Crawford rebounds from early error to claim first Formula 2 win in style

Formula 2

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Jak Crawford won a lively Formula 2 sprint race at the Red Bull Ring, claiming his first victory in the series.

He recovered from a mistake at turn four on the opening lap which left him down in sixth, before climbing back up the order to take victory.

The Red Bull junior driver was joined on the podium by Victor Martins and Clement Novalak, the latter claiming his first top three finish this season.

Following a minute of silence out of respect for Dilano Van ‘T Hoff, who died in a crash at Spa-Francorchamps earlier today, Crawford lined up in pole position on a partially-reversed grid. Jehan Daruvala joined him on the front row, with Arthur Leclerc and Amaury Cordeel directly behind.

But only one of those drivers ended the opening lap still inside the top four. In damp conditions, drivers opted for a mix of slick tyres and wets, and Crawford was among those who made the best start on his untreaded tyres.

Wet tyre runner Leclerc jumped Daruvala, who joined Cordeel in tumbling down the order. Two of the big gainers at the start were championship rivals Theo Pourchaire and Frederik Vesti who climbed into the top five after starting eighth and ninth respectively.

Further ahead Leclerc was hunting down Crawford. His first attack was thwarted at turn three, but the Ferrari junior completed his overtake at the following corner, going down the inside as Crawford slid wide.

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Moments later, Jack Doohan went into the gravel at the same corner and Daruvala spun out of the race at turn seven. All of this allowed Pourchaire and Vesti to climb into the top three, but they were soon out of the points on lap two.

After a Safety Car period was called due to Daruvala’s retirement, many of the wet tyre runners used the opportunity to pit for slicks. One of the few who did not was race leader Leclerc.

The DAMS driver managed the lap four restart well, but then another safety car period was almost immediately called after Richard Verschoor, running second, spun into the barrier after using the kerb at turn one’s exit.

Leclerc used this next opportunity to switch to slicks, but the team struggled to fit his rear-right tyre and the slow pit stop dropped him out of the points. It all put Crawford back into the lead, and he led the lap seven restart ahead of Juan Manuel Correa and Zane Maloney.

But the pack was very tightly bunched at the restart, with up to six drivers vying for third at turn three. Maloney was soon swallowed up and he dropped down the order.

Martins benefitted as he went into third, with the Alpine junior showing strong pace as he gained another position. On lap 14, he overtook Correa for second at turn three with Crawford two seconds down the road.

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But it didn’t take long before Correa was forced into more defending. On lap 17, he fended off Novalak at turn four but Correa couldn’t hold on for long as he lost third the next lap at turn three.

Yet he suddenly dropped down again that lap as Isack Hadjar, who had risen from 21st on the grid, overtook Correa for fourth.

Moments later, the race was neutralised by a Virtual Safety Car. Enzo Fittipaldi, running 20th, had been pushed into the grass by Kush Maini on the run-in to turn four which caused the Red Bull junior to spin into the barrier.

Crawford managed the lap 19 restart well as his race lead never dropped below two-seconds to Martins. Drivers in the midfield continued to jostle back-and-forth for positions as Crawford’s lead remained unchallenged to take the victory by 2.2 seconds.

Hadjar came home in fourth, ahead of Correa, Roman Stanek and Dennis Hauger, as Doohan rounded completed the points places.

The result leaves Vesti still in the championship lead on 110 points ahead of Pourchaire on 99. Ayumu Iwasa, who finished 13th today, is third.

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Formula 2 Austria race one results

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

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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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2 comments on “Crawford rebounds from early error to claim first Formula 2 win in style”

  1. Jockey Ewing
    1st July 2023, 17:42

    Interesting. No one scored from the top4 drivers in the championship.
    Actually only Hauger and Martins scored from the top10 of the driver’s
    standings. It is worthy to check on the results and standingds section
    of the Wikipedia page of the F2 2023 season, a rare sight :)

  2. I like what I am seeing from Victor Martins. He has genuine pace and could do well in Formula 1.

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