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The start of the F2 feature race at Zandvoort

F2 Feature Race results: Dutch GP

Catch up with all the action in the F2 Feature Race at Circuit Zandvoort

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Novalak takes his maiden F2 victory amidst disappointment for the championship leaders.

F2 race winner Clement Novalak
Clement Novalak stormed to victory from P13. (Image credit: F2 on X, formerly Twitter)

The Feature Race marked the first F2 race of the weekend after Saturday’s Sprint Race was called off due to weather concerns. Heavy rain rendered visibility poor and track conditions risky, making it impossible to race safely. Less than one lap of racing took place, wherein an incident between Maini, Crawford and Boschung brought out a red flag.

With zero points awarded in the sprint race, the feature race became more important than ever. With only three rounds of the championship remaining – and the title battle still wide open – there was all to play for in Sunday’s race.

Starting grid

Championship leader Theo Pourchaire started from tenth on the grid. Meanwhile, second in the standings – PREMA’s Frederik Vesti – started up ahead in P3. Ayumu Iwasa, who sits 34 championship points back from Pourchaire, lined up two positions behind the ART Grand Prix driver. Up at the front, Jak Crawford started from pole position for the first time in his F2 career.

It’s lights out

A greasy circuit called for a formation lap behind the safety car. Racing got underway after a rolling start, with Crawford holding onto the race lead. But the race unravelled quickly for some drivers. Jack Doohan, who came to Zandvoort off the back of two wins, spun as he struggled for grip. With his car beached in the grass, the Australian’s race came to an end early.

Also caught up in the mayhem were both PREMA drivers. Vesti also fell victim to the tricky track conditions, dropping to the back of the pack after a spin. Teammate Ollie Bearman was tagged by Correa, after a lockup sent the Van Amersfoort driver into his rear.

The safety car comes in

A good restart from Jak Crawford saw him maintain the lead. Behind him was Hauger, who was in turn followed by Maloney. Just moments after the safety car came in, there was contact between Iwasa and Maini. Iwasa lost the rear at Turn 1, making contact with Maini. Meanwhile, Correa was handed a 10-second time penalty for his part in the collision with Bearman.

As the first cars began to come into the pitlane for their mandatory pit stop, Ayumu Iwasa was given a 10-second penalty for the incident with Maini. Leclerc, Boschung, Mason and Daruvala were the first few drivers to head to the pits. The first of the frontrunners to pit was Maloney, setting off a chain reaction at the front of the grid.

Crawford pitted on lap 9. A lap later, Pourchaire pitted — narrowly avoiding making contact with the rear of Hadjar in the pitlane entrance. Despite this, it was Pourchaire who emerged from the pitlane first.

Pourchaire goes off!

The championship leader goes off in his out-lap. Losing control of the car, Pourchaire found himself in the TecPro barriers. The ART driver was up and out of the car, able to walk to the medical car. The incident brought out the safety car — but there was more drama to follow.

Moments after Pourchaire went off, Vesti’s race also came to an end. It was through no fault of the PREMA driver, though. In bizarre scenes, both of Vesti’s rear tyres came off. Vesti had no choice but to retire; PREMA was hit with an unsafe release.

Behind the safety car, Clement Novalak led the pack. Behind the Trident driver was polesitter Crawford, whilst Maloney was running in third. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Novalak, who came on the radio voicing an issue with the brake bias in his car.

Racing gets back underway

On lap 16, the action got back underway. Novalak held onto the lead, but a sweeping manoeuvre from Maloney saw the Rodin Carlin slip past Crawford into P2. Further back, contact between Bearman and Martins saw the PREMA driver run off track. After picking up damage in the incident, Bearman was forced back to the pits. With that, the Brit’s race came to an end.

Maloney was soon hot on the heels of Novalak, chasing down his first race win. Daruvala and Boschung were both handed a five-second penalty for a safety car infringement.

From laps to minutes

Novalak continued to lead, clocking in the fastest lap. The field began to spread out, as Rodin Carlin instructed Maloney to begin to push. By this point, a 1.5 second gap had opened up between Novalak and Maloney. Meanwhile, a clean overtake from Correa saw the Van Amersfoort driver muscle past Nissany for a spot in the top ten.

The lap count soon changed to a timed count, with seventeen minutes and counting. Novalak continued to lead – and with the fastest lap – whilst Maloney received a radio message imploring him to pick up the pace. Running in P5, Victor Martins was handed a 10-second penalty for “hindering”, which led to the incident with Bearman.

Ten minutes remaining

Race leader Novalak had over two seconds on Maloney. Tyre degradation began to make life hard for Novalak and Maloney, both drivers struggling with heavy graining. The Rodin Carlin driver began to close the gap to Novalak — but also in the running was Crawford.

The polesitter chased down Maloney, running within a second of the Barbadian. A battle between Maloney and Crawford could almost certainly play into the hands of Novalak.

With five minutes on the clock, there was a brief lockup from Zane Maloney. As the Rodin Carlin driver fended off Crawford, Novalak continued to eke out an advantage. The race leader was now over two seconds ahead of Maloney, the top step of the podium well within reach.

The final minutes

As the two-minute countdown began, Jak Crawford remained relentless in his pursuit of Maloney. Things were looking good for Novalak, who maintained his two-second lead.

Clement Novalak, who started the F2 Feature Race in P13, embarked on the final lap. Unchallenged by Maloney, Novalak took his maiden F2 victory. Rounding out the podium was Zane Maloney in second and Jak Crawford in third.

Full results can be found here.

Featured Image Credit: Formula 2

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