Formula 1 Racing

“In my mind I won twice this weekend” says Hadjar after penalty · RaceFans

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Red Bull junior driver Isack Hadjar feels he won both races in Melbourne last weekend after a penalty cost him victory in Saturday’s opener.

Hadjar won again in Sunday’s feature race but this time the stewards did not intervene and he kept the victory.

“It does feel like redemption,” said the Campos driver after his Sunday win. “But to be fair, in my mind, I won yesterday on track and that’s the most important to me.

“Then the penalty came and it’s just less points in the championship, obviously. But to my mind I won twice this weekend and that’s what matters the most to me.”

He was given a 10-second time penalty for his role in a crash seconds after the start of Saturday’s race, which sent his team mate Pepe Marti and Gabriel Bortoleto spinning into the barrier at the pit lane exit.

Campos asked the stewards to review the decision but their request was turned down on multiple grounds. The stewards ruled video footage Campos supplied did not reveal significant details and, in some cases, was not new. The team also initially failed to pay the required €2,000 fee, which was introduced this year.

Hadjar’s luck changed on Sunday when a Virtual Safety Car period allowed him to save time during his mandatory pit stop and jump into the lead.

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“After the first few laps I was P8 and it was clear which lap I was going to pit,” he said. “Pepe had the priority, he was going to be pit before me.

“The lap I pitted I knew to do a good in-lap and I would have clean pit lane. Then I saw the VSC and from that point, honestly, I knew it was pretty much in the bag.

“I got super-lucky with, that, I have to admit but, when you look at my last year and a half, it’s been a disaster for me on this point of view. So it feels good.”

Hadjar said his first win of the season shows he’s always had the speed to be competitive.

“I think I performed really well, just like in Jeddah and Bahrain, but we just didn’t get the results, due to technical issues and being taken out,” he said. “So it was a tough start to the championship, but the speed has always been there. It was the case this weekend but we got a little bit of luck, so it made a big difference.”

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