After a double podium finish in Race 1, PREMA Racing had a much tougher day at Imola in the main race for the FIA Formula 2 Championship at the Italian venue.
The problems started at the start, when Dennis Hauger was hit by another car and went straight off the grid into the wall. The Norwegian didn’t get a chance to reconnect and was left with a DNF.
Jehan Daruvala was the only PREMA driver left and got off to a clean start, but strategy came into play against him. A safety car greatly favored the drivers who started on softer tires and went for an early pit stop, and racing events offered no opportunities for the late stoprs.
Daruvala stayed out of the pits as much as possible, hoping for another neutralization, but that opportunity never came. The Indian finished as the lead driver of the late pit strategy and saved a few points but that meant P9 at the end despite the great pace he showed all weekend.
Dennis Hauger: “I had a decent launch with a bit of wheelspin and I followed Boschung, who came through. I thought I had left quite a bit of room for Doohan, but he probably came under pressure and for some reason slammed to the right. I didn’t have a chance to react and went into the wall, end of story.”
Jehan Deruvala: “It was an interesting race. We were all on options and at the last minute we went for the scoop. I was confident we could win the race and we showed that pace, but in the end we just had bad luck with the race. “First with the safety car and then with the Virtual Safety Car, because the pitlane was closed. I think I was definitely the fastest car on the track for most of the race.