Bahrain F2: Lawson fends off Daruvala for maiden win

Rookie Liam Lawson kept his nerve to hold off a charging Jehan Daruvala and claim victory in an eventful opening FIA Formula 2 Championship race of the season in Bahrain.

Bahrain F2: Lawson fends off Daruvala for maiden win
Listen to this article

Hitech Grand Prix driver Lawson, starting third, made an electric start to take a lead he would hold throughout the race, although his path to victory wasn’t that simple.

The Red Bull juniors became locked in a thrilling battle for victory in the final laps of the 45-minute affair after a fine drive from Carlin's Daruvala to climb from fifth to second.

Lawson came under intense pressure from Daruvala in the final laps as tyre wear became a factor, but no matter what the latter threw at him he held on until the chequered flag. 

Fellow F2 rookie David Beckmann (Charouz Racing) secured the final spot on the podium, ahead of Prema's Robert Shwartzman following an inspired drive from 11th to fourth. 

Front-row starters Theo Pourchaire and Beckmann were slow away from the start, allowing Lawson to leap into the lead as the field entered Turn 1.

It proved to be a frantic opening to the race as Pourchaire was briefly pushed down to third by Beckmann, before regaining the spot by the end of the opening lap.

Further back, Shwartzman made a lightning start from 11th spot to end up fifth after three laps. His rise came despite a nervous moment with his Prema teammate Oscar Piastri, who almost made contact while attempting to pass the Russian at Turn 10. 

Piastri recovered from running wide to slot into seventh spot.

More action was to follow as Dan Ticktum (Carlin) tagged the back of MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor, sending the Dutchman into a spin at Turn 1, while fighting over seventh spot. Ticktum was handed a five-second time penalty for his part in causing the incident.

Meanwhile, Drugovich was forced to come into the pits to change a damaged front wing putting him to the rear of the field having started eighth.

The race was then briefly neutralised under a virtual safety car after Marcus Armstrong (DAMS) came to a halt at Turn 1. During this period the Campos Racing entry of Ralph Boschung also stopped on track with what appeared to be a mechanical issue. 

Racing resumed on lap 4 with leader Lawson opening up a gap over the chasing Pourchaire, Beckmann, Daruvala and Shwartzman.

Christian Lundgaard occupied sixth ahead of Ticktum, Guanyu Zhou (UNI Virtuosi) and Lirim Zendeli (MP Motorsport).     

The battle for third began to heat up as Daruvala applied pressure on Beckmann for a series of laps, before making an excellent DRS-assisted move around the outside at Turn 4 to take the position as the race reached the halfway mark.

That third spot soon turned into second as Pourchaire suddenly slowed with an issue, parking the car on the side of the track at the Turn 10 exit. The stricken ART car triggered a second virtual safety car period.

Daruvala continued his pursuit at the front as he started to reel in Lawson as the two broke away from the pack, while Piastri was on the move as he took fifth from Lundgaard with a smart move at Turn 4.

At the front Lawson, was put under increasing pressure on worn rubber by Daruvala, but the former managed to hold on to take the win, as Beckmann came home a lonely third. 

Shwartzman managed to clinch an impressive fourth despite coming under serious pressure from his rookie teammate Piastri in the latter stages.

Lundgaard took sixth ahead of Alpine Academy rival Zhou while Ticktum dropped to eighth and the final points paying position after his time penalty was applied.   

Lirim Zendeli and Juri Vips, who came from the back of the grid, rounded out the top 10. 

The field will return for a second 45 minute sprint race, due to start at 1640 GMT. Vips will start on the reverse grid pole position after finishing 10th in Race 1.

* Stewards have since issued a five second time penalty to Bent Viscaal for overtaking Vips under yellow flags demoting him from 11th to 13th position.

F2 - Sprint race 1 results:

shares
comments

Related video

Pourchaire inherits F2 pole after Vips disqualification
Previous article

Pourchaire inherits F2 pole after Vips disqualification

Next article

Bahrain F2: Piastri wins second sprint with last-lap pass

Bahrain F2: Piastri wins second sprint with last-lap pass
Load comments
How Drugovich plans on becoming Brazil's first F1 driver since 2017 Prime

How Drugovich plans on becoming Brazil's first F1 driver since 2017

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver reveals how he ended up back on the grid after what he thought would be his last year in the series, and shares his F1 aspirations.

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
Dennis Hauger: The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Prime

Dennis Hauger: The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him.

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
Ranking the 10 best drivers who raced for DAMS Prime

Ranking the 10 best drivers who raced for DAMS

DAMS has been one of the most prolific teams below Formula 1 since its foundation in 1989, launching 32 drivers into grand prix racing. Following the team's sale to ex-F1 racer Charles Pic, formally closing the book on the ownership of the Driot family, Motorsport.com picks out its 10 best drivers during their spell with the team.

FIA F2
Feb 27, 2022
Why Marcus Armstrong hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1 Prime

Why Marcus Armstrong hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1

After a disappointing 2021, Marcus Armstrong is returning to FIA Formula 2 for another shot at the title in 2022 with Hitech – this time without the backing of Ferrari. This year, he says, he’s ready to give it his all in a last-shot bid to reach Formula 1.

FIA F2
Feb 19, 2022
The hardships that haven’t dented Logan Sargeant's F1 dream Prime

The hardships that haven’t dented Logan Sargeant's F1 dream

Faced with “no options” for 2021, Logan Sargeant’s Formula 1 dream looked set to crumble. But a last-minute Formula 3 seat and a strong season secured him a Formula 2 drive for 2022. He told Motorsport.com how his transformative season affected both his personality and his future.

FIA F3
Jan 29, 2022
Oscar Piastri: The F1 junior that has run out of places to prove himself Prime

Oscar Piastri: The F1 junior that has run out of places to prove himself

The dominant force of the junior single-seater ranks finds himself without a drive for 2022, but it isn’t stopping Oscar Piastri from plotting his path to the top. With Alpine potentially set for a driver dilemma for 2023, the newly-crowned Formula 2 champion is ready and waiting for his F1 shot.

FIA F2
Dec 14, 2021
What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum? Prime

What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum?

Having by his own admission "blown my chances" of reaching Formula 1, Dan Ticktum is facing an uncertain future. A driver of unquestioned ability who has at times been his own worst enemy, can he apply his lessons and rebuild his career hopes?

FIA F2
Sep 30, 2021
How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench Prime

How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench

Tipped as the next big thing after winning the FIA Formula 3 championship in his rookie season, Oscar Piastri has taken Formula 2 by storm and looks set to clinch that title too. But with no Formula 1 seat available to him for next year, the Alpine junior may have to wait for his time in the spotlight…

FIA F2
Sep 24, 2021