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Formula 2

Formula 2 Round 8: Last Leg of the Triple Header

Formula 2 makes it’s final stop of the triple header in Silverstone. Read Desi Racing Co’s preview for the weekend.

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It’s the final leg of the triple header and Formula 2 will be in town for Round 8 of the championship. Halfway through the season, and it still feels too early to call the championship. Here are the storylines heading into Round 8 of the Formula 2 championship.

Paul Aron is still at the top

The Estonian driver has continued his streak of scoring a podium in every round of the championship. A P3 in the Sprint and a P5 in the Feature Race helped Aron stay at the top of the championship. Still yet to win a race this year, he could be eyeing the top step in Silverstone.

Paul Aron of Hitech Pulse-Eight (17) (Photo by James Sutton – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Bortoleto is fresh off of a win

The reigning F3 champion got his first win in F2 last weekend in Austria. This helped the McLaren junior climb 3 spots from before in the championship standings. Sitting third in the championship, Bortoleto would look to build on his win last weekend and close the gap in the championship. Sitting just 32 points off the lead, the next few rounds could prove pivotal for the Brazilian if he wants to mount a championship challenge.

Gabriel Bortoleto of Invicta Racing (10) (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Win and a Promotion within a week for Bearman

Oliver Bearman had been having a lackluster season in Formula 2 till now. Having impressed in his Rookie season last year, there’s something about the new-gen cars that doesn’t click for Bearman. Coming into Austria the Prema driver had scored just 18 points in 5 rounds (he missed the Saudi round to fill in for Carlos Sainz). However, in Austria, the Ferrari Academy driver got his first win of the season. On the reverse grid, the Brit started on the front row, a good start helped him lead into turn 1 which he converted into a race win. It was announced today that Bearman will drive for Ferrari customer Haas F1 Team in 2025.

Can Kush bounce back from Austria?

Kush Maini had a disappointing time out in Austria. The Indian driver scored only 2 points in the weekend, both of which came in the sprint race. Having started on reverse grid Pole position for the sprint race, Kush failed to convert it into a win. He lost ground at the start and just couldn’t turn things around in the race, losing more positions to eventually finish 7th. In the feature race, he stalled on the grid, forcing him to start from the pitlane. To come back from a pitlane start in the race was a tough ask, especially when there were no safety car interruptions. The Alpine Academy driver finished 17th in the race.

Coming into Silverstone, Kush has said it’s his favourite track on the calendar. The Track has also given at least 1 F2 driver their first win in the championship since 2020. Could this be the fateful weekend that Kush needs?

FP1 outings for Junior Drivers

This weekend in FP1 we have a few of Formula 2 drivers making an appearance in Formula 1’s First Free Practice session.

Isack Hadjar will return to drive for Red Bull Racing, jumping into Sergio Perez’s car. He made two FP1 appearances in 2023 – one for AlphaTauri (now RB) in Mexico, and one for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi. Williams Junior Franco Colapinto will be with the British team. The MP Motorsport driver is 5th in the standings and enjoyed a Feature Race podium last time out in Austria. Oliver Bearman who’s already been confirmed to drive for Haas in 2025 will be making another Practice appearance for the team. Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan will drive Pierre Gasly’s car in FP1 this weekend.

Timings and Where to Watch

You can watch all the sessions live in India on Fancode or F1TV. Full schedule of the weekend in IST is given below:

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Formula 2

Formula 2 Round 9 Preview: Top 5 storylines heading into Hungary

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Budapest hosts Formula 2 for Round 9 of the championship. The Hungaroring will be first stop of the double header before we head to the summer break. Here are DRC’s top 5 storylines heading into Budapest.
Read the Round 8 review here.

Hadjar will look to maintain his championship lead.

Hadjar has finally regained the championship lead that he lost to Paul Aron earlier in the season. In the last 6 Feature Races, Hadjar has 3 wins and 2 more podiums to his name. His worst result in those feature races was a fifth place finish in Barcelona.

(Photo by James Sutton – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Hadjar is currently 16 points ahead of second placed Paul Aron in the championship. The campos driver will be looking to extend this lead over the double header.

