Pourchaire Dominates F2 Bahrain Opener, Maloney Podium From P18
Theo Pourchaire dominated the first feature race of the Formula 2 season in Bahrain, winning by over 19 seconds ahead of Ralph Boschung. Zane Maloney made a remarkable climb from P18 to secure the final podium spot, while a collision on the first lap caused several drivers to drop out of the top ten.
Theo Pourchaire, a driver from the Sauber Academy, exhibited an impressive performance by securing a decisive victory in the initial feature race of the Formula 2 season held in Bahrain. He finished more than nineteen seconds ahead of Ralph Boschung, who secured the second position.
Zane Maloney, driving for Carlin, managed to avoid the commotion in the midfield and impressively climbed up the rankings from his starting position of P18 to clinch the last spot on the podium. However, Victor Martins, Richard Verschoor, Dennis Hauger, and Frederik Vesti were involved in a collision at Turn 4 during the first lap, causing them to drop out of the top ten.
Starting from the pole position, Theo Pourchaire had a self-assured beginning, maintaining his lead at the forefront of the race. Meanwhile, Kush Maini quickly ascended to the second position by overtaking both Dennis Hauger and Richard Verschoor on Turn 1.
Richard Verschoor, who drives for Van Amersfoort Racing, spun out of control at Turn 4 after colliding with Frederik Vesti. As a result of this incident, there was further contact between Roman Stanek of Trident and Victor Martins.
In the meantime, Ralph Boschung and Oliver Bearman capitalized on the confusion and disorder caused by the earlier incident. They managed to avoid the commotion and moved up to the third and fourth positions, respectively, while the other drivers in the top-ten struggled with each other around Turn 4. Zane Maloney also made an impressive jump up the order and secured a place in the top ten.
Richard Verschoor had to make a pit stop but was able to resume racing on the following lap. On the other hand, Victor Martins, Roman Stanek, and Frederik Vesti were forced to retire from the race due to the damage caused by the collision. While Dennis Hauger also seemed to have retired initially, he eventually returned to the track six laps down.
The collision triggered a safety car period that lasted until the fourth lap of the race. When the race resumed, Ralph Boschung, who is teammates with Kush Maini at Campos Racing, quickly attempted to overtake Maini for the second position.
Ralph Boschung, who was aiming for his second win of the weekend, managed to pass Kush Maini, who was on the soft tyre, and swiftly caught up to the race leader Theo Pourchaire. Meanwhile, Hadrien David Hadjar began to make progress, overtaking both Zane Maloney and Enzo Fittipaldi to secure the sixth position.
By lap 11, the first round of scheduled pit stops had begun, with Jehan Daruvala being the first to make the call, followed by Charles Leclerc and Jack Doohan. They all switched to the soft compound tyre, with 21 laps remaining in the race. This prompted Ayumu Iwasa, Oliver Bearman, and Enzo Fittipaldi to follow suit and make the same switch a lap later.
However, both Daruvala and Doohan were later given a 5-second time penalty, with Daruvala being penalized for speeding in the pit-lane, and Doohan for a pit-lane infringement.
Meanwhile, the race leader, Theo Pourchaire, had managed to increase his lead over Ralph Boschung, who was on the hard compound tyre. Pourchaire then pitted for the soft compound tyre after locking up, while Boschung continued to race on the circuit before eventually pitting on lap 15 to switch to the hard compound tyre.
As the race progressed, the battle for the third position heated up once again. Charles Leclerc made an attempt to overtake Oliver Bearman on Turn 1, while Kush Maini tried and failed to make a move on Bearman on the way to Turn 4.
However, Maini eventually managed to pass Bearman with the help of DRS and overtook Leclerc one lap later to secure the third position. Leclerc’s chances of remaining in the battle were diminished on lap 20 when he locked up and ran wide into the run-off area at Turn 10, dropping down to sixth place behind Ayumu Iwasa.
As the race progressed towards the end, Ayumu Iwasa and Oliver Bearman were engaged in a battle for the fourth position, while Charles Leclerc struggled with his lock-up issues once again, dropping to the seventh position.
Zane Maloney managed to make a move on the inside of Turn 10 to secure the fourth position by lap 27, quickly pulling away from Bearman. However, Bearman continued to defend his position, holding off both Leclerc and Iwasa behind him. Eventually, Leclerc was able to overtake Iwasa and began to pursue Bearman, who was just three-tenths of a second ahead in the fifth position.
In the second half of the race, Theo Pourchaire continued to widen the gap between himself and Ralph Boschung, extending his lead to over 13 seconds by lap 26 and eventually crossing the finish line with a lead of more than 19 seconds to claim the win.
Zane Maloney, who had fought his way up from the 18th position, managed to secure the final podium spot by passing Kush Maini with the help of DRS on the pit-straight.
Oliver Bearman, who had been struggling with grip issues in the final stages of the race, was overtaken by several drivers in the last few laps and eventually dropped out of the points, falling to the 14th position after locking up into the run-off area at Turn 1.
In the end, Ralph Boschung finished in second place, followed by Zane Maloney, Kush Maini, Richard Verschoor, Charles Leclerc, and Ayumu Iwasa, while Oliver Bearman dropped to the 14th position.
The final classification of the race after 32 laps.
|1||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1h01m10.926s|
|2||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||+19.666s|
|4||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||+38.789s|
|7||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+46.456s|
|10||Juan Manuel Correa||VAR||+51.837s|
|11||Roy Nissany||PHM by Charouz||+52.939s|
|12||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||+53.329s|
|15||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||+1m00.968s|
|16||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||+1m05.204s|
|17||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||+1m06.463s|
|18||Brad Benavides||PHM by Charouz||+1m33.235s|
|Ret||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport|
|Ret||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix|
Pourchaire Dominates F2 Bahrain Pourchaire Dominates F2 Bahrain Pourchaire Dominates F2 Bahrain
- MORE FORMULA 2!
- Boschung claims long-awaited first F2 win in Bahrain Sprint Race
- Pourchaire secures pole for F2 opener
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