Roundup of the 11th round of 2022 FIA F2 season at Circuit Spa Francorchamps which saw a huge twist in the title fight.
Felipe Drugovich came into this round having seen his title lead reduced heavily by Theo Pourchaire in Hungary last time out but rebounded due to a mixture of weather and luck across the weekend, as F2 began a triple-header with Netherlands and Italy to come in the next fortnight.
There meanwhile were several surprises as Qualifying threw up mixed grids for both races so here is a full roundup of the 11th round of 2022 F2 season, as the title fight begins to hit the home stretch.
Virtuosi’s Marino Sato was first driver out on track in Practice as light rain began to sweep across the pit-lane in the opening minutes, which forced many back into the pit lane shortly afterwards.
Sato proceeded to set the benchmark time in the 11th minute of 2m 08.223 which he lowered by 3.149 seconds on his next lap, only to be beaten by Cordeel briefly before he returned to the summit with 2m 02.049 in the 18th minute.
Several drivers meanwhile stayed in the pits until the rain intensity decreased and by the 28th minute, DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa was fastest with 2m 01.546 ahead of Marcus Armstrong and Lirim Zendeli, although Iwasa then spun and stalled in the gravel at Stavelot in the 28th minute.
The red flag consequently was brought out but not before Ralph Boschung leapt to the summit with a session-topping 2m 01.376 on his return to F2 after time away from the series for medical reasons.
Once the session resumed seven minutes later, the rain had returned and after Dennis Hauger pulled over into the F2 paddock with a mechanical issue, David Beckmann and Enzo Fittipaldi both ran deep at La Source with little grip and the former stalled his VAR car.
Stewards consequently threw the red flag and abandoned the last six minutes of the session meaning that Boschung finished fastest ahead of Amaury Cordeel and Iwasa.
|1||Ralph Boschung||Campos||2m 01.376|
|2||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||+ 0.006|
|3||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||+ 0.170|
|4||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+ 0.197|
|5||Lirim Zendeli||Campos||+ 0.468|
|6||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||+ 0.534|
|7||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||+ 0.595|
|8||David Beckmann||VAR||+ 0.611|
|9||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||+ 0.673|
|10||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+ 0.935|
|11||Liam Lawson||Carlin||+ 1.055|
|12||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||+ 1.119|
|13||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 1.165|
|14||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||+ 1.216|
|15||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+ 1.822|
|16||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||+ 3.400|
|17||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 3.889|
|18||Richard Verschoor||Trident||+ 7.568|
|19||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 22.786|
|20||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+ 24.129|
|21||Calan Williams||Trident||+ 25.580|
|22||Roy Nissany||DAMS||No Time Set|
Qualifying was delayed five minutes due to wet weather conditions which reduced in intensity as the session wore on, with Jack Doohan and Sato leading the field onto the track for opening runs once underway.
Doohan however suffered a spin at La Source at the start of his second warm-up lap in the third minute after he hit a damp patch on entry, but was able to continue unlike Juri Vips who spun at the same corner and stalled on the exit four minutes later to cause a five minute red flag.
Once the session resumed, Armstrong headed the order with 2m 00.353 ahead of Hauger and Logan Sargeant, until Felipe Drugovich went top with 1m 59.990 at the end of the opening runs.
The lead changed hands three times in the 26th minute as Boschung initially went fastest but was displaced by Jehan Daruvala, only for Doohan to post 1m 58.941 to displace both drivers and go top.
Drugovich responded one minute later with 1m 58.232 to clinch his third pole position of the season for the Feature Race, where he was joined on the front row by compatriot – Enzo Fittipaldi who knocked Doohan off second at the death with Sargeant then demoting the Aussie to fourth.
Drugovich’s title rival, Theo Pourchaire meanwhile could only qualify eighth but ahead of Daruvala and Boschung who inherited reverse-pole for the Sprint Race.
Drugovich also extended his title lead over Pourchaire to 23 points after picking up two points for his pole position.
|1||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1m 58.232|
|2||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||+ 0.383|
|3||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||+ 0.549|
|4||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||+ 0.551|
|5||David Beckmann||VAR||+ 0.565|
|6||Liam Lawson||Carlin||+ 0.744|
|7||Richard Verschoor||Trident||+ 0.786|
|8||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+ 0.829|
|9||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||+ 0.882|
|10||Ralph Boschung||Campos||+ 0.894|
|11||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.929|
|12||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+ 0.945|
|13||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||+ 0.947|
|14||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 1.052|
|15||Roy Nissany||DAMS||+ 1.070|
|16||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+ 1.148|
|17||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||+ 1.291|
|18||Calan Williams||Trident||+ 1.294|
|19||Lirim Zendeli||Campos||+ 1.472|
|20||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||+ 1.588|
|21||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||+ 2.299|
|22||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||No Time Set|
There was brief drama before the race grid even formed up as Daruvala who was set to start second retired on his way to the grid with a mechanical issue.
Once the race commenced, Boschung made a clean start to lead the field into La Source, as Lawson leapt up from fifth to second, despite getting forced wide across the damp grass in a hairy moment for the Red Bull junior who made his F1 debut in FP1 this weekend.
