Jack Doohan (Invicta Virtuosi) and Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) claimed first and second in the final Feature Race of the 2023 FIA Formula 2 season at Yas Marina Circuit, with fellow Academy driver Kush Maini also securing a point scoring finish in ninth.
Starting the weekend strong Jack, Victor and Kush took first, second and third place in Friday’s Qualifying. Running within 0.5secs of one another, the three Academy drivers locked out the top three spots for Sunday’s Feature Race and secured 10th, ninth and eighth place starts for Saturday’s reverse grid Sprint Race.
Heading into the weekend’s races having claimed pole position, Jack made his way through the order in the Sprint Race to finish sixth and collect a handful of points. Starting at the front of the grid on Sunday, Jack closed out his Formula 2 season with a final Feature Race win, his third in the last five rounds, and secured third place in the 2023 FIA F2 Championship in the process.
Victor also put in a strong performance over the weekend, having topped the timings in Friday morning’s Free Practice by 0.2secs, before going on to claim second in Qualifying. Contact in the Sprint Race unfortunately took him out of point scoring contention, with the Frenchman finishing the session in 20th. However, redemption in Sunday’s Feature Race saw him take the second step on the podium to bring home an Alpine Academy 1-2 and also claim the title of Top Rookie in the 2023 FIA F2 Championship.
In his first race weekend as an Alpine Academy driver, Kush completed the 1-2-3 finish in Qualifying alongside Jack and Victor. Finishing Saturday’s Sprint Race in 13th place, Kush spent much of Sunday’s Feature Race running in the top ten. The Indian driver was the first car to head into the pits, having started on the soft compound, which ultimately saw him shuffled down the order from third by those with fresher tyres, crossing the chequered flag in ninth to add a 12th point scoring finish to his record.
Jack Doohan, Invicta Virtuosi: “We had a great weekend in Abu Dhabi, finishing off the Formula 2 season with a Feature Race win. We had some incredible pace and Qualifying on pole was great, especially being able lead a 1-2-3 for the Alpine Academy with Victor and Kush qualifying second and third. We made up a few places in the Sprint Race and collected a few points to add to our fight for top three in the championship. The Feature Race on Sunday was tricky, option-prime wasn’t ideal, but we made it work and kept the tyres alive to bring home the win. Closing out the season with a victory for Invicta Virtuosi was great and I am so grateful for all the support I have had over the season from the fans, my team and the Alpine Academy.”
Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix: “It was a great weekend overall, ending with a second place in the Feature Race. That was the target, to finish the last race of the season with a clean run and maximise everything. The pace over the weekend was incredible and we were running in the top two over the whole weekend alongside Jack. I was unlucky with the incident in the Sprint Race but over the season we have analysed situations like this and I know where I can improve. Overall, we took the Team Championship, I got the rookie title and Theo clinched the Drivers’ Championship, so we came away from the weekend having reached our goal to secure all three. It was a strong one to finish the season with good races, good battles and good pace which shows promise for the future and I thank the team for that and Alpine for their support over the whole year.”
Kush Maini, Campos Racing: “The last race weekend of the year is done after a few months off from racing. We started off really well finishing Friday’s Qualifying in third with incredible one lap pace. Unfortunately, we were unable to translate it to the results we wanted in the two races. I will analyse the weekend and learn from what we could have done better. I am looking forward to the post season test and to having some time to recuperate over the winter break before I head into my second FIA Formula 2 season in 2024, competing with Invicta Virtuosi and with the support of the Alpine Academy.”