F2: Verschoor earns Spielberg Feature Race redemption
Richard Verschoor brought early celebrations to the scores of Dutch fans at the Red Bull Ring with victory in the Formula 2 Feature Race in Austria.
Disqualified from the Feature Race win last year, Verschoor made the most of the alternative strategy to beat out Ayumu Iwasa and Frederik Vesti in a hectic final few laps, taking Van Amersfoort Racing’s first victory in Formula 2.
Championship leader Vesti snatched the lead off the line, as pole-sitter Victor Martins got bogged down and dropped fifth by the end of Lap 2. Once Vesti and the rest of the soft runners pitted, Enzo Fittipaldi assumed the lead on Lap 10 ahead of Verschoor.
Things swiftly turned on their head in the final 13 laps. Arthur Leclerc was forced to pull off with a missing wheel following his pit stop, triggering a Virtual Safety Car. Quickly switched to a full Safety Car, it gifted Verschoor a chance to pit, as Fittipaldi remained out one lap longer and dropped back to ninth.
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When racing resumed on Lap 33, Verschoor stormed his way past Martins and Theo Pourchaire on fresh tyres before pulling himself into a four-car battle for the win. Vesti and Jack Doohan tried to hold Verschoor and Iwasa back on their worn softs, but the pair eventually breezed through.
Duelling in a final lap drag race to the line, Verschoor placed his car to perfection to hold off Red Bull junior Iwasa’s many attempts. Vesti extended his championship lead over Theo Pourchaire to 20 points in third, ahead of Doohan.
Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman bounced back on the prime-option strategy, fighting back from 19th to finish fifth. Fittipaldi had to settle for sixth ahead of Pourchaire, Jak Crawford, Victor Martins as Jehan Daruvala claimed the final point in 10th.
For a full in-depth report of the Formula 2 Feature Race, visit the official website here.