Lawson however had the initial momentum which told on the second lap as he breezed past Boschung into Les Combes to claim the lead, with Verschoor and Doohan having demoted Pourchaire to fifth at the start as Drugovich improved to sixth just behind his title rival.
The race order soon settled as Lawson fought off Boschung with the only other overtake in the opening 10 laps, coming from Doohan on Verschoor for third into Les Combes with DRS on Lap Five.
Sargeant however provided the twist that the race needed as he lost control of the rear-end of his Carlin at Pouhon on Lap 11 and crashed heavily into the barriers, which caused a four-lap Safety Car deployment as some drivers including Drugovich gambled on soft tyres.
That tyre gamble ultimately paid off only for Drugovich who sat 12th as the race resumed on Lap 15, as the Brazilian cleared Clement Novalak, Vips and Fittipaldi on that lap before clearing Iwasa and Beckmann a lap later followed by Armstrong at La Source on Lap 17 to reclaim sixth.
The championship leader though wasn’t done as he also passed Pourchaire and Verschoor in the last two laps to claim fourth behind race winner – Lawson whilst Doohan had passed Boschung for second in the closing laps.
Verschoor ultimately settled for fifth ahead of Pourchaire, Armstrong and Beckmann who rounded out the top eight drivers.
In the driver standings, Drugovich now leads Pourchaire by 25 points with Sargeant and Enzo Fittipaldi sat third and fourth, whilst Lawson’s win lifted him up to fifth in the order ahead of Doohan and Daruvala.
|1||Liam Lawson||Carlin||18||40m 22.343|
|2||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||18||+ 3.868|
|3||Ralph Boschung||Campos||18||+ 5.718|
|4||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||18||+ 6.360|
|5||Richard Verschoor||Trident||18||+ 8.407|
|6||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||18||+ 8.686|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||18||+ 9.422|
|8||David Beckmann||VAR||18||+ 10.065|
|9||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||18||+ 10.833|
|10||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||18||+ 11.134|
|11||Roy Nissany||DAMS||18||+ 11.615|
|12||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||18||+ 14.089|
|13||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||18||+ 15.801|
|14||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||18||+ 16.393|
|15||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||18||+ 16.767|
|16||Calan Williams||Trident||18||+ 17.669|
|17||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||18||+ 18.553|
|18||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||18||+ 18.594|
|19||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||18||+ 19.044|
|20||Lirim Zendeli||Campos||18||+ 23.207|
At lights out, Drugovich retained his lead as Doohan leapt from fourth to second with Beckmann up from fifth to third ahead of Fittipaldi and Lawson.
Sargeant meanwhile slipped from third to seventh and was passed by Pourchaire on the second lap but the latter suffered a power failure on Lap Three, which ultimately forced him to retire in the pits and dented his title ambitions.
Fittipaldi found himself in an early scrap with Lawson which peaked on Lap 4 as Fittipaldi fought hard to fend off the New Zealander at Les Combes, but had to concede position to avoid a penalty on the following lap so tried to repass him to no avail at the same corner.
Verschoor then demoted Fittipaldi to sixth on Lap Six and the Brazilian was the first to pit on Lap Eight, whilst Doohan up front waited until end of Lap Nine before pulling the undercut on Drugovich who pitted at end of Lap 10.
Verschoor consequently inherited the lead on the medium tyres as those who started on the soft tyres began to fight their way through the field, with Doohan losing nearly four seconds on Lap 13 stuck behind Cordeel which allowed Drugovich to reel his rival for victory to within range.
Doohan though was able to fend off Drugovich throughout the remainder of the race to clinch his third F2 win in five rounds – albeit first Feature Race victory – as Lawson rounded out the podium ahead of Verschoor who charged back through the field to finish fourth ahead of Fittipaldi.
Post-race, Fittipaldi was handed a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage during his battle with Lawson and dropped to tenth in the classification.
In the driver standings, Drugovich benefitted from Pourchaire’s retirement to double his title lead to 50 points, whilst Sargeant stays third as Doohan jumped up to fourth in the order ahead of Lawson who completed the top five.
Fittipaldi – 25.481
|1||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||25||52m 16.133|
|2||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||25||+ 1.942|
|3||Liam Lawson||Carlin||25||+ 8.714|
|4||Richard Verschoor||Trident||25||+ 12.479|
|5||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||25||+ 21.266|
|6||David Beckmann||VAR||25||+ 22.365|
|7||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||25||+ 22.498|
|8||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||25||+ 23.899|
|9||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||25||+ 24.746|
|10||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||25||+ 25.481|
|11||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||25||+ 31.001|
|12||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||25||+ 37.471|
|13||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||25||+ 39.756|
|14||Ralph Boschung||Campos||25||+ 40.683|
|15||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||25||+ 43.718|
|16||Calan Williams||Trident||25||+ 45.683|
|17||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||25||+ 52.243|
|18||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||25||+ 57.384|
|19||Roy Nissany||DAMS||25||+ 62.827|
|20||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||25||+ 106.358|
|RET||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||3||Power|