Jack Doohan secured his second victory of the 2022 Formula 2 season, going almost entirely unchallenged from pole to take victory in the Sprint Race.
Jüri Vips claimed second on the podium but couldn’t mount a challenge against the Virtuosi Racing driver ahead while Enzo Fittipaldi had managed to lead at the start but dropped to third and secured the final spot on the podium by the end.
AS IT HAPPENED
Fittipaldi aced his launch from second to take the lead in the opening meters from Doohan. A huge lock-up at Turn 2 though undid his hard work and allowed the Virtuosi Racing driver to snatch the lead back. Vips also slipped through in the process and left the Charouz Racing System driver to fend off Frederik Vesti.
Up the hill to Turn 4, Fittipaldi seized the racing line and Vesti had to take to the escape road, dropping to fifth. Meanwhile Dennis Hauger endured a poor getaway and went three-wide with Felipe Drugovich and Logan Sargeant. Contact between the MP Motorsport and Carlin pair nudged the American into Hauger on the outside, tipping the Norwegian around and out of the race at Turn 1. Sargeant was also out of the race as a result of the contact, retiring from the pits, and the Safety Car was deployed to recover the PREMA Racing car.
The action resumed heading onto Lap 4 and Doohan bolted early to leave the rest behind. His lead was up to 1.7s across the line next time around, well out of DRS range with one racing lap completed. Théo Pourchaire had dropped down to 16th on the opening lap after having to take avoiding action from the Turn 1 melee around the outside of the corner. He dispatched Roberto Merhi for 15th with DRS on Lap 8. Two laps later and it was 14th for the Frenchman at the expense of David Beckmann, courtesy of a late lunge into Turn 1.
Jehan Daruvala reported that his front tyres were already gone by Lap 11, and the pressure from Marcus Armstrong behind was proof of that. The Hitech Grand Prix driver shaped for a move into Turn 1, but the PREMA man slammed the door shut to hold sixth for the time being.
Out in front, Doohan looked to be pacing himself nicely, keeping Vips out of DRS range and slowly extending his lead lap after lap by a few hundredths here and there. By halfway, the lead was sat at 1.5s while Fittipaldi remained in the 0.5-0.8s range of the Hitech lap after lap, but still unable to attempt a pass.
Daruvala and Armstrong resumed their battle for P6 with the Indian driver forced to defend the inside line at Turn 1 and 2. A heavy lock-up forced him wide at T2, but Armstrong had already opted for the outside line and had to back out of his attempted overtake. Their battling allowed Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa to join the party and fight for sixth.
Pourchaire was soon up to 13th and had desires on Calan Williams’ P12. The ART Grand Prix driver squeezed the Trident on entry to Turn 2 but the Australian kept his foot in and shut the door at Turn 3 to hold the place with a strong defensive display.
Armstrong tried for the third time on Daruvala on Lap 19 and looked to have the move done at Turn 1. On corner exit, the pair made contact rear-right to front-left, sending the New Zealander off the track and down to P8. Daruvala was later handed a 10-second time penalty for the incident. Iwasa tried to capitalise but was squeezed out of his attempted overtake on the outside of Turn 2 by Armstrong.
Vips cut the gap to the leader to under a second on Lap 22 but that was met with an immediate response by Doohan who pumped in a lap almost a second quicker to restore his buffer to the Estonian.
With Lawson now the one behind Daruvala, the Carlin driver made his first move count, flying down the inside at Turn 1 to secure P6. The PREMA locked up trying to make the corner and ceded position to Armstrong and Iwasa, his tyres finally crying enough. He was in at the end of the lap to serve his penalty and change tyres.
Pourchaire wasn’t done with Williams and made an opportunistic pass on the Trident driver at Turn 12 on Lap 23. The ART moved clear of Olli Caldwell with DRS assistance at Turn 1 with five laps to go to seize ninth.
Keeping clear of the drama behind him, Doohan made it two victories in 2022 in style, winning by over five seconds from Vips while Fittipaldi rounded out the podium.
Drugovich secured yet more points to fortify his advantage in the Drivers’ Championship with Vesti in fifth. Lawson, Armstrong and Iwasa were the final points scorers in sixth, seventh and eighth places respectively.
KEY QUOTE – Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing
“The way we managed the Sprint Race from pole, bouncing back from yesterday’s disappointing result, it felt like more than a Sprint Race win. Last year I was poor on management in the F3 car, so it’s good to know that I’ve made steps forward – me and the team. Very happy, now we’ll gather data for tomorrow and let’s see what we can do with the strategy.”
THE CHAMPIONSHIP VIEW
Felipe Drugovich’s fourth-place finish in the Sprint Race gives him another five points to add to his Championship tally. His lead is now up to 44 points over Théo Pourchaire, who along with Logan Sargeant, couldn’t add to their points total. Jehan Daruvala remains fourth on his 94 points while Jack Doohan’s victory lifts him up to fifth in the standings, now on 88 points.
The Teams’ Standings remains the same heading into Sunday at the Hungaroring. ART Grand Prix leads from MP Motorsport and Carlin. The French squad is now on 213 points to MP’s 204. Carlin moves onto 200 points.
The final race ahead of the summer break comes on Sunday in Budapest. Ayumu Iwasa starts the Feature Race from pole with Marcus Armstrong for company on the front row. The race is set to start at 11.35 local time.