Doohan passes Pourchaire to win as pre-race crash costs Vesti points lead

Formula 2

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Jack Doohan passed Theo Pourchaire to win the Formula 2 feature race at Spa, but the ART driver took the championship lead.

Frederik Vesti lost the lead of the championship for the first time in over two months after he crashed on his reconnaissance lap at Les Combes.

Enzo Fittipaldi completed the podium despite crossing the line in fifth place. He gained two places due to penalties for Victor Martins and Oliver Bearman ahead of him.

Oliver Bearman lined up in pole position but the space alongside him was empty following Vesti’s crash in Prema’s other car. Behind him Pourchaire made an excellent start and stormed down the inside to claim second at turn one.

But the Safety Car was deployed before the first lap of racing was completed. Dennis Hauger spun at the exit of Les Combes after his rear-left tyre was tagged by title hopeful Ayumu Iwasa. The latter retired, and though Hauger resumed following a push-start from the marshals, he was later shown the black flag and disqualified for the illegal restart.

After the race restarted on lap four and Zane Maloney slipped two places from third, Fittipaldi and Martins moving ahead of him. Further ahead, Pourchaire applied pressure on Bearman. The ART driver attempted overtakes into Les Combes for three laps in a row but the Prema driver held on each time.

While Pourchaire remained close behind Bearman their progress was briefly disrupted by a Virtual Safety Car period. This began on lap 12 after Isack Hadjar pitted but he hit a wall at the pit lane exit, damaging his front wing.

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The race resumed on the following lap and the front runners began to pit. Martins and Maloney came in on lap 14, before Bearman and Pourchaire pitted the next tour. This proved decisive, as a slow stop by the Prema crew allowed Pourchaire to pass Bearman in the pit lane.

That gave the Sauber junior the net lead, as he rejoined in sixth. More drivers pitted the following lap, moving Pourchaire up to second behind Doohan, who was yet to pit.

While Bearman was directly behind Pourchaire, Fittipaldi had dropped behind Martins and Maloney on his out-lap but the Alpine junior was given a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

The Safety Car returned on lap 17 after Juan Manuel Correa and Jak Crawford tangled at Les Combes, the latter coming to a stop. This was just what Doohan needed, and he used the opportunity to make his mandatory pit stop and rejoin in second behind Pourchaire. Crucially, he emerged on soft tyres, while his target was on mediums.

At the lap 21 restart, Doohan was on Pourchaire’s tail but the Sauber junior held him back at first. Behind, Martins collided with Bearman at Les Combes when he tried to overtake for third. The Alpine junior was forced into the escape road, and rejoined ahead.

Pourchaire finally succumbed to Doohan’s combination of softer tyres and DRS on lap 23 as they headed down the Kemmel straight. Doohan took the lead with three laps remaining and quickly pulled out a lead of a second.

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Doohan maintained that gap and crossed the line 1.8 seconds ahead of Pourchaire to win in Spa for the second consecutive year. Martins’ pit lane speeding penalty, and Bearman’s identical sanction for tangling with him, meant Fittipaldi inherited third place.

Fittipaldi finished third after five-second penalties for Martins, who came fifth, and Bearman, classified seventh after causing a collision. Maloney was fourth ahead of the penalised Martins, who narrowly beat Richard Verschoor to sixth. After Bearman came Kush Maini, Roman Stanek and Ralph Boschung.

Pourchaire is back in the lead of the championship for the first time since the Baku round in April. He is 12 points ahead of Vesti, with Iwasa still in third 34 points off the lead. Doohan has moved up to fourth and is four points behind Iwasa, while Martins completes the top five.

Formula 2 Belgium race two results

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

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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 “Doohan passes Pourchaire to win as pre-race crash costs Vesti points lead”

  1. These recon laps are proving tricky today! Wonder if we’ll get a full set with someone going off before the GP?

  2. A shame for Hauger. If only the marshals had used a crane.

  3. Doohan’s been more and more impressive with every race. He may have gotten lucky with the SC timing but he took the opportunity well. Not too late for a title challenge maybe?

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