Hadjar Reclaims Melbourne Victory in Frenetic Feature Race

Hadjar Reclaims Melbourne Victory in Frenetic Feature Race

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Isack Hadjar wins the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race in Melbourne after a disappointing Saturday as Dennis Hauger crashes out of the race lead.

After a dramatic Qualifying session which saw many laps ruined by a late red flag, Hauger started from pole position on the back of strong performances in the last two opening rounds.

Hauger maintained the lead comfortably ahead of Mercedes F1 junior, Kimi Antonelli until Sector 2 where he made a bold move to take the lead ahead of Hauger.

The leading pair quickly swapped positions back after a strong lap from the MP Motorsport driver left him in a good enough position to take P1 before the end of the third lap.

Saturday’s Sprint Race winner, Roman Stanek spun at the start of the race which dropped him to the back of the pack in the early stages after contact with Zak O’ Sullivan at Turn 3. 

A great start from Victor Martins put him up to P11 from P21 in three laps. The Alpine Academy driver was able to avoid stallers and contact ahead to earn himself a strong racing position. 

Joshua Dürksen was the first retiree of the race after he was spun out on Lap 7 by O’Sullivan. O’ Sullivan quickly pulled into the pits as the ART mechanics tried to recover his race until he eventually retired two laps later.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed to recover the stricken PHM car of Dürksen and the restart saw a change of lead as Kush Maini and Hauger swapped positions.

Maini and Invicta opted for the alternative race strategy. Out of the soft runners who pitted early, Hadjar was able to jump Antonelli, both behind Hauger.

After his pit stop on cold tyres, Hauger found the barriers at Turn 6. Most importantly, he quickly came on the radio to say he was okay before expressing his disappointment. 

Maini led the race after it was resumed but was still yet to pit to swap out his option tyres. Hadjar maintained a healthy net race lead ahead of Paul Aron and Antonelli who both had an exciting battle for second place.

Pepe Martí was awarded a 10 second time penalty after a small collision with Ollie Bearman. Martins and Bearman were battling for position on Lap 17 as Martí behind clipped the rear of Bearman’s PREMA. Both drivers were able to continue without damage.

Maini and Invicta held out until Lap 31/33 in hope of a Safety Car but their effort would be fruitless as himself and Jak Crawford on the same strategy finished pointless.

After a disappointing Sprint Race where he was first to take the chequered flag, Hadjar crossed the line on Sunday to finish the Feature Race in first position ahead of Aron.

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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