Theo Pourchaire has breathed life back into his fight to be crowned the 2022 Formula 2 Champion by claiming an impressive win in the Budapest Feature Race.
Tire degradation proved to be strain on the whole field, as neither compound seemed to last as long as the drivers needed it to, but the ART Grand Prix driver made his mediums survive to the finish.
Gambling on the overcut, Enzo Fittipaldi’s risk was rewarded with his second podium of the weekend, as pole-sitter Ayumu Iwasa went on the recovery to claim third after losing out off the line.
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Commanding all the attention in the final nine laps, Frederik Vesti was on fire as he used the alternative strategy to breeze his way up from P9 post-stop to P4 at the checkered flag, despite the Mercedes junior receiving a five-second time penalty early on.
Running the same strategy as the ART rookie, Juri Vips got the better of Hitech Grand Prix team mate Marcus Armstrong for fifth. The New Zealander had been in the fight for the win initially, with a blistering start promoting him to the lead before dropping off the leading pack after his pit stop.
Liam Lawson managed to cut ahead of Richard Verschoor for seventh. Fortunately for Championship leader Felipe Drugovich, he didn’t end the race empty-handed. The MP Motorsport man clung on to two points in ninth ahead of title rival Logan Sargeant. The Williams junior was one of the drivers to endure the painful opening laps on medium tires, with low temperatures and a lack of grip initially sending the American plummeting down the order.
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With four rounds to go, the fight for the title is far from over. Pourchaire’s victory has reignited his campaign, slicing Drugovich’s advantage to 21 points heading into the summer break. Sargeant remains in P3, 40 points behind the Sauber junior, while Fittipaldi’s run of form promotes him up to fourth.
ART Grand Prix extend their hold on the Teams’ Championship on 250 points. Carlin move up into second by a single point, as MP Motorsport slump down to third on 206.
For more on F2, visit the official series website.
Formula 2 Highlights: 2022 Hungarian GP Feature Race