Aron looking to make a comeback after a disappointing Silverstone

Paul Aron went into Silverstone hoping to end his winless streak in Formula 2. Things didn’t go as planned and he failed to score a single point in Silverstone. Having scored a podium in each of the seven opening rounds, not scoring a point in the eighth round was disappointing. This resulted in Aron losing his championship lead to rival Isack Hadjar.

(Photo: Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

The Hitech driver will look to bounce back in Hungary. With just 16 points adrift of the top, a solid weekend can close that gap down. The results in Silverstone being majorly affected by his spin in qualifying. However, he was on provisional pole before the spin and showed good pace in the races as well. Aron will definitely be the one to watch as he now hunts for his first win and also the championship lead.

Zane Maloney looking to build on Silverstone success

Even though Maloney didn’t get a win in Silverstone, but 2 podiums in both races meant he had his second best weekend of the season so far. The Rodin driver won both races in Bahrain, getting a start people could only dream of. But, the form dipped with the Bajan scoring only 1 podium in the next 6 weekends. Silverstone was a turn in form with Maloney scoring two P2 finishes.

(Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

The solid weekend in Silverstone has put Maloney P3 in the championship standings. Coming into Budapest, Maloney will look to build on his success from last round.

Maini will look to turn his mixed weekends into solid ones

The Indian driver has scored 2 podiums in the last 3 rounds. But the performance is still far off from what people expected out of him. Having challenged for race wins and pole positions at the start of the year, that form has seen a dip since Imola. It was reported that he had a cracked chassis in Imola and Monaco. In Spain he had a brand new chassis and the form improved. Ever since then it has been a mixed bag of results.

Heading into Hungary, the Indian driver will be looking to put it all together and have a solid weekend. Hungaroring is also the track where Maini scored his first and only Formula 3 podium.

Teams’ title fight heating up

The 2024 Formula 2 teams’ title fight is intensely competitive, with Campos Racing currently leading by 23 points. Rodin Motorsport initially dominated, but their momentum waned, allowing teams like Hitech Pulse-Eight and MP Motorsport to close in. The top five teams are closely matched, with only 51 points separating them. As the season progresses, the standings are expected to remain volatile, setting the stage for a thrilling conclusion. With numerous races left, including unpredictable circuits like Baku and Lusail, the title fight is far from over.

(Photo- Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Schedule and Where to Watch.

You can watch Formula 2 live in India on F1TV and Fancode. The full weekend schedule is as follows.

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Formula 2

Isack Hadjar Retakes Championship Lead: Formula 2 Round 8

Isack Hadjar retook the championship lead in Silverstone. The Frenchman scored a pole and the Feature Race win to get back on top.

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Isack Hadjar took pole and a win in Silverstone to retake the Formula 2 championship lead in Silverstone. Here are the storylines from the weekend.

Disaster Weekend for Paul Aron

Paul Aron coming to Silverstone had a podium each round, this streak ended in Silverstone. Not only did he fail to score a podium, but he also didn’t score any points at all. The Estonian driver qualified P12 after making an error and spinning out with 10 minutes left in the session. This left him with major flat spots while everyone else improved their times. In the Sprint Race Aron collided with Martí and it left both out of the race. In the Feature Race, Aron finished outside the points in P12. Having lost his Championship lead, Aron would be looking to take it back in Hungary.

Hadjar gets the Pole and a Win

Isack Hadjar had a mixed weekend but most of it was on the good side. Qualifying on Pole, Hadjar started the Sprint race in P10. The Campos driver beached his car on lap 8 straight into Copse. The next day in the feature race Hadjar had a bad start starting from pole and fell back. Hadjar then drove brilliantly to come back into the race and was running P2 behind Crawford. A 5s time penalty for Crawford meant Hadjar who was only 2.5s behind would take the victory after the penalty was applied.

(Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Heading into Budapest as the championship leader, Hadjar would look to extend his lead on top.

“Race winner on Sunday, unfortunately not on track like we wanted. But still, it was a really fun race with lots going on and I managed to bring those points home. Already looking forward to Budapest.”

