Only one driver claimed a clean sweep across the Sprint and Feature Races at a single round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 season and that was Drivers’ Champion Felipe Drugovich.
Having been set to start from reverse grid pole, the Brazilian fought back from a grid penalty on Saturday to scythe his way back to the front to win his second race of the year. What followed on Sunday was the perfect drive combined with the perfect strategy from the MP Motorsport pitwall.
While the majority expected and eventually suffered from high tyre degradation in the Spanish sunshine, Drugovich and MP were able to coax out laps that rivals just didn’t have in the tyres.
Starting from P10, the MP driver made decent progress in the opening exchanges to rise through the top 10. As leader Jack Doohan pitted on lap 12, he handed the lead of the race over to Drugovich and the course of the race was about to change.
Somehow, the 2022 Champion eked out another six laps from his soft compound Pirelli tyres, a critical stint in the grand scheme of the race. After rejoining, the Brazilian fought back through to close Doohan back down and overtake for the lead on lap 27. In the final 10 laps, Drugovich built up healthy advantage from the Virtuosi Racing driver, eventually finishing over five seconds clear of Doohan and 23 seconds ahead of P3 man Frederik Vesti.
“It was down to the power of the team, all the engineers, they watched it all the way through the race and made the decision to make the one stop,” Team Manager Jeremy Cotterill said at the Prize Giving. “Why make a stop when the car is still quick? Just keep it going.”