After starting the Jeddah Feature Race in 20th, Amaury Cordeel produced an admirable performance that saw him take the chequered flag in fifth place.

This equals his best Formula 2 result to date with the Belgian driver having also finished in the same position at the Yas Marina Sprint in 2022.

On the surface it is a great result as it gives him his first points of the year, but the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver admitted he was a “bit sad” about it, given the circumstances.

READ MORE: Cordeel ‘sad’ to miss out on a maiden podium on the last lap of the Jeddah Feature Race

He was unfortunately pipped to third in a drag race to the finish line by MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger and DAMS Lucas Oil’s Jak Crawford.

But that does not tell the full story as there was plenty to admire about how Cordeel found himself in that position on the final lap having lined up in the final row of the grid.


It all goes back to the start when alongside Taylor Barnard, Gabriel Bortoleto, Roman Stanek and Juan Manuel Correa, Cordeel opted to start Saturday’s Feature on the Prime tyres.

Cordeel started the Feature Race at the back of the grid
Cordeel started the Feature Race at the back of the grid

The rest of the grid chose the supersofts which gave them more grip to have a good launch off the line and plenty of pace in the opening phase of the 28-lap event.

But those tyres degraded fairly quickly, even if the opening three laps were completed under Safety Car conditions as the marshals cleared Stanek and Josep María Martí’s stricken cars from the track.

By Lap 6 the drivers on the Option decided to ditch their purple-painted tyres and to bolt on the yellow-walled mediums which they would take to the end.

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The final three drivers to do this were Zak O’Sullivan, Joshua Duerksen and Rafael Villagómez on Lap 8 and by doing this, they promoted Cordeel and Barnard to second and third, respectively, as Correa led the way.


Cordeel then settled well into his position and was doing a good job managing his mediums when on Lap 15, MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto spun into a stoppage at Turn 1.

Safety Car intervention was once again required with the Stewards also informing the drivers to go through the pit lane. The Hitech Pulse-Eight racer and Barnard opted to use this period to change to the supersofts and quickly came back out in the same positions.

Once we returned to green flag conditions, the pair had more initial pace than those around them on mediums, but they also had 13 laps to go on a compound that had proven to wear out quickly.

Cordeel switched to the supersoft tyres for the final stint of the race
Cordeel switched to the supersoft tyres for the final stint of the race

To put that into context, that was three more laps in the final stint than any of Zane Maloney, Arthur Leclerc, Isack Hadjar, Richard Verschoor and Stanek, were required to do when they employed the same strategy in the 2023 edition.

However, with the cars now on lower fuel than at the start, the track in the best condition for racing it had been all weekend, and thanks to the Safety Car reducing their speed until Lap 18, there were a few things khelping the supersoft tyre runners in the final stint.


On Lap 20, after initially dropping back from Correa at the restart, Cordeel put those Option tyres to good use by overtaking the DAMS driver for the lead.

READ MORE: Villagómez pleasantly surprised to score maiden F2 points in Jeddah Feature Race

He held that position for two laps until he was closed down by both Correa and eventual race-winner Enzo Fittipaldi. While he could keep the former at bay the latter produced a marvellous double overtake on the main straight to take P1.

Cordeel was starting to fall back through the field on Lap 24, as not only did he lose a spot to Correa, but he was off the podium in its entirety when Kush Maini overtook him. However, he quickly returned to the top three when the American pitted on the next lap for his mandatory stop.

What then caught the eye was that he was keeping within a second of the Invicta #9 car. This meant he could use DRS to keep his rivals behind but impressively, he never got close enough for the dirty air to affect his tyres too much, showing his experience.

Cordeel was disappointed to miss out on a podium on the last lap
Cordeel was disappointed to miss out on a podium on the last lap

This was shown in his lap times, as the Hitech racer was consistently lapping within the 1:46s and 1:45s across the entire stint, which was similar to the drivers around him. The only time he dipped into the 1:47s was when he was defending from and then attacking Fittipaldi on Lap 22.

If you compare this to Barnard, who was also on the supersoft tyres, the PHM AIX Racing rookie fell back through the field to finish 13th. He lapped around the Jeddah circuit in the 1:48s, 1:49s, and also the 1:50s on Lap 23. However, in what was just his second F2 feature race, that will be a learning experience for the Briton to build from.

READ MORE: Kush Maini’s Jeddah Weekend in his Words


Unfortunately for the battling Belgian he lost the DRS advantage in the final stages of the last lap as he was then over a second behind Maini. At the same time, he, Crawford and Hauger were all within half a second of one another.

Using DRS, the hunting pair went side-by-side with Cordeel on the run down to the final corner. But on the run down to the chequered flag , only the MP driver had DRS giving him the speed advantage to take P3.

It left Cordeel trailing the Norwegian by 0.127s across the line with the DAMS driver also pipping him at the chequered flag.

Cordeel was disappointed with the outcome, but it is a performance that he should be proud of and one that should fill him with confidence ahead of Round 3 in Melbourne.