Drugovich wins Safety Car-free F2 feature race

Formula 2

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Felipe Drugovich won the Formula 2 feature race from pole in which all 27 laps were spent under green flag – the first uninterrupted session in Jeddah.

Drugovich had taken pole during Friday’s red flag-disrupted qualifying session, with Richard Verschoor lining up alongside him on the front row. Marcus Armstrong took third and Ralph Boschung, frustrated during qualifying, started fourth. Clement Novalak was placed under investigation for an unsafe release when drivers went out for the formation lap.

After drivers initially lined up on the grid, the first start attempt was aborted with drivers sent around for another formation lap. There was no obvious cause, such as a stalled car on the grid, for the aborted start but when cars returned to the grid, they got away cleanly at the second time of asking.

Drugovich held the lead, Verschoor staying in second and Armstrong in third. Boschung lost out to Lawson in the first three corners, who claimed fourth. Lawson was able to then pass Armstrong for third, the two following inches apart down the pit straight at the start of the second lap.

On lap seven Theo Pourchaire’s car slowed completely, struggling back to the pits on low power. However, Pourchaire was able to get the ailing ART back to the pits and avoid any Safety Car intervention.

Boschung seemed to be fading rapidly having started on the soft tyres as he was forced down to eighth by Dennis Hauger. Jehan Daruvala, who had started 14th, was the first driver into the pits, followed by leader Drugovich on lap nine, both switching from soft to hard tyres.

Lawson suffered a disastrous pit stop on lap 11, stopping at the end of the pits with a loose wheel and ending his race, the second retirement of the day. Lawson was summoned to the stewards for the unsafe release, along with Novalak.

Drivers largely settled into a rhythm after the initial pit stops, except that Daruvala was able to continue his charge up the pack. He passed Armstrong on lap 19 and continued to move forward as drivers on the alternate strategy took their pit stops.

Hauger was one of the last drivers to pit, coming in on lap 23 and re-emerging in eighth while Jack Doohan left it a further two laps, only coming out with three laps remaining. Following his pit stop and the switch to soft tyres, Doohan set the fastest lap of the race and sealed the bonus point available for it by managing to stay in ninth.

Frederik Vesti spun exiting turn one on the final lap, but as most cars had passed him his ART only brought out a brief local yellow flag, rather than a Safety Car.

Drugovich had pulled out a 2.3 second lead over Verschoor by the final few turns, coming across the line comfortably ahead and Verschoor holding a 15.3 second lead over Daruvala behind.

Drugovich now leads the championship, after former leaders Lawson and Pourchaire failed to finish the race. Formula 2 next races at Imola on the weekend of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in late April.

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Formula 2 Saudi Arabia race one results

111Felipe Drugovich
220Richard Verschoor
32Jehan Daruvala
424Jake Hughes
57Marcus Armstrong
61Dennis Hauger
717Ayumu Iwasa
816Roy Nissany
93Jack Doohan
108Juri Vips
1122Enzo Fittipaldi
126Logan Sargeant
1321Calan Williams
1412Clement Novalak
1515Ralph Boschung
1614Olli Caldwell
174Marino Sato
DNF9Frederik Vesti
DNF5Liam Lawson
2010Theo Pourchaire

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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2 comments on “Drugovich wins Safety Car-free F2 feature race”

  1. I hope Drugovich (and MP) can keep this all season, it would be awesome to see a driver outside of academies win the championship for a midfield team. He’s definitely F1 material.

    1. Fully agree! Let’s hope he keeps his consistency now

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