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F2 Feature Race results: Bahrain

Which driver will prevail in the desert?

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Zane Maloney does the double in Bahrain, securing his second victory of the weekend.

F2 takes to the desert to kickstart its 2024 season.

Qualifying saw an Invicta Virtuosi front-row lock-out with Kush Maini securing his first pole position. However, after the session, it was deemed Maini was in breach of technical regulations and was disqualified.

F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto will instead take the pole position. Hadjar and Maloney round out the top three for the Feature Race.

The first Sprint Race of the season took place on Friday Afternoon with Jak Crawford starting on reverse pole.

However, Maloney down in eighth was on a mission and fought his way up to first by just Lap 11. For the rest of the race, the Sauber junior was untouchable. Down the field saw rookie Pepe Marti edge out Fittipaldi and start a charge for a podium.

Maloney was leading the pack, a couple of seconds back, Crawford was running in second and after an intense battle Marti took a podium on his debut F2 Sprint Race.

With the weekend so far rounded up, what happened in the Feature Race?

Lights out

Bortoleto’s slight delay as the lights went out paved the way for Maloney to shoot ahead and take first position.

Heading into Turn 1, Isack Hadjar was clipped by Bortoleto and spun around, losing pieces of his body work.

Fittipaldi got tangled in the mess and subsequently had to end his race not even a lap into the race causing the safety car to be deployed.

After stalling the start, Bearman had to return to the pits and revert to last position, a bad weekend turning even more disastrous for PREMA.

Bortoleto was handed a penalty after Lap 1 altercations.

The race restarts

The restart saw Maloney shoot ahead and already build a gap from second place.

Marti has been impressive all weekend long, securing his first podium in yesterday’s Sprint and now running in second on the Feature Race. Behind him Zak O’Sullivan sits.

Down the pack, Hauger and Bortoleto were scraping for fifth place, with Hauger edging out just slightly this turn around. However, just the next lap around, Bortoleto set it down the outside and look the position from Hauger on the apex.

Ritomo Miyata also was impressing this weekend, his first weekend in European racing and the driver didn’t look out of place, keeping up with the middle of the pack closely.

Out in front on Lap 11, Maloney built a steady gap of four seconds to Marti.

Taylor Barnard headed into the pits, however, the stop was long, hindering his race significantly, dropping from 11th to last. More problems rose as the Brit reported his rear not being secure enough heading once again back into the pits – now one minute behind the leader.

Disaster also struck for Crawford in the pits with his engine needing restarted, however, the team was struggling to restart the car.

The American now dropping quickly down the ranking. Crawford ultimately had to retire from the race, a disappointing end to what would’ve been an incredible weekend.

The second safety car

Victor Martins was slowing down in Turn 4, the ART lost all its gears and stopped on track bringing out the second caution of the race. Maloney just made the cut into the pit-lane and jumped out in second.

The top three relatively remained unchanged, with O’Sullivan taking second from Marti.

With 11 laps remaining, the safety car comes in and racing resumes.

PREMA, after struggling for the majority of the weekend, climbed their way up the ladder and sat in point finishing positions in 8th and 9th. However, the scrap wasn’t done yet, as the pair went into Turn 3 swapping positions before Antonelli won the battle.

Antonelli was on a charge to have a redemption, the Italian slid past Maini and slotted into 7th place whilst his teammate suffered and dropped all the way down to 15th.

Maloney was safely in the lead, however, just behind him Marti started closing in on O’Sullivan, chipping away at the 0.6 second gap.

Paul Aron who suffered from a penalty earlier, made his way up the ladder and began scraping with O’Sullivan for that final podium place. On Lap 28, Aron overtook the Brit and built a one second gap.

Heading into the final lap, Maloney crossed the line nearly five seconds ahead of everyone else securing a clean sweep in Bahrain. Rookies Marti and Aron claimed the final two podium positions after a great second stint from the pair.

Maini made some great ground up, finishing in 7th after starting last.

Full results can be found here.

Featured image credits: @Formula2 on X

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