F2: Fittipaldi leaves it late in Spa Sprint Race for maiden victory
In a 17-lap shootout around Spa-Francorchamps, Enzo Fittipaldi left it right until the penultimate lap of the Sprint Race to secure his first victory in Formula 2.
Saving performance in his medium tyres, the Red Bull junior demolished Richard Verschoor’s lead in a handful of laps before making a move for P1 count.
After inheriting the lead on Lap 3, Verschoor had to settle for second, whilst Theo Pourchaire clawed back some ground in the championship fight with another podium in third.
Reverse pole-sitter Jehan Daruvala rocketed off the line to hold the lead, but was forced to retire after his headrest detached, promoting Verschoor to the front as the Safety Car was deployed, after Amaury Cordeel spun and stalled on track.
Building up a two-second advantage, the Van Amersfoort Racing driver looked comfortable until the final five laps. Slashing his lead down by half a second a lap, Fittipaldi nailed his run out of La Source on the penultimate lap, using the slipstream along the Kemmel Straight to get the move done into Les Combes.
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Pourchaire held off Hauger for third, as his team mate Victor Martins made it two ART Grand Prix cars inside the top five. Jack Doohan carved his way through from 11th on the grid to take sixth.
After a storming start, Frederik Vesti’s pace tailed off towards the end, as he hung on to seventh, fending off Ayumu Iwasa in a drag race out of the final chicane to the line.
Vesti holds a seven-point lead over Pourchaire heading into Sunday’s Feature Race, but it’s his PREMA Racing team mate Oliver Bearman who starts on pole when the lights go out at 1000 local time.
For an in-depth report of the Sprint Race, visit the official Formula 2 website.