Pourchaire claims dominant win after first-lap crash eliminates rivals

Formula 2

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Théo Pourchaire comfortably won the Formula 2 feature race in Bahrain to lead the championship after the season’s opening weekend.

He crossed the line 19 seconds ahead of Ralph Boschung, yesterday’s sprint race winner, who took second place. Zane Maloney, who started 18th, joined both drivers on the podium. Boschung and Maloney both benefitted from a lap one collision which put many front-runners out of the race.

Pourchaire lined up in pole after clinching it by an emphatic margin of seven tenths of a second in qualifying. The ART driver made the perfect start, but chaos broke out behind him on the opening lap.

Vesti lunged down the inside of turn four and sent Verschoor into a spin, while Stanek and Martins were affected in the aftermath. Verschoor was the only one of the four to continue the race. The stewards will investigate the incident after the race.

Amid the collision, several drivers rose up the order. Kush Maini rose from fifth to second while Oliver Bearman initially gained nine positions to take third. However Boschung, who avoided the turn four carnage and emerged in fourth, then passed Bearman at turn 10, having moved up seven places in a single lap.

The collision left large gaps in the field but those were swiftly closed as the Safety Car was inevitable deployed. On the lap three restart, Boschung immediately gained another position as he overtook team-mate Maini down the inside of turn one for second place.

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Pourchaire pitted from the lead to make his mandatory pit stop on lap 13. Boschung came in the next time around, but lost more time through his in- and out-laps, and Pourchaire’s advantage swelled from one second to 10, leaving him in an unchallenged lead.

On lap 19, Boschung was joined by team mate Maini in the top three after Arthur Leclerc made a mistake. The Ferrari junior locked up at turn 10 and went wide on the exit which suddenly put him under threat. Maini completed his overtake on the inside of turn 11.

Leclerc slipped up again on the following lap. This time he locked up at turn one which caused him to lose two positions to Bearman and Ayumu Iwasa, who took fourth and fifth respectively.

It was a tough race for Leclerc, who locked up again at turn 10 on lap 25. That handed sixth to Maloney, who continued to progress through the field. The next time around Maloney overtook Iwasa for fifth, and took fourth from Bearman soon after. On the penultimate lap, he got into the podium positions by overtaking Maini down the inside of turn one.

Up front, an untroubled Pourchaire crossed the line 19 seconds ahead of Boschung with Maloney in third. Maini finished fourth ahead of Verschoor, Leclerc, Isack Hadjar, Iwasa, Enzo Fittipaldi, while Juan Manuel Correa rounded up the top 10.

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Formula 2 Bahrain race two results

15Théo PourchaireART
225Ralph BoschungCampos
33Zane MaloneyRodin Carlin
424Kush MainiCampos
522Richard VerschoorVan Amersfoort
612Arthur LeclercDAMS
710Isack HadjarHitech
811Ayumu IwasaDAMS
94Enzo FittipaldiRodin Carlin
1023Juan Manuel CorreaVan Amersfoort
1116Roy NissanyPHM Racing by Charouz
129Jak CrawfordHitech
1321Clément NovalakTrident
148Ollie BearmanPrema
1515Amaury CordeelVirtuosi
1614Jack DoohanVirtuosi
172Jehan DaruvalaMP
1817Brad BenavidesPHM Racing by Charouz
191Dennis HaugerMP
206Victor MartinsART
217Frederik VestiPrema
DNFRoman StaněkTrident

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Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...

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3 comments on “Pourchaire claims dominant win after first-lap crash eliminates rivals”

  1. I’m astonished by Doohan (lack of) pace, he was one of my favorites alongside Pourchaire. Even if Virtuosi come back next rounds it doesn’t looks good for them.

    Really impressive race craft by Maloney, he had almost the same pace as Fittipaldi the entire weekend, but at the crucial point he made the right call to push, that’s the kind of agressiveness Helmut likes to see.

    I said to some people the time rookies win F2 straight aways has came to an end, so much talent staked right now.

  2. Excellent from Pourchaire, but the driver of the day for me has to be Verschoor – Knocked to the back and out-of-sync with the stops, and with a damaged car, his pace was fantastic at the end.

  3. Pourchaire was unbelievable. He needs to dominate F2 this year and it’s looking even more likely now.

    Verschoor, Maloney, and Boschung were impressive as well. Disappointing to see Bearman collapse at the end but I think he’ll be back.

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