Isack Hadjar after the feature race

Zane Maloney takes Double Podium

Maloney didn’t get any race wins but scored 2 crucial podium finishes to climb up to 3rd in the championship standings. An uneventful sprint race as Maloney started P2 and finished P2 as well. The Feature Race however was anything but uneventful. The Bajan driver had a great start to move up 3 places. He then went on to manage his tyres and pace well to finish P2 after Crawford’s penalty. After scoring 0 points last weekend, Maloney would be happy to bounce back with two P2s.

(Image: Formula 2 via Getty Images)

Andrea Kimi Antonelli gets his first win.

The Mercedes Junior was having a lackluster season in Formula 2, delivering performances below everyone’s expectations of him. The prime candidate for the Mercedes seat, he had to step up to show everyone that he deserved the seat. Having started from the reverse grid pole in the Sprint Race, Kimi excelled in mixed conditions to finish P1.

“Got my first win, really happy with the result. It was a difficult race in difficult conditions, but we managed pretty well and I’m really happy to bring home the first win of the season.”

Andrea Kimi Antonelly

The feature race ended early for the Italian after being sent into a spin by Kush Maini on the opening lap. An overall decent weekend and the Sprint Race victory will only motivate him to push for being constantly at the front.

Image credits: Formula 2 via Getty Images

Mixed weekend for Kush Maini

The Indian driver had another mixed weekend in Silverstone, similar to what he had in Austria one week back. The pace was looking strong for Maini in qualifying, but traffic hampered his final push lap resulting in him qualifying P8. On the reverse grid for the Sprint Race, Maini started P3 and finished P3 too, but the race was not as simple as it looks like. The Alpine junior driver was holding position in mixed conditions after being under constant pressure from his teammate. On the last lap, Bortoleto made a move on Maini on the last corner, overtaking him to finish P3. Later on the stewards deemed the move illegal, as Bortoleto overtook outside the track. This resulted in Maini getting back the 3rd place.

In the feature race, Maini tapped Kimi from behind, sending the Prema driver into a spin and giving Maini damage. This forced Maini to make an early pit stop. After that, the race was pretty much uneventful for the Indian who crossed the finish line in P19. Maini also got a 10s time penalty for the opening lap incident, but that didn’t affect his finishing position.

Championship Standings

Isack Hadjar moves to the top of the Championship ahead of Paul Aron, 133 points to 117. Zane Maloney improved his position in third, now on 101 points with Gabriel Bortoleto fourth on 98. Franco Colapinto is P5 on 92 points.

In the Teams’ Standings, Campos Racing lead with 171 points ahead of MP Motorsport in second on 158. Invicta Racing are just two points back in third position, while Hitech Pulse-Eight and Rodin Motorsport round out the top five with 142 and 120 points respectively.

Formula 2 will take a week off and head to Budapest for Round 9 of the championship from July 19-21.

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Formula 2

Formula 2 Austria: Bortoleto gets his Maiden Win.

Gabriel Bortoleto scores his first win in Formula 2 as Indian driver Kush Maini experiences a tough weekend in Austria.

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Another weekend of Formula 2 wraps up. Gabriel Bortoleto scored his first win in Formula 2, and Oliver Bearman got his first win of the season. The Indian driver Kush Maini had a tough outing in Austria, leaving with only 2 points in 2 races. Here is how the Austrian leg of the triple header unfolded.

Read the preview before the weekend.

Practice

The only practice session of the weekend was topped by Isack Hadjar. The Frenchman, who’s looking to regain the championship lead started the weekend strong. The championship leader, Paul Aron, was close behind him in second. It was another close session, with the whole grid separated by just over a second. Kush Maini spent some time in the pits fixing what looked like brake issues. The Indian finished the session 21st, +1.084s off the top. Campos Racing’s Josep María Martí was disqualified from the final classification. The Spaniard could not provide the minimum 0.8kg fuel sample required by Article 6.3.1 of the FIA Formula 2 Technical Regulations.

Kush Maini’s car is being worked on in the pits. (Image: F1TV)

Qualifying

Isack Hadjar maintained momentum from Practice to set an early benchmark time in Qualifying. The Campos Racing driver set an opening time of 1:15.828, and championship leader Paul Aron slotted in 2 tenths behind. Returning to the pit lane after the first runs, Hadjar had smoke running out of his car. Forcing the Frenchman to end his qualifying early.

