Verschoor grabs superb win from 11th and dedicates it to ‘my good friend Dilano’

Formula 2

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Richard Verschoor claimed a remarkable victory in the Formula 2 feature race at the Red Bull Ring after making a late charge to the front of the field over the final seven laps.

A day after the death of his fellow Dutch driver Dilano Van ‘T Hoff in a crash at Spa-Francorchamps, Verschoor said he “did it for Dilano”.

Having started a lowly 11th, Verschoor was still only fifth with seven laps to go. He claimed the lead on the penultimate lap to take his first victory for more than a year.

Verschoor was joined on the podium by Ayumu Iwasa and Frederik Vesti in Austria. The Mercedes junior in charge for much of the race until a late Safety Car period brought his rivals back within range.

Victor Martins had the chance to score his second podium of the weekend as he lined up in pole position following his second-place in yesterday’s sprint race. Championship leader Vesti joined him on the front row.

But the Alpine junior made a dreadful start. He was slow off the line, which allowed Vesti to take the lead almost immediately, just seconds before Martins was overtaken by Theo Pourchaire at the opening corner.

Martins then lost another two positions on the second lap. After Jack Doohan overtook Kush Maini for fourth, both drivers moved past Martins on the run into turn four which dropped the pole winner down to fifth.

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Doohan showed strong pace as he closed in on Pourchaire, while Martins overtook Maini for fourth at turn three on lap eight. At the next corner Maini lost another place to Enzo Fittipaldi.

By lap 12 the top four had all made their mandatory pit stops. Vesti held the net lead in ninth ahead of Pourchaire, Doohan and Martins while Fittipaldi inherited first place on-track.

With cars ahead yet to pit, the net leaders progressed through the order and by lap 18 Vesti had moved up to seventh after overtaking Jak Crawford and later Isack Hadjar.

While Vesti progressed quickly, the drivers in the battle for net second found it more difficult. By lap 24 Vesti had moved up to fifth, yet Pourchaire and Doohan were both tight in battle running eighth and ninth.

Then on the following lap, the Alpine junior overtook Pourchaire for a net second place on the inside of turn three to take eighth on-track. By lap 27, more drivers had pitted, but the next incident proved a crucial moment of the race.

Arthur Leclerc’s DAMS team struggled to fit the rear-right tyre properly during his pit stop. The loose tyre later flew off suddenly at turn four, which caused Leclerc to stop on the grass going into turn five.

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A Virtual Safety Car period was called at first, which would have prevented drivers from pitting, but when this became a full Safety Car period many drivers used the opportunity to make their mandatory pit-stop. That put Vesti back into the lead ahead of Doohan and Pourchaire.

Vesti managed the lap 33 restart well, but Verschoor in fifth was on a charge. On the freshest tyres, the Van Amersfoort driver passed Martins at turn one then moved into the rostrum places at turn four by passing the other ART car of Pourchaire.

The Sauber junior soon moved down again after Iwasa, also on fresher tyres, overtook him for fourth the following lap. The action was paused by another VSC on lap 35 after Maini retired from the race due to contact with Dennis Hauger at turn one.

The race restarted on lap 36, with the top four drivers within one second of each other. This exhilarating battle saw Verschoor make the first move on lap 38 as he overtook Doohan down the inside of turn four.

Doohan lost another place after Iwasa took third off him down the inside of turn six. The battle then reached its climax on the penultimate lap, where Verschoor made an identical move at turn four to take the lead from Vesti.

Moments later, the Mercedes junior dropped again with Iwasa completing a daring move around the outside of turn seven to claim second. The Red Bull junior then made a bid to take victroy on the final lap, but Verschoor thwarted that attempt.

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Verschoor crossed the line 0.4 seconds ahead of Iwasa, with Vesti a further 1.5 seconds behind. Doohan finished fourth ahead of Oliver Bearman, Fittipaldi, Pourchaire, Crawford and Martins with Jehan Daruvala claiming the final point position in tenth.

But in his moment of triumph, Verschoor’s thoughts turned to yesterday’s sad news. “To be honest, at the moment I can only think about Dilano,” he said. “He was a good friend of mine. I did that for Dilano, today.”

Vesti remains in the lead of the championship, extending his lead over Pourchaire to 20 points. Iwasa stays third on 101 points ahead of Bearman, with Verschoor moving up to seventh on 75.

Formula 2 Austria race two results

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

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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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1 comments on “Verschoor grabs superb win from 11th and dedicates it to ‘my good friend Dilano’”

  1. Pourchaire hype needs to stop if he was the real deal he would be smoking F2 by now he is terrible.

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