Zane Maloney scored his first ever victory in Formula 2 as he recovered from eighth on the grid to win the Sprint Race at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Maloney overtook pole-sitter Crawford on Lap 8 before going off into the distance with the DAMS Lucas Oil driver finishing second. Josep María Martí completed a comeback of his own for Campos Racing, as he finished third after starting 11th.


Crawford made a brilliant start from pole while his fellow front row starter Taylor Barnard of PHM AIX Racing lost out on the run down to Turn 1, being passed by ART Grand Prix drivers Victor Martins and Zak O’Sullivan.

It proved to be a dire first lap for Barnard as he was down to ninth just as the Virtual Safety Car was called upon following a collision between Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Amaury Cordeel and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Rafael Villagómez.

As racing went back green to start Lap 3, Crawford resisted Martins’ attempts to take the lead, while Maloney was showing good pace as he dived down the inside of Enzo Fittipaldi at Turn 11.

The Rodin Motorsport driver was on a charge, using the soft tyres to his advantage and getting past the hard shod O’Sullivan for third at the start of Lap 4, and then Martins for second on Lap 6.

It was proving a tough outing for O’Sullivan as he was then down to eighth after losing places to Fittipaldi, Isack Hadjar, Paul Aron, and Martí.

There were more overtakes with Hadjar now making the move past Fittipaldi for fourth.

Taylor Barnard retired early from the Sprint Race after starting second
Taylor Barnard retired early from the Sprint Race after starting second

Back at the front, Maloney’s charge continued on Lap 8 as he passed Crawford for the lead on the exit of Turn 4. The DAMS driver resisted Martins’ attempts to overhaul him, but their tussle was allowing Maloney to escape, the Rodin driver nearly two full seconds up the road.

Rookie Aron was showing strong pace for Hitech as he made his way past Fittipaldi down the main straight for fifth place. With the VAR driver struggling, Martí became the next to overtake him at the same place, while Hauger dived down the inside of O’Sullivan at Turn 4 to take eighth just behind them.

Fittipaldi’s fortunes worsened on Lap 14 as O’Sullivan turned defence to attack and took the final points paying position. He ended the lap 11th after losing out to Invicta Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto and Rodin Motorsport’s Ritomo Miyata.

Campos were once again on the move as Martí overtook Aron on the entry to Turn 1 for fifth. Further up the road, a mistake from Martins at Turn 6 allowed Hadjar to close in and on the next lap, pass his countryman, moving him up to third.

On Lap 18 Martí made his move down the inside at Turn 1 to pass Martins. The Campos pair now battled away for the final podium position as the Spanish driver cleared teammate Hadjar for third.

Martins’ woes continued as he lost fifth place to Aron and was soon under threat from Hauger.

Lap 22 and the battle for the final points-paying positions continued with Martins slow through the first corners, and he lost out to Hauger, Bortoleto, and his teammate O’Sullivan, dropping him out of the points.

At the front, Maloney had extended his gap over Crawford to five seconds and crossed the line to take his first ever F2 victory. Martí placed third ahead of teammate Hadjar, with Aron rounding out the top five.

Bortoleto came home for sixth in his maiden F2 race, while O’Sullivan took seventh for ART ahead of Hauger, who had dropped down to eighth.

Maloney scored his first F2 victory
Maloney scored his first F2 victory

KEY QUOTE – Zane Maloney, Rodin Motorsport

“Of course, I’m very happy to win the race, we started in P8, got a great start and the team just gave me an amazing car. So, it is all down to them, and we will go for it tomorrow.”


Maloney’s victory and fastest lap gives Rodin Motorsport 11 points, and they are tied at the top of the Championship Standings alongside Campos. With Martí in third place and Hadjar’s P4 finish, the Spanish team also have 11 points going into Saturday, while DAMS are third with eight points thanks to Crawford.

Hitech are next in fourth, while Invicta are fifth with three points. Zak O’Sullivan scored ART’s first two points of the year, they are sixth in the Standings ahead of MP Motorsport, courtesy of Hauger’s solitary point.


The first Feature Race of the season kicks off at 13:30 local time. Invicta Racing rookie Gabriel Bortoleto will start from pole with Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar joining him on the front row.