Maloney makes history with double win in F2 season-opener

Formula 2

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Sauber junior driver Zane Maloney staked his claim to the Formula 2 title by opening the season with a pair of victories in Bahrain.

Maloney never looked under pressure throughout today’s feature race as he controlled proceedings to win for the second time in two days. He is the first driver in the 20-year history of current-era Formula 2 and its predecessor GP2 to open a season with back-to-back wins.

Pepe Marti finished second for Campos with Paul Aron third in his Hitech, despite receiving a five-second post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Front row starters Gabriel Bortoleto and Isack Hadjar opted for hard tyres to start the race, but Maloney leapt ahead of the pair of them off the line with his softs. As they rounded turn one, Bortoleto tagged the rear of Hadjar’s Campos at the apex, sending him into a spin, after which he was collected by Enzo Fittipaldi, putting both out of the race.

Maloney led after the Safety Car restart from Zak O’Sullivan, Dennis Hauger and Bortoleto, who was handed a 10-second time penalty by the stewards for hitting Hadjar.

After 19 laps in the lead, Maloney pitted to swap his soft tyres for hard rubber. However the Safety Car reappeared soon afterwards: Victor Martins pulled off track when his ART appeared to shut down at turn one.

At the restart Maloney held onto the lead, with Marti and Aron passing Zak O’Sullivan to move into the podium places. Maloney checked off the laps to win by just under five seconds from Marti as Aron pulled just far enough ahead of O’Sullivan to cancel the effect of his penalty.

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O’Sullivan therefore had to settle for fourth place, with Bortoleto in fifth and Franco Colapinto sixth. Kush Maini, who originally qualified on pole position before being disqualified for a technical infringement, recovered from last to take seventh after starting from the back.

The final points places were occupied by Hauger in eighth, Ritomo Miyata ninth and Mercedes junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli taking his first point in tenth after a difficult weekend for Prema.

After the first of 14 double-header rounds, Maloney leads the standings on 36 points, 12 ahead of Marti and Aron a further five behind.

Formula 2 Bahrain race two results

15Zane MaloneyRodin
221Josep Maria MartiCampos
317Paul AronHitech
42Zak O’SullivanART
510Gabriel BortoletoInvicta
612Franco ColapintoMP Motorsport
79Kush MainiInvicta
811Dennis HaugerMP Motorsport
96Ritomo MiyataRodin
104Andrea Kimi AntonelliPrema
1124Joshua DuerksenPHM
1215Rafael VillagomezVan Amersfoort
1323Roman StanekTrident
1422Richard VerschoorTrident
153Ollie BearmanPrema
1625Taylor BarnardPHM
DNF1Victor MartinsART
DNF7Jak CrawfordDAMS
DNF16Amaury CordeelHitech
DNF8Juan Manuel CorreaDAMS
DNF20Isack HadjarCampos
DNF14Enzo FittipaldiVan Amersfoort

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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One comment on “Maloney makes history with double win in F2 season-opener”

  1. Hehe.
    *nudge nudge*

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