F2: Crawford claims maiden win in slippery Spielberg Sprint
Red Bull junior Jak Crawford impressed at his academy’s home event in Austria, taking his first Formula 2 victory in the Sprint Race. A pre-race shower saw the field split between slicks and wets and, although he lost the lead at the start, the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver looked untroubled once he returned to the front of the field on Lap 6.
Victor Martins and Clement Novalak also benefitted from running the softs, as they made their way to the podium from P10 and P20, respectively.
Starting on the wet tyres, Arthur Leclerc utilised the better traction from third to take the lead from reverse grid pole-sitter Crawford at Turn 4. However, the DAMS driver boxed under the second of two early Safety Cars within the first five laps, after both Jehan Daruvala and Richard Verschoor spun off in separate incidents.
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Meanwhile, Martins charged through the order overtaking Zane Maloney and Juan Manuel Correa to get into second but couldn’t catch up to Crawford. Novalak too went late on the brakes, dispatching the Van Amersfoort Racing driver for third and allowing Hitech’s Isack Hadjar to follow him through.
Roman Stanek secured a double points finish for Trident in sixth, as Dennis Hauger wrestled seventh away from Jack Doohan with a switchback on the final lap. Meanwhile, all four of the top championship contenders failed to score, with PREMA Racing’s Oliver Bearman and Frederik Vesti just missing out in ninth and 10th.
Martins will have his eye on more when he lines up on pole for Sunday’s Feature Race, which gets underway at 0955 local time.
For an in-depth report on the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race, visit the official website here.