The final few laps started coming in with 5 minutes left in the session. Dennis Hauger topped the time sheets with a 1:15.487. Duerksen was close behind, just 0.008s off Pole. Gabriel Bortoleto rounded off the top 3.

Dennis Hauger of Norway and MP Motorsport (11) (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Franco Colapinto qualified fourth, ahead of championship leader Paul Aron. Taylor Barnard came in 6th, putting both AIX cars in the top 6. Isack Hadjar’s first lap was good enough to put him in 7th with his teammate Josep María Martí alongside him in 8th. Oliver Bearman and Kush Maini came in 9th and 10th, making the front row for the reverse grid Sprint Race.

Sprint Race

Kush Maini started on Pole and had Ferrari Junior Oliver Bearman alongside him on the front row. Kush Maini again failed to get a good start from the pole, dropping down to P3 in the opening lap. Whereas Oliver Bearman got a superb launch to take the lead in the race at the start. Josep María Martí overtook Maini to take second place on Lap 1.

Start of Sprint Race (Image: Formula 2 media)

By the halfway stage Maini started to struggle and the distance between him and Marti in 2nd kept increasing. Eventually, Maini lost his podium place to Aron, followed by his teammate dropping him down to P5.

In the end, it was Bearman who maintained his lead from the start to finish first and took the Sprint Race victory in Austria. Marti finished second, while Aron held off Bortoleto to take the final podium position. Maini was overtaken by the two MP Motorsport drivers with Hauger finishing 5th, Colapinto in 6th, and Maini in 7th. The final point was scored by Duerksen for AIX.

Race winner Oliver Bearman of PREMA Racing (3) takes the chequered flag during the Round 7 Spielberg Sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

“Happy to be back on the podium, it’s been a tough run so far, so I’m happy to finally get a result that the team deserve. We’ve been working really hard, and we are getting towards where we want to be, so let’s go get some good points tomorrow.”

Oliver Bearman after winning the sprint race

Feature Race

There was drama before the race even started. Multiple drivers stalled on the grid during the formation lap including Pole sitter Dennis Hauger. Kush Maini and Jack Crawford were the other two to stall, the 3 drivers would then start from the pitlane.

Out on track, Duerksen was the lead car on the grid. He got off the line well to lead the race ahead of Bortoleto and Colapinto in third. Bortoleto made a move down the inside at turn 4 on Lap 4 to the lead from Duerksen. Colapinto overtook him next, dropping Duerksen down to P3.

Start of Feature Race (Image: Formula 2 Media)

Zane Maloney stopping on track brought out the VSC briefly, and racing resumed after the car was recovered. The first round of pit stops as drivers opting for the supersofts came in to switch to softs. Marti came in before Bortoleto and the undercut worked as Marti now had the effective race lead. Bortoleto would then take the lead from Marti on lap 18. On lap 24, the two Campos cars changed positions as Hadjar overtook Marti.

Colapinto came into the pits on lap 32 from the race lead. Having opted for the alternate strategy, the MP Motorsport driver was now on fresh supersofts. He came out of the pits in P8 and quickly started making his way up the grid. By lap 38, the Argentine was up to P4, he then overtook Marti on the next lap. On the final lap, Colapinto overtook Hadjar to take second from him. However, it was Bortoleto in the front who drove brilliantly to take his first win in Formula 2.

Race winner Gabriel Bortoleto of Brazil and Invicta Racing (10) (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Colapinto took P2 ahead of Hadjar, with Martí in fourth and Fittipaldi in fifth. Aron’s penalty dropped him to P6 ahead of Duerksen and Amaury Cordeel, with Taylor Barnard in P9 and Zak O’Sullivan rounding out the points P10 for ART Grand Prix.

“P1 today in the Feature Race, so happy, it’s a special track for me. I always have good memories here, and finally I could get my first Formula 2 win. I’m super super happy, thanks to the team, McLaren and everyone that supported and helped me get on the biggest step on the podium today.”

Gabriel Bortoleto after winning the feature race.

Championship Standings

In the Championship standings, it’s Paul Aron who maintains his lead at the top. Bortoleto now slots in 3rd thanks to his Feature Race win. The Indian driver Kush Maini remains 8th in the Standings.

Up Next

With half the championship now over, we head to Silverstone next from 5-7 July.

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