Frederik Vesti took the FIA F2 win in a wet/dry sprint race in Barcelona, as Zak O’Sullivan took a dry win in F3.
With rain falling, the field ran behind the safety car in the formation lap where rolling start was deployed where reverse grid pole-sitter Amaury Cordeel led the way in the Virtuosi Racing’s car from Hitech GP’s Jak Crawford and Prema’s Frederik Vesti.
The start saw Cordeel retain his lead but a slight contact between Crawford and Vesti left the American drop down the order with the Dane in second from ART’s Victor Martins, MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger, and Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan in the Top 5.
ART’s Theo Pourchaire slotted in sixth from Prema’s Oliver Bearman and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Richard Verschoor in the Top 8 points places. There was a moment between Pourchaire and DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa, which dropped the Japanese driver to 10th.
As Crawford pitted to retire, Vesti took the sprint F2 race lead after a wide moment for Cordeel. He lost to Martins for second a lap later. There were some movements on the wet track as Pourchaire cleared Doohan for fifth after being cleared in an investigation.
He had a moment with Iwasa on Lap 1. The Japanese, meanwhile, passed Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi to get himself on the back of Verschoor for eighth. The fight for third place got interesting after Cordeel lost to Hauger, Pourchaire and Doohan.
Bearman tried to clear Cordeel too but couldn’t, with Verschoor and Iwasa on the Brit’s tail. There was a 5s penalty for track limits for Cordeel, as MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala, Campos’ Kush Maini and Carlin’s Zane Maloney pitted first for the dry tyres.
With Daruvala lapping quicker, Maini had a huge lock-up to pit again where the Virtual Safety Car was deployed for Van Amerstoort’s Juan Manuel Correa spun to beach in the gravel. More drivers pitted for dry tyres when full safety car was deployed.
The re-start took some time, Vesti kept the sprint F2 lead but Pourchaire cleared both Huager and Martins to move to second, where Doohan was fifth from Verschoor, Bearman and Cordeel in the Top 8 points places, with Iwasa in ninth.
Vesti in the front kept the lead to win the sprint F2 race in Barcelona, with Pourchaire coming from ninth to second as Martins kept off Hauger for third. Doohan was fifth from Verschoor, Bearman and Iwasa, who took the final point.
Cordeel did not serve the penalty in the pit stop which left him under investigation after the race, with the last lap ending under yellow after an incident between Daruvala and PHNM Charouz’s Roy Nissany.
#F2 #SpanishGP Provisional results of the SprintRace, which started wet but ended dry and had a safetycar with just some 6 laps to go. The race got timed-out. On the final lap, Nissany launched Daruvala off the track. #MsportXtra @F2Inside pic.twitter.com/3V4SMDZz4M
— #MsportXtra © (@MsportXtra) June 3, 2023
Reverse pole-sitter O’Sullivan instantly defended the inside line, giving compatriot Browning a slipstream down into Turn 1. Despite that, Browning had to yield to his fellow Williams junior on the exit of Turn 2.
Just behind them, Fornaroli’s rapid reactions helped him jump Grégoire Saucy for third. A fast-starting Paul Aron rocketed up from P8 to P5 by the time the Safety Car was deployed at the end of the opening lap after Rodin Carlin’s Ido Cohen found the barriers at Turn 9.
Racing resumed on Lap 5 and O’Sullivan bolted away early through Turn 12, allowing him to pull clear from Browning. The #11 and #10 MP Motorsport cars squabbled over eighth, with Franco Colapinto getting through on Mari Boya.
After Qualifying down in P18, Gabriele Minì was on the charge. The Alpine Academy junior was brave on the brakes, diving past Christian Mansell through Turn 7 for 12th.
Out front, O’Sullivan couldn’t shake off Browning and on Lap 10, the #16 Hitech Pulse-Eight pounced. The PREMA fended him off twice, as Browning tried a move into Turn 1 on consecutive laps to no avail.
Running in P4, Saucy ran wide out of the final corner, opening the door for Aron to get through. Unable to fight back out of Turn 1, the ART Grand Prix driver was left vulnerable to those behind and lost places to both Sebastián Montoya and Gabriel Bortoleto, dropping to seventh.
Aron and Montoya were next to go side-by-side through Turn 1. The slightest of contact left the Hitech driver with a puncture, forcing him to pit at the end of Lap 15. Dino Beganovic found himself out of the race as he too sustained a puncture, becoming beached the gravel at Turn 10.
Minì and Mansell’s earlier battle reignited on Lap 16, but this time the pair made contact. It sent Mansell spinning off at Turn 2 to bring out a second Safety Car. Minì was later awarded a 10-second time penalty for the collision.
Recreating his earlier restart, O’Sullivan had a chance to breathe as Browning was forced to defend from Fornaroli. Pulling a 1.6s gap, the PREMA driver brought it home for the victory ahead of Browning and Fornaroli.
Bortoleto added more points to his Championship tally in fourth, just in front of Aron, Colapinto and Boya. Minì’s penalty promoted Martí to eighth, as Saucy and Taylor Barnard rounded out the top 10 points-scorers.
— #MsportXtra © (@MsportXtra) June 3, 2023
More to come