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Megan White

F2 Silverstone: Martins takes dominant victory despite penalty

The ART rookie and reigning F3 champion started on pole and though he briefly lost the lead to Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS) on lap one, reclaimed the position quickly, though he was later penalised for gaining an advantage off-track.

Despite three safety cars and the five-second penalty, which he was handed after his pitstop, the Alpine Academy member managed to clear a seven-second gap to second-placed Hitech driver Zane Maloney to hold onto the win.

His team-mate, Theo Pourchaire, finished third to close the gap in the championship to Prema driver Frederik Vesti to just six points, with the Dane failing to finish after a safety car restart crash early on.

Iwasa led into Turn 1 after a fantastic launch before Martin fought back, running wide at the Loop and incurring a penalty in the process.

Behind, Oliver Bearman (Prema) slotted into third, having started fifth, as second-place start Kush Maini fell back to sixth.

Martins built a three-second lead to Iwasa by lap three, with a further 1.1s to Bearman, while further back Jack Doohan (Virtuosi) took fourth from Hitech’s Enzo Fittipaldi round the outside of Stowe.

The first pitstops came on lap six, with Fittipaldi, Vesti, Roy Nissany (PHM), Hitech’s Jak Crawford and VAR driver Richard Verschoor first to pit.

Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix (Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd)

The first safety car period began on lap seven after Amaury Cordeel spun his Virtuosi car after contact with Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport), prompting the rest of the field to dive into the pits.

Isack Hadjar inherited the lead for Hitech ahead of DAMS driver Arthur Leclerc and Martins, who held the lead of those who had stopped.

Racing resumed on lap 11, but the safety car was immediately redeployed after Stanek, Hauger and Vesti made contact on the restart.

Vesti was rear-ended by Hauger as the pack bunched up for the restart, with the Mercedes junior then clipping Stanek’s rear and forcing him into a spin.

Vesti pitted and attempted to rejoin, but came to a stop at the pit exit with a terminal suspension issue.

The safety car ended on lap 15, with Bearman running wide at Abbey and dropping to 10th, before losing further places as Fittipaldi suffered a similar fate.

The following tour, Martins was handed his penalty and was about to begin building a big enough gap to hold onto his maiden win when the safety car came out again as the Campos pair stopped on track.

Ayumu Iwasa, DAMS (Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd)

Maini had attempted a move on Bearman but miscalculated and hit Boschung, ending both drivers’ races, though they appeared to have made up as they walked off the track.

With Hadjar, Leclerc, Juan Manuel Correa (VAR) and Trident driver Clement Novalak all pitting under that safety car, Martins was again handed the lead out front.

The safety car headed back into the pits with 10 laps remaining, releasing Martins, as Leclerc passed Pourchaire up the inside of the Loop for third.

A three-way battle for second ensued between those two and Maloney before the Monegasque driver began to fall back, with Pourchaire taking third on lap 25 before Doohan also passed Leclerc as the Ferrari junior locked up.

Martins meanwhile was five seconds clear of Maloney by the following lap, a gap which he increased to seven seconds when he crossed the line.

Saturday podium finisher Doohan finished fourth, with Iwasa and Bearman in fifth and sixth.

MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala was seventh, with Fittipaldi, Leclerc and Crawford rounding out the top 10.

F2 returns in Budapest from 21-23 July.

F2 Silverstone feature race results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph Points
1 France Victor Martins France ART Grand Prix 29 58'54.389     173.873 25
2 Barbados Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin 29 58'56.440 2.051 2.051 173.773 18
3 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 29 58'59.138 4.749 2.698 173.640 15
4 Australia Jack Doohan Invicta Virtuosi Racing 29 59'01.026 6.637 1.888 173.548 12
5 Japan Ayumu Iwasa France DAMS 29 59'07.000 12.611 5.974 173.255 10
6 United Kingdom Oliver Bearman Italy Prema Powerteam 29 59'12.614 18.225 5.614 172.981 8
7 India Jehan Daruvala Netherlands MP Motorsport 29 59'13.322 18.933 0.708 172.947 6
8 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin 29 59'13.352 18.963 0.030 172.945 4
9 Monaco Arthur Leclerc France DAMS 29 59'18.544 24.155 5.192 172.693 2
10 United States Jak Crawford Hitech Pulse-Eight 29 59'18.932 24.543 0.388 172.674 1
11 United States Juan Manuel Correa Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 29 59'22.347 27.958 3.415 172.509  
12 Israel Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz 29 59'24.166 29.777 1.819 172.421  
13 France Clement Novalak Italy Trident 29 59'24.999 30.610 0.833 172.380  
14 United States Brad Benavides PHM Racing by Charouz 29 59'25.362 30.973 0.363 172.363  
15 Norway Dennis Hauger Netherlands MP Motorsport 29 59'27.309 32.920 1.947 172.269  
16 France Isack Hadjar Hitech Pulse-Eight 29 59'28.962 34.573 1.653 172.189  
17 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 29 59'29.018 34.629 0.056 172.186  
  India Kush Maini Spain Campos Racing 15 14 laps        
  Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 15 14 laps        
  Denmark Frederik Vesti Italy Prema Powerteam 11 18 laps        
  Czech Republic Roman Staněk Italy Trident 9 20 laps        
  Belgium Amaury Cordeel Invicta Virtuosi Racing 5 24 laps        
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