Hadjar celebrates “Toughest race of career” in Imola

Hadjar celebrates “Toughest race of career” in Imola

Hadjar celebrates Toughest race of career in Imola

Isack Hadjar has called his Feature Race victory in Imola the toughest race of his career after surviving extreme pressure from Gabriel Bortoleto in the closing laps.

The Frenchman made it back-to-back Feature Race wins in the FIA Formula 2 Championship to move into third place in the overall standings, just nine points away from championship leader Zane Maloney.

Hadjar said: “It was the toughest race of my career. Gabriel was putting me under pressure, he was really quick, he caught me, I pulled away again, and then I made a mistake and he was on my gearbox in the last few laps.

Polesitter Bortoleto had a poor start, slipping back into fourth position, as Ollie Bearman jumped into the lead, with Hadjar close behind.

Bearman stalled twice during his pit stop, dropping him out of contention and handing the race lead to the Campos Racing driver.

Hadjar said: “I’ve had races like this before when someone is putting pressure on you, but in F2 in Imola it’s a different level, I had Gabriel pushing every lap, I think we were within the same tenth of a second every lap – it was really intense.”

It came after a miserable Sprint Race for the Red Bull junior driver, who was one of five drivers who were taken out at the race start.

He said: “Yesterday i was really mad, I had a good start and had the the opportunity to take some really good points, but ending up in the gravel and watching the other guys take all the points is really painful, but to make up for it is an unbelievable feeling.”

The weekend leaves Isack firmly in the title fight after taking 25 points in the Feature Race, now within reach of the championship leader, despite a difficult start to the season.

At the first race in Bahrain, he was taken out by Bortoleto after looking quick and set to score good points, and then suffered a mechanical failure in Jeddah before turning his luck around and winning the Feature Race in Melbourne.

The resurgent driver said: “You can’t predict a mechanical failure or an incident, so there was a lot of points lost in the first few rounds but now we’re making up for it. We have really good momentum and I can’t wait to be in Monaco.”


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Hadjar celebrates Toughest race of career in Imola