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Megan White

F2 Spa: Fittipaldi passes Verschoor to win sprint race

The Rodin Carlin driver had scored eight podiums before finally taking his first victory in the series on Saturday in Belgium.

Having lined up third, he held position off the line behind poleman Jehan Daruvala (MP Motorsport) and Van Amersfoort Racing driver Richard Verschoor.

Though Daruvala initially took control, he was forced to retire on lap two after his headrest flew off, handing the lead to Verschoor.

Despite the Dutchman building a two-second lead, Fittipaldi fought back, taking the lead into Les Combes on lap 16 with the help of DRS.

He immediately built over a second lead to ensure Verschoor would be unable to replicate the move, crossing the line for his maiden victory, with championship contender Theo Pourchaire in third for ART.

The start of the race was delayed by 35 minutes after the earlier Formula 1 sprint shootout was pushed back due to rain.

Joshua Mason, making his F2 debut for PHM Racing by Charouz this weekend, stalled on the grid, prompting a 10-second penalty for a start procedure infringement.

Enzo Fittipaldi, Carlin (Photo by: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency)

After a second formation lap, racing got underway, with Daruvala leading from Verschoor and Fittipaldi, while Pourchaire slotted into fourth after a good start.

Dennis Hauger had attempted to fire up the inside in his MP-run car but fell back again before title contender Frederik Vesti (Prema) passed him for seventh at Les Combes.

Vesti then passed Campos driver Ralph Boschung on the Kemmel Straight for fifth, with Hauger following him through as Boschung struggled for grip.

Daruvala’s race ended on lap two after a bizarre incident involving his headrest which will be investigated after the race.

The safety car was then deployed after Virtuosi driver Amaury Courdeel spun and stalled at Stavelot.

Racing resumed on lap five, with Jack Doohan (Virtuosi) and Hitech driver Zane Maloney fighting over eighth, the latter emerging in front.

Verschoor was 1.4s clear of Fittipaldi by lap seven, with DAMS driver Ayumu Iwasa and Ollie Bearman (Prema) tussling for 10th at Les Combes, the Japanese driver holding the position.

Doohan then passed Maloney for eighth before passing Boschung on lap 10.

Verschoor was two seconds clear of Fittipaldi by lap 10, with Pourchaire another two seconds behind him in third.

Bearman and Leclerc tangled on lap 13 at Les Combes, with the Briton running onto the gravel and dropping back two places to 13th.

Up front, Fittipaldi was closing on Verschoor, the gap down to 1.2s by lap 14, while Pourchaire dropped off behind.

The gap was down to just 0.7s the following tour, with Fittipaldi finally making it past Verschoor into Les Combes with DRS on lap 16.

He managed to quickly build a lead of over a second to break DRS, with Verschoor settling for second after late tyre struggles.

Hauger took fourth, with ART driver Victor Martins in fifth ahead of Doohan. Vesti finished sixth, with Iwasa, Boschung and Leclerc rounding out the top 10.

F2 Spa: Race 1 Results (17 laps): 

# driver Team time gap
4 BRA Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin -  
22 HOL Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 2.3 2.300
5 FRA Théo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 5.1 5.100
1 NOR Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 5.9 5.900
6 FRA Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 6.7 6.700
14 AUS Jack Doohan Invicta Virtuosi Racing 12.7 12.700
7 DEN Frederik Vesti PREMA Racing 15.3 15.300
11 JPN Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 15.5 15.500
25 SUI Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 16.2 16.200
12 MON Arthur Leclerc DAMS 18.4 18.400
3 Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin 22.8 22.800
10 FRA Isack Hadjar Hitech Pulse-Eight 23.0 23.000
8 GBR Oliver Bearman PREMA Racing 26.0 26.000
16 ISR Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz 26.9 26.900
9 USA Jak Crawford Hitech Pulse-Eight 27.6 27.600
20 CZE Roman Staněk Trident 29.2 29.200
23 ECU Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 31.3 31.300
21 GBR Clement Novalak Trident 55.6 55.600
24 IND Kush Maini Campos Racing 57.4 57.400
17 GBR Joshua Mason PHM Racing by Charouz 1'42.4 1'42.400
2 IND Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 15 laps  
15 BEL Amaury Cordeel Invicta Virtuosi Racing 16 laps
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