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F2 Weekend Report: Austria 2024

The feature race podium - Gabriel Bortoleto, Isack Hadjar and Franco Colapinto Photo Credit: @formula2

Last weekend in Austria saw an action-packed Formula 2 weekend! It started with qualifying where MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger sealed his second Pole Position of the season after a close battle with AIX Racing’s Joshua Duerksen. Hauger completed a lap of 1:15.487 to lead Duerksen by just 0.008s, as Invicta Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto rounded out the top three, a tenth away from the pole position time.


Sprint Race

Ollie Bearman celebrates his win at the Red Bull Ring. Photo Credit: @Formula2

British driver Oliver Bearman, who will be making the jump up to F1 next year with Haas, took victory in the Spielberg Sprint Race, putting in a controlled performance to hold off Campos Racing’s Josep María Martí, and claiming his first win of the season. The PREMA Racing driver took the lead at the start and led every lap of the race before taking the chequered flag in P1. Martí was forced to settle for second while Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Paul Aron took the final spot on the podium.

 

It was a superb start for Bearman as he took the lead from pole-sitter Kush Maini on the run up to Turn 1. The Invicta Racing driver then lost another place to Martí later in the lap. By end of Lap 3, Bearman was over two seconds clear of Martí.


It was a clean and uneventful sprint race in Austria with only a handful of overtakes. Martí was able to close the gap to Bearman periodically throughout the race but by the time the final lap came he was once again two seconds behind!

“Happy to be back on the podium, it’s been a tough run so far, so I’m happy to finally get a result that the team deserve. We’ve been working really hard, and we are getting towards where we want to be, so let’s go get some good points tomorrow.” – Oliver Bearman

Feature Race

It was Gabriel Bortoleto who put in a commanding performance to take his first Formula 2 victory in an exciting Spielberg Feature Race. The Invicta Racing driver took the lead from AIX Racing’s Joshua Duerksen early on before managing his pace and tyres well to take the win ahead of a flying MP Motorsport car of Franco Colapinto in second and Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar.

 

The drama of the feature race started even before the lights had gone out as pole-sitter Dennis Hauger stalled at the start of the formation lap. Kush Maini and Jak Crawford also stalled forcing the trio to start from the pitlane. This left Duerksen as the lead car on the grid, and he made a fast start ahead of Bortoleto with Colapinto in third and Championship leader Paul Aron fourth.

 

Gabriel Bortoleto with Brazilian former F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi Photo Credit: @Formula2

The start of the race was dramatic with a number of overtakes taking place early on with the drivers on soft tires struggling against people with supersofts. On lap 6, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed with Zane Maloney stopping on track. After his Rodin Motorsport car was cleared, racing resumed with a number of Supersoft runners then pitting for the Softs.

 

Those who came in included Martí, Duerksen, Bortoleto, Taylor Barnard, Richard Verschoor and Andrea Kimi Antonelli who stalled in the pit lane, dropping him to the back of the field after a good start from P16 which had moved him into P10. Aron was then handed a 5-second time penalty for changing directions multiple times under braking in his earlier battle with Hadjar.

 

Despite a number of efforts from drivers there was no catching Bortoleto. The rest of the race consisted of clean overtakes and battles between drivers but when the chequered flag waved it was Bortoleto who crossed the line to take his first Formula 2 victory. Colapinto took P2 ahead of Hadjar, with Martí in fourth and Fittipaldi in fifth. Aron’s penalty dropped him to P6 ahead of Duerksen and Amaury Cordeel, with Taylor Barnard in P9 and Zak O’Sullivan rounding out the points P10 for ART Grand Prix.

“P1 today in the Feature Race, so happy, it’s a special track for me. I always have good memories here, and finally I could get my first Formula 2 win. I’m super super happy, thanks to the team, McLaren and everyone that supported and helped me get on the biggest step on the podium today.” - Gabriel Bortoleto
Gabriel Bortoleto after winning the F2 feature race. Photo Credit: @Formula2

Formula 2 will be back for the final part of the triple header with the weekend at Silverstone. Franco Colapinto will drive FP1 with Williams F1 while ack Doohan will be in the Alpine, both getting their chance to impress the teams with seats available next year, but who will be the victor at the British Grand Prix?

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