BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 23: Jack Doohan of Australia and Invicta Virtuosi Racing (14) leads the field at the start during the Round 10:Budapest Feature race of the Formula 2 Championship at Hungaroring on July 23, 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)
F2 Feature Race results: Hungary
Find out what happened in the Formula 2 Feature Race at the Hungaroring
Jack Doohan took his first race win of the season as Frederik Vesti extended his championship lead.
Jack Doohan leads the field into Turn 1 at the start during Feature Race (Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli – Getty Images)
Friday’s polesitter Jack Doohan got off to a good start, easily maintaining his lead into Turn 1. Championship leader Frederik Vesti started third, and made his way up to second past Victor Martins.
There were clouds of smoke at the first corner as multiple drivers locked up trying to control the tyres. Everyone on the softer tyre looked to make up ground in the early stages, some succeeding. Dennis Hauger jumped from tenth to 7th on the first few laps, and 11th place Enzo Fittipaldi moved up to eighth.
Trident’s Clement Novalak became the race’s first retirement on Lap 4, pulling off to the side of the track to avoid causing a Safety Car.
By Lap 6 Doohan had pulled out of DRS range of Vesti, and the rest of the field began settling into place.
Pit stops begin
As the softer tyre began to fall out of its window, the drivers who started on it began to make their mandatory pit stop and switch to the medium tyres.
Rodin Carlin’s Zane Maloney was the first to make that stop on Lap 8 and was followed a lap later by Jak Crawford and Ralph Boschung.
Now on the medium tyre, Maloney and Crawford battled for position, Crawford forcing Maloney off to maintain track position at the back of the pack. The two came back together a few laps later, with Maloney coming out in front of the American driver this time.
ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire pit from fourth on Lap 14, coming out in 13th with brand-new rubber. Now, even drivers who managed the soft tyres a little better were forced to come into and make the change, Richard Verschoor becoming one of those drivers on Lap 15.
A battle with the not-yet-pitted Amaury Cordeel allowed Pourchaire to put some space between him and his closest rival, Isack Hadjar.
Out in front, Doohan and Vesti maintained pace on the soft tyre, dragging as much performance out as possible to push pitting as late as possible.
Medium tyre runners
Ayumu Iwasa was the first of the drivers who started on the medium tyres to come into the pits and switch to softs on Lap 20. It was earlier than expected for a driver on the alternate strategy, but Iwasa was looking for pace and the chance to make up ground in the title fight.
He was followed by PREMA Racing’s Oliver Bearman a lap later, who also ditched the mediums in favour of the soft tyre.
Cordeel came into the pits on Lap 22 as Iwasa set the fastest lap of the race so far on his new tyres.
On the following lap, Vesti pitted from second, finally ready to ditch the soft and coming out in fourth ahead of Pourchaire, the first driver of all those who had already pitted.
Doohan stayed out in front ahead of Martins and Roman Stanek, though Martins came in the lap after Vesti to come back out of the pits and slotted in behind the championship leader.
With 12 laps to go Doohan joined the list of drivers who had made their pit stop, coming out still comfortably in the lead.
With all the pit stops said and done with, Doohan led Vesti, Martins, Hadjar, and Pourchaire as the race entered the closing stages.
Still making up ground, Iwasa overtook Pourchaire and started hunting down fourth-placed Hadjar. Then it was Doohan who grabbed the fastest lap, coming into a good window with his fresh medium tyres. With less than ten laps to go, he held the lead by eight seconds.
A few drivers who started on the mediums made up ground on softer tyres, one being Stanek, who was the last in the field to make his mandatory stop. But by and large, the field fell into order as the race began winding down.
Iwasa, who had been hunting down Hadjar for several laps, stayed close to the driver in fourth but struggled to get a move done. Finally, with two laps to go, the Japanese driver got the overtake done into Turn 1 and gained one more spot.
But out in front, Doohan came home to take his first Formula 2 victory since last year’s Feature Race at Spa-Francorchamps, also grabbing the fastest lap. Vesti followed in second, outscoring his main title rivals to extend his lead of the championship. Martins completed the podium ahead of Iwasa and Hadjar.
Pourchaire finished sixth, followed by Hager, Fittipaldi, and Juan Manuel Correa, with Verschoor taking the final point of the day.