Vesti storms to win as Martins spins victory chance away

Formula 2

Posted on

| Written by

Frederik Vesti became the fourth different winner of the first four Formula 2 races, climbing to victory from sixth on the grid in Jeddah.

The Mercedes junior driver capitalised upon a combination of good strategy by his team and errors by his rivals to climb up the order and take victory by five seconds. Jack Doohan and Jehan Daruvala joined him on the podium.

Victor Martins lined up in pole position aiming to go one better than his second place in the sprint race, scored from 10th on the grid. He was joined on the front row by Oliver Bearman, whose sprint race was cut short after being taken out by Theo Pourchaire.

As the lights went out, Bearman got the better start and took the lead into turn one while Martins held off an attacking Doohan at the opening chicane for second. The race was neutralised on lap two, after Amaury Cordeel hit Brad Benavides at turn one and put the PHM driver out of the race.

Bearman led at the start but his team mate won the race
The resulting Virtual Safety Car period came to an end the following lap. Bearman controlled the restart brilliantly and extended his lead to two seconds. But the pit stop window soon opened and those who started on the super-soft tyre switched to mediums.

Doohan and Vesti were among those to pit on lap seven and the Prema driver jumped the Alpine junior in the pit lane. The front runners then came in the next lap; although Bearman stayed ahead of Martins, it laid the foundations for a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle for the net lead of the race, with cars ahead of them yet to pit.

Martins attempted his first overtaking move on lap 10, but there wasn’t enough space on track for the two drivers. The ART driver went around the outside of turn one but then cut the following corner and was forced to give position back.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

He finally completed his overtake the next lap. Using the slipstream, Martins passed his rival on the start-finish straight, but Bearman tried to fight back at the opening chicane. However, this overtaking attempt caused him to have a poor exit at turn two and Bearman lost a position to team mate Vesti.

Vesti’s only previous F2 win came in Baku last year
Vesti continued his pursuit of Martins, while Bearman lost pace and dropped back. On lap 17 he Bearman lost control and spun at turn 22, losing several positions.

Moments later, Martins did much the same at turn four. The ART driver slewed sideways and came to a stop, his engine cutting out as he tried to rejoinending hopes of a first F2 victory for the reigning Formula 3 champion.

This all profited Vesti who inherited the net lead of the race in fifth, the drivers ahead still yet to pit. Once Arthur Leclerc and his pursuers came in, Vesti assumed first position.

The leaders kept their positions in the closing laps, Doohan rising to second ahead of Daruvala. Behind the podium finishers came Ayumu Iwasa in fourth ahead of Dennis Hauger, Richard Verschoor, Enzo Fittipaldi, Leclerc and Hadjar, while Bearman completed the point-scoring positions.

The result means Ralph Boschung, who finished 19th, keeps the championship lead by one point ahead of Pourchaire. The ART driver who carried a five-place penalty into today’s race could only manage 13th. Yesterday’s sprint race winner Iwasa remains third, while Vesti has moved up to fourth on 28 points, the top four covered by just five points.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Formula 2 Saudi Arabia race two results

Position Car Driver Team
1 7 Frederik Vesti Prema
2 14 Jack Doohan Virtuosi
3 2 Jehan Daruvala MP
4 11 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS
5 1 Dennis Hauger MP
6 22 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort
7 4 Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin
8 12 Arthur Leclerc DAMS
9 10 Isack Hadjar Hitech
10 8 Ollie Bearman Prema
11 16 Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz
12 24 Kush Maini Campos
13 5 Theo Pourchaire ART
14 20 Roman Staněk Trident
15 9 Jak Crawford Hitech
16 21 Clement Novalak Trident
17 3 Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin
18 23 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort
19 25 Ralph Boschung Campos
20 15 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi
DNF 6 Victor Martins ART
DNF Brad Benavides PHM Racing by Charouz

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Formula 2

Browse all Formula 2 articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.