Pourchaire wins F2 title in dramatic Feature Race

Theo Pourchaire won the FIA Formula 2 Championship for ART at the end of a superb season.

The Frenchman won just one race all year but was ultra-consistent in 2023. 

Frederik Vesti finished third, behind Victor Martins but just fell short of the championship.

Jack Doohan took a superb victory in the Feature Race in Abu Dhabi.

The Australian led the field into Turn 1 from pole position. 

Kush Maini utilised the extra grip of his soft tyres to pass Martins and take second place. 

Both title contenders Vesti and Pourchaire survived the opening lap. 

The PREMA driver began on the mediums and tried to make the alternate tyre strategy pay off.

The championship leader Pourchaire started on the soft tyres and found himself in P11, gaining three places in the opening four laps.

Doohan started the race on the soft tyre and critically cleared the one second DRS window to Maini.

Six laps into the 33-lap race, Vesti continued to pile on the pressure to MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger in P7. 

Ayumu Iwasa and Pourchaire dived into the  with 27 laps to go to switch to the more durable medium tyres. 

Maini elected to get rid of his soft tyres as well as Ollie Bearman and Red Bull Junior Jak Crawford.

Pourchaire made light work of Bearman after the Ferrari junior exited the pits. 

Making the pass with a textbook move down the inside at Turn 6.

Race leader Doohan pushed his first stint slightly longer than his rivals, pitting 10 laps into the race in his final F2 event.

Vesti found himself in second place as he ran the medium tyre and was shadowed by Dutchman Richard Verschoor.

A third of the way through the race, Martins held the led with a comfortable margin over Vesti and Verschoor.

Martins found himself being reeled on by his nearest challenger Vesti, who was consistently quicker than the Frenchman.

Franco Colapinto suffered mechanical trouble halfway through the race, which forced him to retire in the pit lane. 

Bearman ground to a halt a lap later with an engine issue, and jumped out of the car in the pit lane.

The Ferrari juniors car was stuck in gear, meaning the marshals couldn’t push the PREMA out of the way of the pit lane entry. 

Zane Maloney’s assured drive continued as he pressured his fellow Red Bull junior Iwasa for eighth place.

Vesti pitted for the soft tyres with 10 laps to go and rejoined in P9, critically behind his title rival Pourchaire.

Iwasa continued to resist the Bajan who tried every trick in the book to get past for P4.

Martins copied Vesti and pitted one lap later for the red sidewalled soft tyre. 

Vesti got past his title rival with a daring move into Turn 6 but lost the position at Turn 9.

Maini got caught in the middle of the title battle and was quickly past by both contenders in the final sector.

Vesti eventually squeezed past his rival into Turn 9, taking P5 which wasn’t enough for the title.

Third place was relinquished by Iwasa as Maloney drove underneath the Japanese driver at Turn 9.

The DAMS driver’s difficult end to the race was compounded with four laps to go, as he was passed by Vesti.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed moments after the Danish driver improved to fourth, as Joshua Mason retired.

The VSC was removed 31 laps into the race, and Pourchaire sat in P6 and closed in on the Formula 2.

Vesti muscled his way past Maloney on the last lap, making minor contact with the Rodin Carlin driver at Turn 9, forcing his rival into a spin.

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVER STANDINGS

PosDriverTeamPointsVar PosVar Lead
1POURCHAIREART GP203
2VESTIPREMA192-11
3DOOHANVIRTUOSI168-24-35
4IWASADAMS165-3-38
5MARTINSART GP150-15-53
6BEARMANPREMA130-20-73
7FITTIPALDIRODIN CARLIN124-6-79
8HAUGERMP MOTORSPORT113-11-90
9VERSCHOORVAR108-5-95
10MALONEYRODIN CARLIN96-12-107
11MAINICAMPOS62-34-141
12DARUVALAMP MOTORSPORT59-3-144
13CRAWFORDHITECH GP57-2-146
14HADJARHITECH GP55-2-148
15LECLERCDAMS49-6-154
16BOSCHUNGCAMPOS37-12-166
17NOVALAKTRIDENT28-9-175
18STANEKTRIDENT15-13-188
19CORREAVAR13-2-190
20CORDEELVIRTUOSI8-5-195
21NISSANYPHM RACING0-8-203
22MASONPHM RACING00-203

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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Pourchaire wins F2 title in dramatic Feature Race

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