Frederik Vesti claims his fifth win of the FIA Formula 2 season in 2023 to keep his championship hopes alive with only three races to go.
After a scary crash for Ralph Boschung last time out, he started the Sprint on reverse grid pole position ahead of Richard Verschoor .
A huge lock-up going into Turn 1 for Boschung allowed Verschoor and Vesti to battle for the lead. Vesti eventually came out ahead but the duel came to a pause when the Safety Car came out to recover Amaury Cordeel’s Virtuosi.
Meanwhile, championship leader, Théo Pourchaire made contact with Jak Crawford going into Turn 1 after a difficult start. The stewards reviewed the incident but decided that no further action would be taken.
Cordeel found himself out of the race after being spun round by Zane Maloney on the opening lap. Maloney continued in 20th without damage.
The man who started sixth, Victor Martins, made his way up to second place on Lap 12 with an extremely brave and late move on Verschoor going into the Rettifilo Chicane.
A second Safety Car was brought out for a stricken Roy Nissany. The PHM driver spun at the second chicane, forcing him to retire from the Sprint.
Third in the standings, Ayumu Iwasa pulled into the pits with a mechanical issue on Lap 13. The DAMS mechanics took the engine cover off the car to try and pin-point the issue but Iwasa eventually got out of the car to retire.
The Safety Car restart lit the spark for the battle for the lead. Martins got the gap to around half a tenth of a second throughout the majority of the closing laps.
Vesti resorted to weaving on the straight to attempt to break to toe. Martins set the fastest lap on the last tour of the Sprint Race but it wasn’t enough to defy Vesti and PREMA from victory.
His Sprint Race win gave him a five point gain, closing the gap to Pourchaire to just nine points with only tomorrow’s Feature Race and Abu Dhabi left to go this season.
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited