formula 2 report

The F2 Report: A weekend of chaos in Australia

formula 2 reportn F2 The F2 Report: A weekend of chaos in Australia

Formula 2’s historic inaugural weekend around the streets of Melbourne served up a tumultuous couple of races, delivering a great spectacle.

There were plenty of incidents, penalties and hair-raising battles in both the Sprint and Feature races. But who managed to avoid all the drama and come out on top in the third round of the 2023 season? The F2 Report discusses.

A significant shuffle in the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships has occurred, with new leaders and others falling down the order. Ayumu Iwasa has catapulted both himself and his team DAMS to the top of the Standings, on 58 and 91 points respectively. But with 11 rounds remaining of this record-breaking season, its all very much still to play for.

Mistakes aplenty at Albert Park

The inexperience of the field around the Albert Park Circuit reared its ugly head in both races over the weekend. The erratic weather also played a part in making the task all the more difficult for the 22 drivers out on track.

Mistakes were being made even before the lights went out; early Championship leader Ralph Boschung and Enzo Fittipaldi failing to make it to the grid by spinning out on the formation lap.

The Sprint race was going smoothly until a spin and subsequent stall by home favourite Jack Doohan, which brought out the Safety car. Juan Manuel Correa spun in sympathy soon after, while some drivers gambled on wet tyres as the heavens opened briefly. One such opportunist was Theo Pourchaire, but it turned out to be the wrong decision. He entered the gravel trap just before the final lap and retired from the race.

Onto the Feature race, Doohan found himself in an incident once again. Contact with the Hitech Pulse-Eight of Jak Crawford sent the latter into the barriers and out of the race, while the Australian was able to continue.

In the pits a collision between the other Hitech of Isack Hadjar and Oliver Bearman led to a puncture for the Briton. Lap 15 saw Hadjar collide with Pourchaire in the final sector and dropping out of the points.

A second Safety car was brought out by a crash for Roy Nissany in the PHM Racing by Charouz car. Fittipaldi spun under the Safety car, and then proceeded to crash out of the race in the same place as Nissany on the same exact lap.

With three laps remaining, Martins and Hauger came together on the restart and spun out of points contention. The rest of the race was clean, but its safe to say the entire weekend was one of attrition in F2.

Iwasa on top

Iwasa is quickly proving to be one of the most consistent and impressive drivers on the 2023 grid. He wasn’t really expected to challenge for the Title by most this year, but with another race victory in the bag the Japanese driver is looking like the man to beat.

The DAMS driver controlled the Feature race from start to finish, leading every lap. As he did in Saudi Arabia in the previous round, Iwasa defended well and kept faster drivers behind to take the chequered flag first. This time it was Pourchaire, less than a second behind in the Feature race.

While he failed to score in the earlier Sprint race, Iwasa is importantly keeping his car on track. The same can’t be said for other Championship contenders; Pourchaire has retired from two races already and Doohan suffered a dismal weekend in Bahrain. When everyone has the same car underneath them, finishing each race becomes the key to success.

An overdue win for Hauger

There’s no denying that 2021 Formula 3 Champion Dennis Hauger has had an unfair amount of bad luck upon graduating to F2 last year. On numerous occasions he has retired from potential podiums and even victories through no fault of his own. 2023 has hardly changed for the better, with the Norwegian retiring from the Bahrain Feature race with an engine issue from fourth on the grid.

He even had more poor luck around Albert Park as mentioned above, but the Sprint race was a flawless drive by anyone’s standards. Hauger led every lap of the 22-lap race to bring home 10 crucial points. This was perhaps an indication of a change in fortune for the 20-year-old; only time will tell.

The next F2 round will take place in just under a month’s time at Baku in Azerbaijan (29th-30th April). Make sure you don’t miss it!

2023 Formula 2 Standings after 3/14 rounds