Frederik Vesti became the fourth different winner of the first four Formula 2 races, climbing to victory from sixth on the grid in Jeddah.
The Mercedes junior driver capitalised upon a combination of good strategy by his team and errors by his rivals to climb up the order and take victory by five seconds. Jack Doohan and Jehan Daruvala joined him on the podium.
Victor Martins lined up in pole position aiming to go one better than his second place in the sprint race, scored from 10th on the grid. He was joined on the front row by Oliver Bearman, whose sprint race was cut short after being taken out by Theo Pourchaire.
As the lights went out, Bearman got the better start and took the lead into turn one while Martins held off an attacking Doohan at the opening chicane for second. The race was neutralised on lap two, after Amaury Cordeel hit Brad Benavides at turn one and put the PHM driver out of the race.
The resulting Virtual Safety Car period came to an end the following lap. Bearman controlled the restart brilliantly and extended his lead to two seconds. But the pit stop window soon opened and those who started on the super-soft tyre switched to mediums.
Doohan and Vesti were among those to pit on lap seven and the Prema driver jumped the Alpine junior in the pit lane. The front runners then came in the next lap; although Bearman stayed ahead of Martins, it laid the foundations for a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle for the net lead of the race, with cars ahead of them yet to pit.
Martins attempted his first overtaking move on lap 10, but there wasn’t enough space on track for the two drivers. The ART driver went around the outside of turn one but then cut the following corner and was forced to give position back.
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He finally completed his overtake the next lap. Using the slipstream, Martins passed his rival on the start-finish straight, but Bearman tried to fight back at the opening chicane. However, this overtaking attempt caused him to have a poor exit at turn two and Bearman lost a position to team mate Vesti.
Vesti continued his pursuit of Martins, while Bearman lost pace and dropped back. On lap 17 he Bearman lost control and spun at turn 22, losing several positions.
Moments later, Martins did much the same at turn four. The ART driver slewed sideways and came to a stop, his engine cutting out as…
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