F2 in Belgium | Doohan wins after lucky safety car, Pourchaire new leader

F2 in Belgium | Doohan wins after lucky safety car, Pourchaire new leader

30-07-2023 10:52

Jack Doohan won the main race in Formula 2 at Spa-Francorchamps thanks to a favourable safety car. Theo Pourchaire finished second, taking over the lead from Frederik Vesti.

Very early exit Vesti, DNF Iwasa

The race started without Vesti on the front row of the grid. The Mercedes junior would be allowed to start second, but the Prema driver spun on the lap on his way to the grid and thus remains pointless. This is hugely disappointing for the driver at the top of the Formula 2 standings, as it gives the competition a chance to make up points.

Oliver Bearman defends his pole position with verve as the lights go out, while Richard Verschoor climbs from P9 straight to sixth. We immediately get a safety car as Dennis Hauger is tapped into the lap and then remains stationary on the track. The marshals push the 20-year-old Norwegian back on track, but a few laps later he is removed from the race by race control for pushing in violation of the regulations.

There are also no points for Ayumu Iwasa, the number three in the championship. His suspension breaks after an early touch and so he has to continue watching the race from the pit box. Theo Pourchaire, as the number two in the World Championship at the time, could be doing excellent business at Spa-Francorchamps and with a good start and a provisional PBRA2, he bolsters his ambitions in the early laps.

Pourchaire and Bearman

On lap 15, Bearman and Pourchaire come in for a pit stop at the same time. Pourchaire's ART Grand Prix team is faster and so we have a new virtual leader in the race. Victor Martins, meanwhile, receives a five-second time penalty for driving in the pit lane. This sours for the Frenchman, as mere moments later a safety car follows after a touché between Jak Crawford and Juan Manuel Correa. For Crawford, it is the end of the race.

Jack Doohan (started from P11) benefits hugely from the safety car, as he is the only one not to have stopped. The Alpine junior returns to the track second with new tyres. Joshua Mason, Brad Benavides' replacement at Spa, spins behind the safety car but is able to continue. With five laps to go, the main race resumes.

Doohan passes Pourchaire on fresher softs to win the main race, while the 19-year-old Frenchman does become the new championship leader. Martins crosses the line in third but is classified fifth due to his time penalty. Bearman, who crossed the finish line fourth, also received a five-second penalty for an incident in the closing minute, dropping to P7. Verschoor finished sixth, just five hundredths behind Martins.

Results top-ten main race Formula 2 GP Belgium

1. Doohan
2. Pourchaire
3. Fittipaldi
4. Maloney
5. Martins
6. Verschoor
7. Bearman
8. Maini
9. Stanek
10. Boschung