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Formula 2 & Formula 3 Imola weekend wrap-up

hadjar formula 2 f2

Imola Hosted Formula 2 and Formula 3 races for the first time in Europe. Here is our review of both series that were part of the support show for the 2023 Emila Romagna Grand Prix, and the ‘juniors’ did not disappoint with action and drama all weekend long.

For Formula 2 it was the fourth Championship race, Bahrain, Jeddah and Melbourne preceding the Imola round. Formula 3 were into their third race having missed out on Bahrain.
[Reporting by Nair Hamid from Imola]

Imola Formula 2 Sprint Race: Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Imola Formula 2 Sprint Race  Don't cry for me Argentina!

Franco Colapinto forges ahead on final lap. The Argentine driver captured his first win in the Formula 2, the official feeder series of Formula 1. Starting third on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint race, the MP Motorsport driver sailed past Belgian Amaury Cordeel into second place on lap 7.

The opening lap was mayhem at the start as several cars were involved. Colapinto then pursued race leader Paul Aron. The pursuit was relentless and going into Tamburello on the final lap he took the lead from the Estonian driver.

“That cannot be legal” claimed Aron on the team radio. But no action was taken by the stewards so he had to settle for second.

“I’m super happy, first win in Formula 2, it’s a very special day for me and for every Argentinian that has been supporting me so far. I’m super proud of the team, very proud of everyone who has been supporting me. Thank you, thank you. Thank you to all the fans and let us hope for more wins in the next few races” said the happy winner from Buenos Aires.

Championship leader Zane Maloney took third step on the podium. Cordeel, who started from third on the grid, finished in fourth place. Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman completed the top five.

Imola F2 Feature Race: Hadjar gets it done

WHAT WE LEARNED: The main takeaways from Round 4 of the 2024 season in Imola

Sunday’s main event saw back-to-back feature race wins for French Algerian-descent driver and Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar. Brazilian Gabriel Bortoletto started from pole position but was immediately passed at the start by Oliver Bearman and Hadjar.

Hadjar was one of the first to pit to change from soft to hard tires. When Bearman, the Star of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on his debut, made his pit stop a lap later, all went wrong. He stalled not once but twice, costing him any chance of a podium finish.

In the closing stages Bortoletto pushed Hadjar hard but was unable to get ahead, finishing less than a second behind when laps ran out.

Joshua Dürksen from Paraguay celebrated his first F2 podium by finishing third. The Italian “Kimi”, Andrea Antonell, part of Toto’s Wolfpack, was fourth. Franco Colapinto, the Sprint race winner, completed the top five.

Zane Maloney from Barbados remains the championship leader with 68 points. Second is Paul Aron on 63 points. Race winner Hadjar is third with 59 points.

Famous last words

Hadjar and Campos have won the last two Feature Races in Melbourne and Imola

More than an hour after the F2 Feature race I asked Hadjar if he would be willing to do an interview. He said he was not interested in talking to media. When queried if he was on Kimi Raikkonen program he responded, “All drivers are the same, they don’t want to talk to the media. They just don’t say it.”

In the official press conference, Hadjar did have his say: “It was the toughest race of my career honestly. I had a good first stint behind Oliver (Bearman) felt the car was pretty good. I had a good pit stop as well. From there I managed to take the lead, Gabriel was putting the pressure on.

“He was really quick. He caught me, there was a three second gap at one point, but he caught me. Then I pulled away again a little but, after I made a mistake. The last few laps he was just in my gearbox, so I had to defend. It is good that I can be on the top step,” added Hadjar, who now lies P3 in the standings.

Formula 2 Championship Standings after Imola

2024 f2 points after imola Round 4

Formula 3: As close as it gets at Imola

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend meant that F3 cars were in action in Europe for the first time this season. After a drama packed weekend in Italy, the top three drivers in the standings are separated by nine points as they head to Monaco for this weekend’s back-to-back round.

Imola F3 Sprint Race: Crashes & cautions. Poetry in motion for Goethe

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Yellow flag and safety car were order of the day from the opening lap when Mari Boya went off the track. Mexican driver Noel Leon grabbed the lead at the start at Tamburello from the second coming of Robert Kubica, Kacper Sztuka.

Frenchman Sami Meguetounif was off the track after a love tap from Aussie Tommy Smith on Lap 8. On Lap 15 the top three were a tight bunch with Leon leading two German drivers, Oliver Goethe, and Tim Tramnitz. Championship leader Luke Browning went off the track on Lap 17 of 18 causing a VSC.

On the final lap at the end of the VSC, race leader Leon was gunned down by Goethe. The
German was then penalized 5s for failing to stay above the minimum time during the Safety Car procedure.

After the race the penalty was removed which gave back the race win to Goethe. Poetic justice some might say. Leon was demoted to third for weaving between Turns 17 & 18 at a Safety Car restart, this promoted Tramnitz to second.

Imola F3 Feature Race: Meguetounif and the French connection.

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Drivers from the Italian Trident team took the top three sports on the grid for the feature race. Mexican Santiago Ramos led from the start, but on lap three was passed by his teammate and local favorite Luca Fornaroli.

Luca’s lead lasted only a few laps as he was passed by Oliver Goethe on Lap 6. Lap 12 of 22 order was Goethe leading, hoping to do a Deutschen Double. Second was Sami Meguetounif followed by Ramos, Fornaroli and Luke Browning.

Meguetounif made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 to take his first F3 victory. Goethe settled for second and third man on the podium was Fornaroli.

Fornaroli’s hustle for a podium finish put him in the championship lead with 52 points. Luke Browning, winner of last year’s Macau Grand Prix, is second on 49 points.Swede Dino Beganovic and Sicilian Gabriele Mini are joint third on 45 points each.

Maguetounif summed up his win: “It sounds crazy. One year ago, I couldn’t have dreamed of it. I will take a bit of time on the way home I think to realise it. Right now, I am just on a cloud. I will enjoy the moment with the team. I love the smell of champagne on my suit.”

Formula 3 Championship Standings after Imola

2024 f3 after imola