Formula 1 Racing

Bortoleto moves into championship contention with first F2 win · RaceFans

Bortoleto moves into championship contention with first F2 win · RaceFans

Reigning Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto moved into contention for the Formula 2 title by taking his first win as the season reached its halfway point.

The McLaren junior overtook early leader Joshua Duerksen and held on to win the feature race ahead of Franco Colapinto.

Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar claimed third after a row over team orders at Campos, as Pepe Marti finished behind him in the second car.

Before the race began, there was major drama when pole winner Dennis Hauger and several other drivers stalled when attempting to leave the grid on the Formation Lap. Jak Crawford and Kush Maini were also pushed into the pit lane after failing to leave the grid.

That handed what was effectively pole position to Joshua Duerksen, who held the lead off the line ahead of Bortoleto, Williams junior Franco Colapinto and championship leader Paul Aron. Duerksen led the opening laps until Brotoleto took the lead from him with a move up the inside of turn four, after which Colapinto moved past into second two laps later.

A Virtual Safety Car was deployed when Zane Maloney came to a stop at the top of the hill, just after Pepe Marti had pitted for soft tyres. Durksen came in at the end of lap seven before Bortoleto pitted a lap later, but the Invicta driver emerged behind Marti who had saved several seconds thanks to the Virtual Safety Car was was now effectively in the net lead of the race.

Colapinto, who had started on the softs rather than supersofts, assumed the lead of the race, heading nine drivers who had started on the softs. Oliver Bearman ran second until he suddenly slowed on lap 20 with an apparent technical problem, forcing him to pull into the pits to retire.

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Bortoleto managed to get by Marti to reclaim the net lead, before Marti was then caught by Campos team mate Isack Hadjar. Hadjar pleaded with the team to let him by, which Marti eventually did, but Hadjar could not close the gap to Bortoleto.

Colapinto eventually pitted from the lead at the end of lap 32, falling to eighth and putting Bortoleto to the head of the field with Hadjar and Marti second and third. Hadjar was still unable to close the gap to the leader and was under pressure from team mate Marti.

Further back, Colapinto was charging on his fresh supersoft tyres. He cruised up to fourth-placed Aron and passed him with three laps remaining, then set his sights on the Campos cars ahead. Within a lap, Colapinto had passed…

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