After a rained off Saturday Sprint race, that saw nobody score any points, all the drivers were pinning their chance for points on the feature race. Doohan was looking to continue his late season charge, Prema's Fredrik Vesti who started 3rd was looking to take the Championship lead back from former ART Racing team mate Theo Pourchaire plus Ollie Bearman & Victor Martins needed to score well to keep themselves in with a chance of the Championship.
But Zandvoort had different ideas for all of them in what turned out to be an incredible race of 2 very different halves.
Feature Race @ Zandvoort- Very Damp Track
Pourchaire had made good in all the chaos of the rolling start and got himself up to 6th and when the safety car came in on lap 3 and the 2nd rolling start took place it was a much cleaner 1st lap with just Iwasa going for a big move on Maini finding himself off the track at turn 1. Lap 6 and the pitstops start, the 4 cars who gambled on rain and started on the full wets were the first cars in, quickly followed by the dry tyre runners with degradation higher than expected.
As the dry tyre runners started to pit Pourchaire saw his chance to gain another position by leap frogging Hadjar in the pits, which he did, despite almost crashing into the Redbull Academy driver at the pit entry.
Racing resumed on lap 17 and a brilliant move around the outside of turn 1 by Maloney on Crawford put him up to 2nd, but it wouldn't be Formula 2 with out restart drama and after fighting from the restart Bearman & Martins came together at the exit of turn 3 were Martins ran Bearman off the road and into a wall, earning himself a 10 second grid penalty, the incident put Bearman out of the race while Martins continued in 5th.
Local man Vershoor had a strong finish to catch up with the front 3 and finish 4th, Martins brought the car home in 5th but after his penalty was applied he finished 9th. Iwasa didnt have such a strong finish almost crashing out at the last corner of the last lap, by tapping the wall with the finish line in sight.
So the only man in the top 6 of the Championship standing to score any points this weekend was Martins, and with the races left in 2023 rapidly running out the hunt for points at Monza will be a desperate one. Its not possible to predict the next 10 seconds in Formula 2 let alone 10 days but we look forward to a seriously close battle for the title in the driver and team standings.
Sunday Feature Race Result
Writer @ F1 Journal