi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 31.900 31.900
15 Australia Calan Williams Italy Trident 49.900 49.900
16 Japan Marino Sato Virtuosi Racing 50.600 50.600
17 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing 52.600 52.600
18 Switzerland Clement Novalak Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'18.200 1'18.200
19 United Kingdom Olli Caldwell Spain Campos Racing 1 lap  
20 United Kingdom Jake Hughes Van Amersfoort Racing 9 laps  
21 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 17 laps  
22 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United Kingdom HitechGP 21 laps  

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