Hadjar Beats Bortoleto to Imola Victory in Dramatic Feature Race

Hadjar Beats Bortoleto to Imola Victory in Dramatic Feature Race

Isack Hadjar imola formula 2 winner

Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar scored his second FIA Formula 2 victory of 2024 holding off Invicta’s Gabriel Bortoleto to win the Feature Race in Imola.

AIX Racing’s Joshua Dürksen scored his first podium – the first Paraguayan driver to do so – picking up the teams maiden points in the process.

Bortoleto started on pole position but saw three drivers launch ahead of him -including Hadjar.

It’s the Frenchman’s third F2 win, as he bounced back from being eliminated on Lap 1 of Saturday’s Sprint Race.

The victory lifts the Red Bull Junior Driver to third in the Drivers’ Standings.

Hadjar said: “It was really intense, Gabriel did zero mistakes, it felt like he was the quicker guy today and I had to defend.

“It was clean racing and I’m take the [the win],” the 19-year-old said.

Championship leader Zane Maloney failed to score, finishing 11th.

Hadjar pounces to ignite title bid

Regardless of whether he was the fastest man around the Imola circuit or not, the teenager was certainly the most opportunistic.

When the lights when out, he followed PREMA’s Oliver Bearman in passing pole-sitter Bortoleto, who made a poor getaway.

Hadjar tracked Bearman who led comfortably, before pitting for the medium compound tyre on Lap 7.

Bearman responded on the following lap, but in a moment that summed up his season so far, the Briton stalled his car twice, as he sunk from the lead to 21st.

Now in the net race lead, Hadjar still had work to do, in keeping good pace and looking after his tyres as the likes of Amaury Cordeel, Pepe Martí and Juan Manuel Correa ran long on a starting set of mediums.

Overtaking was proving difficult once again, even with DRS (Drag Reduction System) and championship leader Maloney found himself stuck behind Trident’s Roman Stan?k.

And while the action on track was few and far between at this point, there was time for late drama in the pit lane.

Hitech’s Cordeel and the second Campos of Martí boxed for the super-soft tyres on Lap 30.

But as Cordeel left his pit box, the right rear wheel spun loose and bounced down the pit lane, fortunately avoiding any mechanics, team personnel or drivers.

However, the errant wheel did bounce of a tyre going onto Martí’s car, delaying the mechanic in putting it on, which meant the Spaniard also lost a rear wheel as he departed his pit stop.

Both drivers were out of the race.

And there was still time for Bortoleto to pressurise Hadjar for the win in the closing laps, but try as he might with DRS, the Brazilian simply couldn’t get close enough to attempt a pass.

Hadjar kept his cool, resisted the pressure and took an impressive win.

Image: RedBull CP

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