F2: Boschung takes maiden series win in eventful Sakhir Sprint Race
Ralph Boschung took his maiden Formula 2 victory on his 96th start in the championship in what was an action-filled beginning to the 2023 season in Sakhir.
Dennis Hauger was second on his first start with MP Motorsport ahead of Victor Martins, who claimed third on his F2 debut for ART Grand Prix.
Boschung consolidated his lead from reverse grid pole, leaving the rest to battle away behind him. ART team mates Martins and Theo Pourchaire made electric starts, clinically moving up the top 10 with each passing lap. Having started eighth and 10th respectively, the duo was third and sixth by Lap 5.
Red Bull Junior and DAMS driver Ayumu Iwasa fought tooth and nail to hold onto second approaching the halfway stage. After several attempts in the laps previously, Martins finally cleared Iwasa on Lap 13 with a switchback out of Turn 7 and into the hairpin.
Pourchaire tried to take advantage of Iwasa’s baulked momentum immediately into Turn 10, but with a better drive onto the third DRS straight, the DAMS man took back P3. It left the Sauber Academy driver defending from Hauger. The Norwegian wasted no time, claiming fourth into Turn 1 on the next lap with DRS.
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As the race neared its final stages, both ART drivers began to struggle on the soft compound Pirellis. Pourchaire came under increasing pressure from Jehan Daruvala, who’d risen to sixth from P11 on the grid.
On the penultimate lap, a great drive onto the back straight put Hauger alongside Martins, and the Red Bull Junior Team driver claimed second from the Frenchman. Pourchaire eventually held on to fifth from Daruvala.
Out in front, Boschung cruised home to take his first F2 win and the early lead in the Drivers’ Championship. With rookie team mate Kush Maini claiming two points in seventh, the lead of the Teams’ Standings also belongs to Campos Racing after the first day of racing in 2023. Hauger held onto P2, with Alpine Academy man Martins rounding out the podium.
For an in-depth report of the F2 Sprint Race, visit the official website here.