Jack Doohan took his second victory in FIA Formula 2 with Virtuosi by over five seconds to Jüri Vips as championship contenders Théo Pourchaire and Logan Sargeant failed to score.
Doohan led the field from reverse pole position ahead of Enzo Fittipaldi. The top two swapped places down the hill into Turn 1 until Doohan reclaimed the lead into Turn 4, where Fittipaldi locked up and also lost out to Vips.
Sargeant was sandwiched at the first corner between Dennis Hauger and Felipe Drugovich, bringing out the Safety Car. Hauger’s damage forced him to retire from the race after being clipped by Sargeant’s Carlin, who had Drugovich on the inside trying to make a move.
Sargeant would also not take any further part in the race after sustaining a puncture and more irreparable damage. The championship contender pulled into the pits at the end of the first lap.
Pourchaire had to take avoiding action from the incident in front of him. The Frenchman started seventh in the race but subsequently dropped down to 15th. Despite performing some impressive overtakes on his recovery drive, he finished just outside the points in ninth position.
Roberto Merhi made his way up to 15th from 20th on the grid. With rain in the air, the Spanish driver gambled with the soft tyre, an unusual choice for a Sprint Race, which paid off in the opening stages. But unfortunately, the rain never came, and he had to make a pit stop to drop him down the order.
After the Safety Car restart, Clément Novalak picked up a puncture at Turn 2 after contact with Roy Nissany. The MP Motorsport driver locked up while battling with the Israeli driver, and the two collided. Nissany also pitted on Lap 5 with front wing damage.
The stewards investigated the pair, who concluded that Novalak was to blame, and awarded the Frenchman a 10-second penalty which he served in the pits on Lap 10.
Behind the front five was a four-car battle led by Jehan Daruvala for sixth position. After challenging multiple laps, Marcus Armstrong made a move on Lap 19, but the two came together for the second successive weekend. Armstrong then had to run wide to avoid significant damage and conceded a position to Liam Lawson at Turn 1.
Armstrong’s incident didn’t alleviate the pressure for Daruvala as he struggled with tyre wear in the race’s second half. He then came under pressure from Lawson on the next lap.
Lawson made a successful lunge down the inside of Turn 1 on Lap 23, forcing a lock-up from Daruvala. As a result, the PREMA driver dropped down to ninth position before pitting for a change of tyre at the end of the lap.
The stewards had deemed Daruvala at fault for the Armstrong clash, and a 10-second penalty added more misery to the Red Bull Junior Team driver’s day, as he finished well out the points in P18.
After being disappointed with tyre performance in qualifying yesterday, Doohan redeemed himself perfectly with a race win, leading every lap.
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd