Maloney completes Sakhir double with dominant F2 victory


Zane Maloney of Barbados made it two wins from two after coming through from third on the grid to win the Sakhir Feature Race, kicking off the 2024 FIA Formula 2 season in strong style.

Josep María Martí followed up his third-place finish in the Sprint Race to finish second, while his fellow rookie Paul Aron battled from 12th to finish third for Hitech Pulse-Eight.

Zane Maloney takes the lead heading into Turn One on the opening lap


A fast start on the Option tyre from Sprint Race winner Maloney saw him take the lead from third place on the run down to Turn 1. Behind him, front-row starters Gabriel Bortoleto and Isack Hadjar collided at the same corner.

The Campos Racing driver was left stranded in the middle of the road, giving Enzo Fittipaldi nowhere to go and the Van Amersfoort Racing driver collected Hadjar, with both out as a result.

A Safety Car intervention was needed with the marshals removing both cars as the Stewards handed Bortoleto a 10-second penalty for his part in the incident.

It was a flawless weekend for the Bajan driver

Back to green flag racing on Lap 5, Maloney extended his advantage to beyond a second over Zak O’Sullivan, with Martí now up to third after overtaking Dennis Hauger. Bortoleto’s difficult opening few laps were compounded by a tough restart as he lost out to Jak Crawford for fifth.

Martí and Crawford, like Maloney, had opted for the softs and were looking to make early inroads with the Campos driver overtaking O’Sullivan for second. Crawford later jumped ahead of Hauger for fourth.

Hauger’s struggles continued as on Lap 8, he lost a place to Bortoleto. A few laps later, Miyata overtook the MP Motorsport driver leaving him down in seventh. Back at the front, Crawford boxed from third, but a slow stop saw him lose drive in the pitlane, forcing him to retire.

ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins became the first driver to make a mandatory pitstop on Lap 11, switching to the soft compound tyres and rejoining down the order in 19th.

His race didn’t last much longer, pulling over to the side of the track at Turn 8, requiring a second Safety Car on Lap 19.

Racing got back underway on Lap 22, with the PREMA Racing drivers now squabbling over eighth place as Andrea Kimi Antonelli got past Oliver Bearman, with Kush Maini following the Italian driver through a lap later.

Out at the front, Maloney had extended his lead over O’Sullivan to over a second and a half. The ART driver was now coming under pressure from Martí, with Paul Aron also in striking distance.

Invicta Racing pair Maini and Bortoleto were now on the march as they overtook Antonelli to go up to seventh and eighth respectively on Lap 25 of 32.

The duo quickly closed up to the back of their MP Motorsport counterparts Hauger and Franco Colapinto, who were fighting themselves.

Zane Maloney soaks in the moment on the podium

As the 27th tour of the track started, O’Sullivan was now struggling with his soft tyres as Martí eventually came past his fellow F2 rookie.

A lap later, Aron’s comeback through the field continued as he overtook O’Sullivan to take the final spot on the podium.

Hauger was also struggling with his tyres as Colapinto made his way past.

Bortoleto, having now overtaken Maini, got past the Norwegian at the exit of Turn 1.

A few corners later, Maini followed his teammate through, pushing Hauger down to eighth.

Back at the front, Maloney had extended his lead to over four and a half seconds to Martí and crossed the line to take his second win of the weekend, with Aron taking the chequered flag in third.

Bortoleto made the move past Colapinto on the final lap but lost out in a drag race to the line with O’Sullivan.

The ART driver finished fourth ahead of the Brazilian, while Colapinto ended up sixth ahead of Maini. Hauger, Miyata and Antonelli rounded out the points. (F2)

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