Maloney Takes First Win in Bahrain While Prema Struggle For Pace

Maloney Takes First Win in Bahrain While Prema Struggle For Pace

Maloney Wins Sprint Race in Bahrain

Zane Maloney wins the first FIA Formula 2 race of the season in dominant fashion while the rest of the pack behind him struggle for grip on the soft tyres.

On Thursday night, Jak Crawford was promoted to reverse-grid pole  after Kush Maini was disqualified from Qualifying due to a breach of the technical regulations.

Alongside Crawford was Taylor Barnard who struggled to get off the line in his debut Formula 2 race, dropping him down to ninth on the opening lap.

Crawford led Victor Martins as a Virtual Safety Car was called on Lap 2 to recover the stricken Hitech of Amaury Cordeel. Rafael Villagómez made contact with Cordeel and was forced to pit to recover a puncture, dropping him to over a minute behind the rest of the pack.

The stewards decided that they would investigate the collision post race.

Zak O’ Sullivan struggled for pace in the early stages of the race on the hard compound tyre, leaving him vulnerable to Rodin’s Maloney who made his way to third place after a sequence of brave overtakes.

Maloney’s bold moves took him to the lead of the race on Lap 8 from eighth on the grid. He overtook Crawford in Turn 5 and quickly cleared the DAMS.

Meanwhile, Franco Colapinto was given a 10 second stop-go penalty for starting in the incorrect grid position. He was running just outside of the top 10 in his third F2 race.

Both Premas came into the pits to change their tyres in the mid stage of the race. Pit stops don’t normally occur during a Sprint Race but due to high tyre degradation in Bahrain and their lack of pace, the team chose to gamble.

A mistake from Martins on Lap 14 allowed Isack Hadjar to pass him for the final place on the podium. Martins had been on the radio to his ART mechanics after he started struggling for pace.

His team mate, Pepe Martí took his place on the third step of the rostrum after coming out on top of their battle throughout the esses of Lap 20. Hadjar was one of many soft tyre runners to start to struggle for grip with four laps still remaining.

Gabriel Bortoleto and O’ Sullivan made the most of their hard tyres and claimed points in their Sprint Race debut.

Further behind them, Kimi Antonelli and Ollie Bearman were unable to make their early pit stops work and only managed 14th and 16th. A disappointing opening race for a team who were many people’s championship favourites.

A mechanical problem meant that Barnard wouldn’t see the chequered flag after starting his first race on the front row.

Bortoleto will start Saturday’s Feature Race from pole after a stellar first race today where he finished sixth.

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Maloney Wins Sprint Race in Bahrain