More mixed weather spiced up things at Round 8 and provided an extra challenge to the field. We look at each driver’s performance and give ratings out of 5 stars.
We try to be fair to the drivers and rate a 5 as the perfect weekend, 1 and 2 as room for improvement. 3 would be considered a weekend with some positives and a 4 as a good performance. As we know, in F2, a huge amount can change between races and rounds.
Dennis Hauger *****
Once again, qualifying was the central point of his weekend. Starting fifteenth, there was not much he could do to salvage points. He recovered into the top ten in the Sprint Race and, with some changes due to penalties, then finished fourth in the Feature Race, so he achieved more than he could have hoped for on Friday. However, his focus will be to secure better starting grid spots.
Jehan Daruvala *****
Zero points around the Red Bull Ring and a championship challenge which looks to be fading away, more because of his recent trend than for the gap to the leader. He had no answer for a much quicker Verschoor during the Feature Race, despite his and his team’s abundant experience.
Jack Doohan *****
To stand on the podium the week after his maiden F2 win served to prove how that was no fluke; unfortunately, his pace during the Feature Race was nowhere near as good as it should have been and he finished last on the road.
Marino Sato *****
On a race weekend where the pecking order was shaken up by the weather, Sato and other backmarkers had the opportunity to claim a better result than they are used to. Unlike in Baku, Sato could not manage it this time.
Liam Lawson *****
Lawson appears to be frustrated at the lost chance to fight for the championship, and makes too many small errors that cost him week in, week out. He only qualified fourteenth, stalled on the Sprint Race grid and later retired. He had been running well in the first half of the Feature Race but eventually dropped to tenth after collecting two penalties for track limits.
Logan Sargeant *****
Sargeant is arguably the driver in best form on the grid at the moment, and in Austria he showed that by qualifying a fine third, scoring a few points in the Sprint Race and driving a masterful Feature Race to win – after Verschoor’s penalty – despite being on the least effective strategy.
Marcus Armstrong *****
Despite being beaten in qualifying by Vips, Armstrong’s tenth place served him well to start on reverse pole and take the win in commanding fashion. In the Feature Race a minor mistake triggered a chain reaction which saw him out of contention on the first lap.
Juri Vips *****
The Estonian missed out on pole by the slimmest of margins, and showed determination in the Feature Race to take the lead off Vesti. After his pit stop he wasn’t as brilliant, and was passed by several drivers on his way to eighth. The Sprint Race went better, as he recovered four positions to finish fifth.
Frederik Vesti *****
Vesti’s qualifying performances have become so good that in Austria he scored his first pole position. He earned a penalty for track limits in the Feature Race but he simply lacked some pace in both races, as he did not score in either.
Theo Pourchaire *****
The Sprint Race’s reverse grid saved Pourchaire’s weekend after yet another bad qualifying session, but in the Feature Race he had no pace and failed to capitalise on Drugovich’s poor performance.
Felipe Drugovich *****
The championship leader is now in his longest winless streak this season, but again he somehow salvaged an excellent result with P4 in the Sprint Race. In the Feature Race he unexplicably dropped to last at one point but then recovered to eleventh: without that lap, he could have scored many more points.
Clément Novalak *****
Double stacking behind his team mate in the Feature Race led to him being lapped and the race was done and dusted for him, but his pace during the whole weekend was again unsatisfactory.
Olli Caldwell *****
Finally, at his twenty-second race in F2, points. Although Caldwell was easily shown the way by returnee Roberto Merhi, he scored an excellent sixth place in the Feature Race while keeping his cool on a slippery surface and resisting, for several laps, to Hughes’ pressure.
Roberto Merhi *****
Out-qualified his team mate on his return after four years of absence. He was a little rusty in the Sprint Race, when he collected a penalty for track limits, but pulled off a sensational drive in the Feature Race to go from nineteenth to second on track. A disputed penalty dropped him down the order, but subsequent penalties to other drivers promoted him to third, the same result he had achieved at his previous last F2 race in 2018.
Roy Nissany *****
Nissany returned to the points for the first time since Spain, but underperformed compared to his team mate.
Ayumu Iwasa *****
The Japanese driver’s pace on track is not well reflected in the results he achieved, with a seventh place as his best result from the weekend.
Richard Verschoor *****
A brave decision to start on slicks saw him take the lead of the Feature Race just a few laps in. He never looked under threat despite having the experienced Daruvala’s Prema behind him, and crossed the line first. His disqualification was unfortunate but his performance remains as impressive.
Calan Williams *****
It’s now a few weekends that Williams is not performing at the level he previously had been. More is certainly possible for the Australian, especially as Trident show that, at times, they can become a serious threat to the other teams for podiums.
Enzo Fittipaldi *****
Another podium for the consistent Brazilian after a composed Feature Race, which is especially relevant considering he started twelfth.
Cem Bölükbasi *****
In the end, a weekend to forget for the rookie, even though he showed some promise while running in the midfield during the first part of the Sprint Race, having qualified thirteenth. He then dropped down the order and retired in the Feature Race after contact on lap 1.
Jake Hughes *****
VAR can count on Hughes to get points when the chance arises, and the Briton did just that with five points in the Feature Race thanks to the winning strategy of starting on slick tyres.
Amaury Cordeel ******
Cordeel probably had his best weekend performance-wise this season, running right behind his team mate for several laps before two pit stops put him out of contention for points. However, he received four penalty points in the Sprint Race alone. Now, if he could perform as well as he did this weekend while keeping out of trouble, that would be an important achievement…
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited