Having had a dismal start to 2023 by his very high standards, Jack Doohan was a force to be reckoned with in Budapest, threading together a hugely impressive weekend for his first win of the season.

Pole, fastest lap and race victory on Sunday meant the Invicta Virtuosi Racing driver became the second driver in Formula 2 history to record a Grand Chelem in a Feature Race. The Australian was imperious from the very start, showing flashes of his competitiveness on Friday before securing pole position and he didn’t look back from there.

On Saturday, Dennis Hauger claimed his second win of the season for MP Motorsport while the Drivers’ Championship fight swung back in Frederik Vesti’s favour and the Teams’ battle couldn’t be closer.

default image

Qualifying was a closely fought affair, with Doohan eventually pipping Victor Martins to pole position by just 0.052s, denying the ART Grand Prix driver a third consecutive pole position in the process.

Vesti led the charge in the Championship battle, able to secure third on the grid though he had Théo Pourchaire right on his tail in fourth, with Ayumu Iwasa within range and sixth on the grid for DAMS.

Kush Maini ended up on reverse grid pole for the Sprint Race, finishing the session 10th for Campos Racing, with Hauger ninth and alongside him on the front row.

default image

From lights out, the Norwegian surged ahead, taking the lead of the race into Turn 1 and he wasn’t the only one. A fast-starting Iwasa was up into second at Turn 2, rounding the Indian driver on the outside before seizing the inside and position at Turn 3.

Oliver Bearman was next to pass, taking third position on a difficult opening lap for the Campos driver, but Maini was able to battle back through on Lap 3 with a late-braking dive to the inside of Turn 1.

A Virtual Safety Car appearance following contact between Clément Novalak and Ralph Boschung on Lap 12 ended on the following lap and Pourchaire took full advantage, passing Bearman for fourth into Turn 2.

READ MORE: Silverstone Flashback: Martins makes his mark in Feature Race against time

The Frenchman continued and took third from Maini in the closing stages, followed through by Bearman who hadn’t let the ART driver out of his sights.

With three laps to go, the PREMA driver got his place back on Pourchaire, passing him at Turn 1 with a late dive to the inside.

Maini’s difficult afternoon had one last blow as an error out of the final corner allowed MP’s Jehan Daruvala to seize fifth on the final lap.

Up front, Hauger resisted Iwasa after the DAMS driver took P2 for his second win of the 2023 season and first podium since his Melbourne Sprint win.

default image

Sunday’s Feature Race was led from start to finish by Doohan, who surged into an early lead from pole, covering off Martins and Vesti into Turn 1 as the latter moved up to second.

With Doohan comfortable out in front, and it was Isack Hadjar who blinked first, pitting from fifth for his mandatory stop on Lap 13. It forced a response from Pourchaire on the following lap, and the ART driver rejoined ahead of the Hitech Pulse-Eight man. Both were caught behind those yet-to-pit though, allowing the top trio to stay out and extend their first stint.

Vesti waited until Lap 23 to make his stop, reemerging ahead of title rival Pourchaire. Martins was in on the following lap but after coming out ahead, Vesti made his moment count and took the position on tyres up to temperature.

READ MORE: Spielberg Flashback: Verschoor gets his Red Bull Ring win at last

The ART teammates were left to fight over position, but Martins was firm in his defence, baulking the momentum of Pourchaire who subsequently lost out to Hadjar at Turn 5, sneaking his way through for fifth.

As his closest rivals scrapped away, Doohan made his own stop on Lap 25 and rejoined with his lead intact, almost nine seconds clear of Vesti in P2.

Running the alternative strategy, Iwasa was making quick progress on his soft tyres. He moved ahead of Pourchaire on Lap 26, nailing a switchback out of the Turn 1 hairpin to secure fifth position.

default image

The DAMS driver quickly caught Hadjar and made a late dive to the inside of Turn 1 to seal fourth place on Lap 35 and claim fourth.

Doohan’s domination was never in doubt after his stop, and he crossed the line 9.1s ahead of Vesti. He became the second driver in F2 history to secure a Feature Race Grand Chelem, joining compatriot Oscar Piastri to have achieved the honour.

Vesti’s seventh podium of 2023 moved him further clear of Pourchaire in the title race while Martins extended his point-scoring streak to 10 races, with his fifth podium in the most recent eight races.

The results left Vesti 11 points clear of Pourchaire in the Drivers’ Championship and 21 ahead of Iwasa. PREMA and ART were inseparable leaving Hungary, level on 247 points while DAMS remained third on 171.