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Race report

F2 Saudi Arabia: Fittipaldi dominates for maiden feature race win

Enzo Fittipaldi secured his first Formula 2 feature race win in Saudi Arabia, taking the victory by over seven seconds from Kush Maini and a hard-charging Dennis Hauger.

Enzo Fittipaldi, Van Amersfoort Racing,  Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Prema Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Maini started the feature race from pole position and with two points in his pocket, by virtue of Oliver Bearman’s withdrawal from the weekend in order to replace Carlos Sainz at the Ferrari Formula 1 outfit with the Spaniard rendered unfit through appendicitis.

While the Invicta driver made a perfect start, things were wild behind with double-podium winner from Bahrain Pepe Marti losing the rear of his Campos entry on the exit of Turn 2 and spinning into the path of Trident driver Roman Staněk.

While Marti initially blamed the spin on contact from Franco Colapinto, the MP Motorsport driver picking up damage in the incident, replays cleared him of guilt.

Gabriel Bortoleto was another early retiree, pulling his Invicta entry off the track with a mechanical problem while the safety car allowed for the Turn 2 clear-up to be completed.

The race saw only four drivers – Staněk, Bortoleto, Juan Manuel Correa, Taylor Barnard and Amaury Cordeel – start on the medium tyre, with the remainder of the field using the supersoft option. On lap six, after completing the minimum distance on the softest rubber, the pack began to file into the pitlane to complete their mandated stops.

Fittipaldi (Van Amersfoort Racing) had started from fourth and, after dropping behind Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli in the opening exchanges, promoted himself to the net race lead on lap 13, using DRS to pass a defenceless Maini.

Jak Crawford, Dams, leads Roman Stanek, Trident, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Prema Racing, at the start

Jak Crawford, Dams, leads Roman Stanek, Trident, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Prema Racing, at the start

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Bu on lap 15, Colapinto threw a curveball into the mix as a tap of the wall at the final corner caused him to lose the rear at Turn 1, causing another safety car interruption.

Despite the safety car taking the field through the pits, Correa elected not to take advantage of a cheap stop, Barnard and Cordeel both elected to take the chance that the supersoft rubber could last 13 laps – a distance which, by the time the race resumed, was down to 10.

The race-winning move came in breathtaking style at the start of lap 22, as Fittipaldi went three wide with Cordeel and Correa before making his way around the outside of both drivers.

While Maini also made light work of the supersoft-shod runners, Cordeel was relegated two further places on the line as Hauger and Jak Crawford both flew by on the exit of the final corner.

Hauger was placed under investigation for crossing the white line at the pit entry on the run to the chequered flag.

However, stewards later decided not to issue any penalty saying that neither driver involved in the squabble was wholly to blame for the incident.

F2 Saudi Arabia - Feature race results

   
1
 - 
4
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1 Brazil E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 14 28

-

           
2 India K. Maini Invicta Racing 9 28

+7.800

7.8

7.800          
3 Norway D. Hauger MP Motorsport 11 28

+9.300

9.3

1.500          
4 United States J. Crawford DAMS Lucas Oil 7 28

+9.300

9.3

0.000          
5 Belgium A. Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight 16 28

+9.500

9.5

0.200          
6 Italy A. Antonelli Prema Powerteam 4 28

+10.000

10.0

0.500          
7 Barbados Z. Maloney Rodin Motorsport 5 28

+10.400

10.4

0.400          
8 Netherlands R. Verschoor Trident 22 28

+11.800

11.8

1.400          
9 Mexico R. Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 15 28

+17.500

17.5

5.700          
10 France V. Martins ART Grand Prix 1 28

+20.600

20.6

3.100          
11
P. Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight
17 28

+25.100

25.1

4.500          
12
J. Duerksen PHM AIX Racing
24 28

+26.200

26.2

1.100          
13
T. Barnard PHM AIX Racing
25 28

+30.400

30.4

4.200          
14 United States J. Correa DAMS Lucas Oil 8 28

+38.400

38.4

8.000          
15 Japan R. Miyata Rodin Motorsport 6 28

+40.800

40.8

2.400          
dnf United Kingdom Z. O'Sullivan ART Grand Prix 2 23

5 laps

        Retirement  
dnf France I. Hadjar Campos Racing 20 20

8 laps

        Retirement  
dnf Argentina F. Colapinto MP Motorsport 12 14

14 laps

        Retirement  
dnf
G. Bortoleto Invicta Racing
10 1

27 laps

        Retirement  
dnf
P. Martí Campos Racing
21 27

 

        Retirement  
dnf Czech Republic R. Staněk Trident 23 27

 

        Retirement  

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