NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Ayumu Iwasa of Japan and DAMS (11) and Victor Martins of France and ART Grand Prix (6) battle for track position at the start during the Round 9: Silverstone Feature race of the Formula 2 Championship at Silverstone Circuit on July 09, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
F2 Feature Race results: Silverstone
Find out what happened in the Formula 2 Feature Race in Silverstone
Victor Martins won the Formula 2 Feature Race ahead of Zane Maloney, despite picking up a time penalty.
How it happened
ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins started from pole position, but the driver who came out in front at the start was third-placed Ayumu Iwasa. He jumped into the lead by Turn 1, but Martins came back to retake the lead a few corners later.
Kush Maini, who started second, was swallowed at the start and dropped to sixth, as Oliver Bearman came into third.
Further down the field, MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger spun out of contention and dropped to the back of the pack.
By Lap 5, Martins had pulled a four-second gap to Iwasa and was sailing comfortably out ahead. Behind him, a fight for the podium positions was materializing, as Jack Doohan got past Enzo Fittipaldi for fourth and started to hunt down Bearman, his main rival from yesterday’s Sprint Race.
The pit window opened up on Lap 6 and a few drivers were quick to come in, championship leader Frederik Vesti among them.
One lap later a spin for Invicta Virtuosi’s Amaury Cordeel brought out the Safety Car, bringing in most of the drivers and reshuffling the order.
Amongst those who didn’t pit, Isack Hadjar and Arthur Leclerc jumped to the top of the leaderboard, followed by Martins, the first of the drivers who pitted.
Drama at the Safety Car restart
The Safety Car came back into the pits after Lap 10, and the Feature Race was back on. Hadjar got away nicely at the restart and Martins closed in on Leclerc, but the green flag wasn’t to last as an incident between Vesti and Roman Stanek brought the Safety Car back out less than a lap later.
Vesti, having run into the back of Stanek at the end of the Safety Car period, managed to make his way back to the pits and get back out on track to finish the race. But it wasn’t to be for Vesti, who stopped on the track right out of the pits, unable to continue with the suspension damage on his PREMA Racing car.
Hadjar and Leclerc led the field away again on Lap 15. The big mover at the restart was Bearman, sadly moving backwards instead of forwards as a mistake saw him drop to 12th.
The drivers who had pit under the first Safety Car were anxious to get ahead of the drivers that still had yet to pit. Zane Maloney and Theo Pourchaire got past Ralph Boschung, who had been running in the top ten, and higher up the field Iwasa fought to pass Clement Novalak running fifth.
Third Safety Car
After just a few laps of green flag running, the Campos Racing teammates of Kush Maini and Ralph Boschung came together, bringing out the Safety Car yet again on Lap 17.
The pit lane got busy once again as drivers who had and hadn’t pitted yet came in to change tyres. Martins came back out in the lead of the race yet again, albeit with a time penalty from an incident at the second Safety Car restart. Maloney was behind him, then Pourchaire, Leclerc, and Iwasa.
Formula 2 was back racing again with ten laps to go at Silverstone, and Martins lept ahead at the restart. Now with a five-second time penalty to make up for, Martins went to pull a gap to Maloney in second.
Behind them, Pourchaire came into contention for third as he scrapped with Leclerc, who was closing in on Maloney himself.
Novalak, a big winner from the third Safety Car, lost out on sixth place to Doohan and picked up a warning for track limits violations in the meantime. Doohan continued to make headway, also passing Iwasa to make his way into the top five.
Fighting for the win
With five laps to go, Leclerc had fallen outside of DRS range of Maloney, allowing Pourchaire to come back in contention for third place. He made the move cleanly, and Leclerc fell back past Doohan as well after a tyre lock-up.
In the final laps, Martins managed to pull a five-second gap to Maloney and desperately fought to hold onto it to retain his first Formula 2 race win.
Maloney was urged to close the gap but couldn’t quite manage as Martins came across the line to win even after the time penalty was applied. Maloney and Pourchaire completed the podium, with Doohan and Iwasa coming fourth and fifth. Jehan Daruvala was sixth, picking up a good haul of points ahead of Bearman and Fittipaldi. A podium opportunity for Leclerc turned into ninth place for the Ferrari junior, and Jak Crawford picked up the final point.