Jack Doohan (Invicta Virtuosi) and Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) took to Circuit Zandvoort in a weekend which yielded little result for the Alpine Academy.
Lining up for Round 12 of FIA Formula 2, both drivers missed out on big points throughout the weekend, which was heavily impacted by rain across Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s Sprint Race was effectively null and void with zero laps completed under green flag conditions with Victor ending second and Jack sixth. In Sunday’s Feature in cold, damp conditions, Victor came away with two points in ninth while Jack’s race was over before it started with a rare unforced error at the start bringing a halt to his day.
Starting his weekend off in a red flag stricken Qualifying, Jack was unable to set a strong lap time to fight for pole position, ultimately finishing the session in fifth. With no points awarded in Saturday’s Sprint Race Jack was unable to capitalise on his sixth place start and continue to add to his championship points having propelled himself to fourth in the standings with back-to-back Feature Race wins in Hungary and Belgium. Heading out onto a damp track on Sunday Jack’s Feature Race was cut short at the rolling start as the Australian driver spun out at the final turn before the green flag.
Collecting two points in Sunday’s Feature Race Victor was the only driver in the top-five of the championship to score over the weekend despite the tricky conditions. Qualifying eighth in Friday’s afternoon session, Victor set himself up for a second row start in Saturday’s reverse grid but due to the regulations he was unable to capitalise on the position with no points awarded for the suspended session. In Sunday’s Feature Race the Frenchman was forced to take evasive action to avoid an incident at the start of the race. Shuffled out of the points Victor made his way back through the order but made contact with Oliver Bearman whilst attempting an overtake for fifth position. Receiving a time penalty for the incident Victor ultimately finished in ninth having crossed the chequered flag in fifth.
With their nearest rivals scoring no points, Jack and Victor retain their respective fourth and fifth positions in the championship in a weekend of damage limitation. The two Alpine Academy drivers now look ahead to the penultimate round of FIA Formula 2 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza (1st September – 3rd September) where both are targeting a much brighter outing.
Jack Doohan, Invicta Virtuosi: “It was an unfortunate weekend for us in Zandvoort. We had strong pace in Qualifying but with the way the red flags played out at the end we weren’t able to get a solid time on the board. Saturday’s Sprint Race being stopped was the right decision, but it was unfortunate to miss out on the race and the chance to score some good points. On Sunday it was due to be another race in mixed conditions but unfortunately, I lost the car at the final corner of the rolling start and was unable to get going. It was a very difficult circumstance and a hard one to swallow but I have accepted it and moved past it to keep my focus ahead. We didn’t lose anything in the end, but it would have been good to capitalise on getting some big points. All-in-all we can’t change what happened and we need to keep our attention on the race in Monza.”
Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix: “The weekend in Zandvoort was a frustrating one for myself and the team. We knew it would be a challenging weekend because the circuit is a difficult track. We felt we had good pace in Qualifying but due to the red flags we could not quite deliver our maximum. In the end we qualified eighth which we knew would make the races difficult at such a narrow and short track. We headed into the Sprint Race in challenging conditions but because we hadn’t completed a lap under green, the race was suspended and no points were awarded. We didn’t have much luck in the Feature Race either. I had to take evasive action at the start and then received a penalty for an incident later in the race. The way it ended is not what I wanted, receiving the penalty, and having contact with another driver but I believed there was enough space to go for it and try to get some more points. In the end it didn’t go in our direction and that’s how it is in racing. Now we focus our attention on Monza where we will hope to fight for a big haul of points and have a good weekend.”