Race report

F2 Zandvoort: Armstrong beats Novalak to sprint race victory

Marcus Armstrong took his third FIA Formula 2 win of the season at Zandvoort, enduring a last-lap shootout for his fourth series victory. 

Marcus Armstrong, Hitech Grand Prix

The Hitech driver started second but led by Turn 1, passing Clement Novalak off the line to take command of the sprint race. 

He dominated from there and held off the MP Motorsport driver on the lap 29 safety car restart to take the win, his first since the Red Bull Ring weekend. 

Novalak took second at his team’s home race, his maiden series podium, with reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Dennis Hauger in third in his best performance since Baku. 

Polesitter Novalak suffered wheel spin off the line, with Armstrong swooping into the lead, while Hauger took third from Juri Vips by using the low line at Turn 3. 

Liam Lawson then got past Vips up the inside of Turn 12, the pair tussling side-by-side before the Carlin driver emerged in front to take fourth, while Vips caught the gravel. 

Theo Pourchaire’s bad luck continued on lap two as he ran across the gravel at Turn 1 while trying to pass David Beckmann for 15th, dropping down to 21st, having crashed in qualifying. 

Armstrong had built up a 1.5s lead to Novalak by lap three, with Ayumu Iwasa on the back of Richard Verschoor for sixth, though the DAMS driver was unable to pass the home favourite. 

There was a brief yellow flag the following tour as Olli Caldwell ran across the Turn 1 gravel, hitting into the barrier. Though he got going again, he pitted for a new front wing and eventually retired on lap 13.  

Hauger looked to be closing in on Novalak by lap five, with the gap down to 0.6s, but Novalak broke the DRS window the following lap to hold off the Prema driver. 

He was back inside DRS by lap eight, with Novalak closing in on Armstrong, but neither driver got close enough to make a move. 

Verschoor also attempted to apply pressure to Vips at Turn 2 on lap 24, but failed to pass. 

The yellow flags were briefly waved again on lap 26 as Jehan Daruvala spun at Turn 8, but he managed to keep his Prema going, finishing in 17th.  

Moments later, the safety car was deployed as Tatiana Calderon, who started from the pitlane after stalling on the grid, became beached in the Turn 2 gravel having spun her Charouz car. 

Racing resumed on the final lap but Armstrong caught Novalak unaware and roared into the distance. 

The only driver able to take advantage of the shootout was Iwasa, snatching sixth from Verschoor around the outside of Turn 1. 

Lawson finished fourth, with Vips and Iwasa in fifth and sixth respectively. Verschoor took seventh, with Logan Sargeant rounding off the points paying positions for Carlin. 

Zandvoort F2 - Race results:

Previous article F2, F3 to run with 55% sustainable fuels from 2023 season
Next article F2 Zandvoort: Drugovich closes in on title with feature race win