Verschoor wins Austria F2 feature race after slicks gamble pays off

Formula 2

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Richard Verschoor has won the Formula 2 feature race in Austria, having started on slick tyres on a drying track.

Although the track had been drying during the earlier Formula 3 race, drivers mostly chose to start on wet tyres, with some notable exceptions. Verschoor, Jehan Daruvala and Roberto Merhi were the drivers furthest to the front to take the gamble on slicks, which played out completely in their favour over the 40 lap race.

Marcus Armstrong crashed out on the inside of turn three on lap two, prompting a Safety Car period until lap five that saw drivers have to confront a restart on a track no longer suitable for the full-wet tyres. On lap seven the drying track saw Verschoor take the lead while many of those on wets realised it was time to pit.

Jehan Daruvala pitted from second, the first of the slick starting cars to head in, and was able to hold on to the position. He was, however, three and a half seconds behind Verschoor just a few laps later.

A turn three incident between Frederick Vesti and Olli Caldwell was placed under investigation by the stewards for Vesti leaving the track and gaining an advantage, with the ART driver later handed a five-second penalty.

After Saturday’s sprint race included multiple penalties for track limits violations, it was a relatively uncontroversial race on Sunday before the final laps. Jack Doohan, Calan Williams and Liam Lawson were all handed five second penalties for track limits infractions.

Out front, Verschoor extended his lead to nearly eight seconds by lap 36, while Merhi was hunting down Daruvala, having reeled him into DRS range. Merhi passed Daruvala on the final lap but was hit with a five second penalty for exceeding track limits, which would cost him a podium on his return to the series.

Lawson was given a ten second penalty, on top of his previous five second penalty, while Daruvala reclaimed second after Merhi’s penalty. Verschoor saw the chequered flag first, Merhi and Daruvala following behind on track.

Verschoor pulled to the side of the track after the chequered flag, saying “I don’t think I can bring it home.” Merhi ultimately finished fifth, promoting Logan Sargeant to the podium.

Olli Caldwell, who had come close to a race ban in the sprint race, scored his first F2 point finishing tenth. Felipe Drugovich keeps the championship lead, 40 points ahead of Theo Pourchaire.

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Formula 2 Austria race two results

Position Car Driver
1 20 Richard Verschoor
2 2 Jehan Daruvala
3 6 Logan Sargeant
4 22 Enzo Fittipaldi
5 15 Roberto Mehri
6 1 Dennis Hauger
7 24 Jake Hughes
8 14 Olli Caldwell
9 17 Ayumu Iwasa
10 8 Juri Vips
11 16 Roy Nissany
12 5 Liam Lawson
13 11 Felipe Drugovich
14 10 Theo Pourchaire
15 9 Frederik Vesti
16 21 Calan Williams
17 4 Marino Sato
18 12 Clement Novalak
19 25 Amaury Cordeel
20 3 Jack Doohan
DNF 23 Cem Bolukbasi
DNF Marcus Armstrong

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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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7 comments on “Verschoor wins Austria F2 feature race after slicks gamble pays off”

  1. That was a fun race to watch!

    I just wish the stewards were quicker and more clear-cut in their application of the track limit rules.

  2. The track limits issue was just insane in this race. I don’t know what the answer is without modifying the track. Drivers over-shooting turn 1 and straddling the yellow kerbs certainly didn’t seem to be gaining an advantage yet appeared to be getting penalised. Outside of that, the race was fascinating, especially the cross over between wets and slicks. Some great wheel to wheel racing with a dash of clumsiness here and there!

    1. The track limits issue was just insane in this race. I don’t know what the answer is without modifying the track.

      The answer is to do it this way at every track. Every event.
      Be consistent.

      It’s not really about actually gaining a (time/position) advantage, because the advantage in overshooting the track limit is in making the track wider.
      As in – if there was no potential for gain, they wouldn’t be out there.

      1. @S Drivers don’t go off deliberately & going wide at Niki Lauda Curve is automatically slower versus staying on track, given the yellow sausage curb that kills acceleration speed.

        1. Drivers don’t hit the walls at Monaco deliberately either, @jerejj – but it comes with a substantial penalty nevertheless, doesn’t it. It should be no different here.
          The track is clearly defined, and the competition may only take place on the track.
          Anywhere else is against the rules.

          I get that you don’t like the current rules and that’s fine and perfectly respectable – but the rules are the rules, and without them it is not a sport. It is that requirement to stay within the rules that shows who has the most talent.

      2. Exactly S. They just have to keep this up for a few races to get drivers to get the point and just stay a bit closer to the track instead of letting it drift wide as they have become used to do.

        It does not matter really what is fast or not @jerejj, the thing is that drivers need to get used to having to stay on track again. While there were plenty of guys who did get flags and even penalties the majority of the field dit not. Most of them stopped going over the limit after a few warnings, or never even got those and it did not seem to hurt their speed (did Verstappen get any warnings? Did Ocon get any, or say Magnussen)

    2. Gravel traps certainly seem to help a lot and even on this track places with gravel traps drivers seem to avoid going wide. Also as mentioned above solution to this problem is consistency of penalties from stewards which FIA doesnt seem to learn from MotoGP(far more consistent with track limit infractions).

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