F2: Felipe Drugovic wins second race in Barcelona

F2: Felipe Drugovic wins second race in Barcelona

Brazilian MP Motosport rider Felipe Drugovic gave himself a present for his upcoming birthday and contributed to yesterday’s sprint success by winning Sunday’s main weekend race.

At the start of the race, Jack Duane, who started from pole position, held onto the lead, and Frederic Vesti, who started third from the clean side of the track, broke through to second, which always gives some sort of advantage. He managed to get ahead of Jüri Vips, but the Estonian, who withdrew from Saturday’s sprint, tried to rehabilitate himself after yesterday’s failure and tried to overtake Danish rider ART. Looking ahead, we’ll say right away that he didn’t succeed.

The surprises started almost immediately: Jehan Daruwala, who started from 4th position, suddenly stopped in the middle of the track, which of course caused the safety car to appear. It seems that in the area of ​​the 5th turn, the engine of Indian pilot Prema’s car suddenly lost power, Jehan slowed down sharply and Ayumu Iwasa, who followed, could not avoid contact, after which the Japanese had to go to the pits for another nose cone.

Obviously this caused him to roll back towards the end of the pack, although he wasn’t last – Dennis Hauger and Ollie Caldwell were chasing him, who also collided on the first lap and visited the pits. Incidentally, Hauger received a five-second penalty for this, as it was his stewards who considered the culprit of the incident.

On the seventh lap the battle resumed on the track, the top five held their positions and the peloton immediately started stretching, which is very common for Barcelona because it is difficult to overtake on this track, and in the first leg of the race it is better to take care of the rubber.

By the way, already on the next lap three riders went for sets of hard tires, which is of course a bit early, but Vips, Iwasa and Jake Hughes believed that such tactics could give an advantage in the future. But the Est was out of luck – there was a hitch of sorts when replacing the left front wheel and he only returned 19th on the track.

Soon the next group of racers went for hard rubber, apparently soft tires started to give up after ten laps.

The top five so far looked like this: Duane remained in the lead, followed by Felipe Drugovic, followed by Kalan Williams, Enzo Fittipaldi and Clement Novalak.

On lap 12, Duane and Williams entered the pits with Drugovic in the lead. Shortly afterwards, Williams was overtaken by Juri Vips, who tried to get ahead after a pit stop hiccup, but so far the Estonian finished only 14th. However, this development of events did not suit the Australian, and in the next round he successfully attacked the offender and regained his position.

When it was more than a third of the way behind, the team Drugovich, who was in the lead, called into the pits, but he didn’t obey her or didn’t have time to react, so he drove another lap and went to the pit stop only on lap 18. He returned to the track in ninth, although the MP Motorsport mechanics took a little longer than usual during the tire change.

Meanwhile, Enzo Fittipaldi took the lead, although it was clear that this would not last long.

Drugovic ended up behind Vesti on the track, but on fresh tires he overtook the Dane on lap 21 of the race and rushed to overtake Ollie Caldwell. It was not an easy task for Felipe: he wanted to win the race, but for this it was necessary to be ahead of two more rivals – Caldwell and Duane. He quickly settled the Briton, then overtook Roy Nissani, who had not yet entered the pits, and began overtaking Australian driver Virtuosi Racing, who was already back in the lead at the time.

There were just over ten laps left before the finish and the cars of the two contenders for the win were separated by an interval of just a few tenths of a second. Admittedly, the stewards announced that Drugovic had violated something when he called for a pit stop for some reason, without specifying the essence of his violation, and promised to investigate after the race.

On lap 27, Felipe calmly overtook Jack Duane on the start-finish straight, took the lead and quickly began to move away from his pursuers – by then he had already gained 9 positions from where he started.

Theo Purscher, who led the championship until the Spanish weekend, was sixth on the run and seemed unable to improve his position and was already overtaking Liam Lawson. Meanwhile, Clement Novalak passed Jake Hughes into 9th position, who was placed in 8th almost immediately when Caldwell decided to go to the pits for a second pit stop.

Five laps from the finish, Drugovic brought the lead over Duane to nearly five seconds – it was clear the Australian was resigned to his fate. But Novalak kept attacking and got close to Calan Williams’ car and was clearly preparing an attack, claiming 7th position, which he won by overtaking before the first corner. After Clement, famous for Lawson and three laps to go, he was sixth.

In the next round, Purscher became his next victim and Clement had already reached the top five.

Enzo Fittipaldi also had a battle end to the race: he was first ahead of Marcus Armstrong, then the same Purscher. The recent youth championship leader’s tires were all worn out, so on the final lap he let the New Zealander go ahead as well.

Meanwhile the race was over, Felipe Drugovic crossed the finish line 5.6 seconds ahead of Jack Doohan and Frederic Vesti also took the podium. The fast Brazilian extended his lead to 26 points, but Theo Purscher remained in second place.

The next Formula 2 race takes place in Monaco in a week and promises to be interesting as, unlike their older F1 colleagues, young people are actively trying to overtake on a narrow street – sometimes it works, sometimes it ends in incidents. In general, it will not be boring.

Source: F1 News

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