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Race report
FIA F2 Spielberg

F2 Austria: Bortoleto dominates as Campos infighting bites

Gabriel Bortoleto took his first Formula 2 victory in the Austrian feature race

Gabriel Bortoleto, Invicta Racing

Reigning Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto opened his Formula 2 win account with a dominant drive in the Austrian feature race.

The Brazilian had started from the third-place grid slot but quickly established himself in the lead and won the race with a series of hot laps following his pitstop to catch Campos driver Pepe Marti, who had stopped during a brief virtual safety car period.

It was a messy start to things as four drivers stalled when getting going on the formation lap. Among this number was MP Motorsport’s pole-sitting Dennis Hauger, who was forced to start from the pits as a result.

Jushua Durksen (AIX) took advantage of his inherited de facto pole position to lead the early laps, before Bortoleto made his move on lap four with a textbook pass aided by DRS.

Early championship leader Zane Maloney's torrid recent run continues in Austria, as he stalled at the start of the race before retiring on lap six, causing the virtual safety car to be deployed.

At the same time as the race was neutralised, Marti was entering the pits. The stop is subject to a post-race investigation as drivers cannot enter the pits for their mandatory stop under the VSC, but the stop can be completed if they are already in.

The subsequent investigation determined that although Marti had committed to pitting, he had not reached the first safety car line by the time that the VSC was deployed. Despite conceding Marti had been "incredibly close" to the marker, the stewards deemed this could not count as his mandatory stop, and awarded a 10s stop-and-go penalty, converted to a 30s time penalty.

Following Bortoleto’s stop, it transpired that Marti had gained a net five-second advantage, but a show of pace to quickly close this gap ultimately proved decisive with the race-winning move coming on lap 20 at Turn 3.

Running the alternative strategy, Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) led the way with Oliver Bearman the other driver looking to make gains by playing the long game. For Prema driver Bearman, hopes were dashed as a reliability issue forced him to retire at the lap 20 midpoint of the race.

For Colapinto, the strategy yielded rewards as he stopped with eight laps to go, dropping to eighth, before using the super soft rubber to fly through the field, eventually crossing the line in second after completing late moves on warring Campos duo Marti and Isack Hadjar.

Tensions had risen for Campos after Marti was slow to allow championship-contending Hadjar through to chase Bortoleto. But it was further ramped up when Hadjar, who was not able to demonstrate the pace he had claimed to have, failed to return the favour in the closing stages, instead keeping the final podium position for himself, with Marti in fourth.

Championship leader Paul Aron (Hitech) crossed the line in fifth but dropped a place to Enzo Fittipaldi after he was handed a five-second penalty for moving under braking when battling with Hadjar early on.

Marti's penalty moves Aron back to his original finishing position, with the Campos driver dropping out of the points to 15th.

At the midpoint of the season, Aron remains at the top of the standings with a nine-point lead over Hadjar. Bortoleto is third, 10 points clear of Maloney, who has scored once in the last four races. Thanks to his improved recent form, Colapinto is now tied with Moloney, but remains fifth by virtue of having only one win to the Rodin driver’s two. 

F2 Austria Feature Race Results

1
 - 
4
1
 - 
2
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1
G. Bortoleto Invicta Racing
10 40

53'59.322

191.811 1
2 Argentina F. Colapinto MP Motorsport 12 40

+4.296

54'03.618

4.296 191.557 1
3 France I. Hadjar Campos Racing 20 40

+5.553

54'04.875

1.257 191.483 1
4
P. Martí Campos Racing
21 40

+6.035

54'05.357

0.482 191.454 1
5 Brazil E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 14 40

+11.399

54'10.721

5.364 191.138 1
6
P. Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight
17 40

+11.437

54'10.759

0.038 191.136 1
7
J. Duerksen PHM AIX Racing
24 40

+12.562

54'11.884

1.125 191.070 1
8 Belgium A. Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight 16 40

+22.557

54'21.879

9.995 190.484 1
9
T. Barnard PHM AIX Racing
25 40

+27.634

54'26.956

5.077 190.188 1
10 United Kingdom Z. O'Sullivan ART Grand Prix 2 40

+32.180

54'31.502

4.546 189.924 1
11 United States J. Crawford DAMS Lucas Oil 7 40

+32.244

54'31.566

0.064 189.920 1
12 France V. Martins ART Grand Prix 1 40

+32.613

54'31.935

0.369 189.899 1
13 Norway D. Hauger MP Motorsport 11 40

+33.470

54'32.792

0.857 189.849 1
14
A. Kimi Prema Powerteam
4 40

+34.724

54'34.046

1.254 189.776 1
15 United States J. Correa DAMS Lucas Oil 8 40

+35.143

54'34.465

0.419 189.752 1
16 Mexico R. Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 15 40

+49.792

54'49.114

14.649 188.907 1
17 India K. Maini Invicta Racing 9 40

+51.433

54'50.755

1.641 188.813 1
18 Czech Republic R. Staněk Trident 23 40

+55.494

54'54.816

4.061 188.580 1
dnf Japan R. Miyata Rodin Motorsport 6 34

6 laps

2 Retirement
dnf Netherlands R. Verschoor Trident 22 21

19 laps

2 Retirement
dnf United Kingdom O. Bearman Prema Powerteam 3 20

20 laps

1 Retirement
dnf Barbados Z. Maloney Rodin Motorsport 5 4

36 laps

Retirement

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