Isack Hadjar Takes First F2 Victory With Dominant Drive

Isack Hadjar Takes First F2 Victory With Dominant Drive
Isack Hadjar Takes First F2 Victory With Dominant Drive

Isack Hadjar claimed his first win in Formula 2 with Campos Racing, controlling the Melbourne Sprint Race from the front and leading every lap of the afternoon.

The Frenchman survived a Lap 1 collision off the line and didn’t look back, managing two Safety Car restarts to win from Trident’s Roman Stanek and MP Motorsport driver Dennis Hauger.

A slow getaway from the front row gave Hadjar the momentum to take the lead, but as the Frenchman moved to pass pole-sitter Stanek, he tapped teammate Josep María Martí who collided with P2-starter Gabriel Bortoleto. The latter duo were out after just a few metres and the Safety Car was called upon in the on the opening lap.

Victor Martins was the big winner of Lap 1, climbing eight places from P21 to 13th in the space of half a lap.

After five tours behind the Safety Car, racing got underway entering Lap 7, but Zane Maloney had a tough restart, dropping from fifth position to 10th after running into the gravel out of Turn 6.

His Rodin Motorsport teammate Ritomo Miyata relegated him to 11th entering Lap 9, passing the Bajan driver into Turn 1.

The fight for second was a five-car battle headed by Stanek, with the chasing pack bunched up behind closely. Going into Turn 12 on Lap 10, a spin for Andrea Kimi Antonelli sent Richard Verschoor spinning also, while Paul Aron sustained front wing damage in the process. The PREMA and Trident drivers were out on the spot and the Safety Car was called upon once again.

Martins’ progress continued at the expense of all three, with the ART Grand Prix driver up to eighth following the incident.

Back to racing on Lap 15, Hadjar got the jump on Stanek once again to establish a comfortable lead. A fastest lap with seven to go gave him a lead of three seconds over the Trident driver, who was defending hard from Maini behind, while MP teammates Hauger and Franco Colapinto closed on the duo.

Martins was on the move again further back, seizing seventh from teammate Zak O’Sullivan with a late dive into Turn 11 on Lap 19.

Onto the penultimate lap and Hauger finally got the move done on Maini to take third, sweeping around the outside of the Invicta driver at Turn 9 to take the place.

A hectic start left Bortoleto and Martí on the sidelines before Turn 1

Hadjar had disappeared into the distance after the final Safety Car and crossed the line to win by over six seconds.

Spirited defence from Stanek on the final lap earned him his best ever finish in Formula 2, holding onto second by just 0.3s over Hauger.

Maini followed in fourth ahead of Colapinto, Miyata, Martins and Oliver Bearman, who rounded out the points-paying positions in eighth.

Isack Hadjar, Campos Racing

“Super happy with the Sprint Race win. It was really, really fun leading all the laps, it was great. We will hope for the same tomorrow.”

THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Zane Maloney stays at the top of the Drivers’ Championship on 47 points, but his advantage has been reduced. Dennis Hauger moves up to second position with his third-consecutive podium finish, going onto 37 and within 10 of the Rodin driver.

Enzo Fittipaldi is third and tied on points with Kush Maini, who improves onto 32 after finishing fourth, while Paul Aron rounds out the top five going into the Feature Race tomorrow on 29 points.

Rodin Motorsport lead the way on 52 points in the Teams’ Standings ahead of MP Motorsport who improve onto 49, two clear of Invicta Racing in third position. Campos Racing move up to fourth on 42, three clear of Hitech Pulse-Eight in P5.

UP NEXT

The FIA Formula 2 Feature Race from Melbourne is set to get underway at 11:35 local time around Albert Park. Dennis Hauger starts from pole position for MP Motorsport.

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