F2 drivers criticize second safety car restart at Zandvoort feature race

There were several stoppages during the Zandvoort race, with an early red flag after Logan Sargeant crashed at Turn 7, prompting the barrier to be repaired.

The safety car came out on lap 17 after Marino Sato hit the wall at turn 2 after his left front wheel was not positioned correctly.

But when Liam Lawson led the field at the restart, the pack bunched up and on a late restart several drivers collided, including Richard Verschoor, hitting the rear of second place Jack Doohan, ending his race.

Verschoor said “the two cars in front of me started speeding up, and then all of a sudden they slowed down and I was too close,” while Drugovich said he “felt like I didn’t know who was in front and stopped again.”

After the race, in which he finished second, Verschoor apologized for “destroying” Doohan’s race, saying “I definitely didn’t mean to hit him”.

But the Trident driver said he “thought everyone was leaving and then everyone slowed down, I locked all my wheels and I couldn’t help it.”

Verschoor said: “First of all, I have to apologize to Jack, I definitely didn’t mean to hit him.

“I thought everyone was leaving and then everyone slowed down, I locked all my wheels and I couldn’t help it.

“It’s not the way I want to come second.

“With the wing, I don’t think it was really damaged, I felt it on the first lap, but after that it was fine.

He added: “Yeah, so basically Lawson was kind of leaning over so he couldn’t see the cars in front of me and then the two cars in front of me started speeding up, and all of a sudden they slowed down, and I was too close.

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“I thought he had a good restart and then everyone went back on the brakes so I just hit him.”

Drugovich agreed that it felt like the package had come loose before slowing down again.

The championship leader, who could clinch the title at Monza next weekend, said: “Yeah, I think by regulation if you accelerate you shouldn’t brake again, just once, and it felt like that, it felt like I didn’t knew”. the one in front went and stopped again.

“So that’s not really safe. But I’m not entirely sure about that, it was in the middle of the pack so it’s like an elastic effect so I have to check it properly but I’m sure it wasn’t the safest reset.”

Verschoor then added: “As Felipe says, it is elastic, the further back you are, if the cars in front accelerate there is no way. If you go, you go, that’s how it usually is.

“Again, I apologize, but I don’t think there was much I could do.”

Ayumu Iwasa, who finished third, said: “If you restart like this, we don’t know exactly when we can go because we have to warm up the brakes during the restart.

“For sure if we go before Turn 13, for example, on this track it would be much safer, but it was a difficult situation for everyone.

The incident will be investigated by the stewards, with MP Motorsport’s Clement Novalak and Tatiana Calderon (Charouz) also injured following the chaotic restart.

Having said that “it wasn’t the way I want to get to second”, Verschoor was asked if a penalty would hurt less mentally for that.

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He said: “I want the points, I want the points for the team, so of course I don’t want the penalty and I think there are other things to see.

“I really don’t think I could have done much, but I also understand that I destroyed Jack’s career.

“The stewards will make a decision but on the other hand I agree with you.

“I did my best and it was a little mistake, but otherwise I think I had a really good race, so I think that will be on people’s minds.”

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