Tobias Hegewald showed the FIA Formula Two field how it's done this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, completing a perfect weekend with a win and a fastest lap in the weekend's second race today. Tobias Hegewald. Photo by FIA Formula Two ...
Tobias Hegewald showed the FIA Formula Two field how it's done this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, completing a perfect weekend with a win and a fastest lap in the weekend's second race today.
Robert Wickens had scored two poles and two wins at the season opener in Valencia, but Hegewald did better than that, also topping the charts in each of the practice sessions, and setting the fastest laps in both of the races.
"It has been an amazing weekend," Hegewald smiled. "I was fastest in every session and I came away with maximum points -- I'm very, very happy!"
The 19-year-old German was in a class of his own today. Starting from pole, he took the first corner cleanly and proceeded to pull away from Andy Soucek, his nearest challenger, lapping nearly half a second faster than the Spaniard. At the finish of the 15-lap race, the gap was an impressive 6.855 seconds.
"The race was not easy at the start because my car felt nervous," Hegewald recalled. "But I took the win and now I can allow myself to focus on fighting for the championship."
Soucek took second again -- though he lost yesterday's finish to a 10-second penalty for hindering another driver -- this time having held off a charging Wickens. In mid-race, Wickens was lapping consistently faster and gaining on Soucek, but in the closing laps Soucek picked up the pace and eventually finished 2.023 seconds ahead of the Canadian.
"I knew I could make a good start," Soucek recounted. "I hoped overtake Tobias (at the start), but he has had a perfect weekend with no mistakes at all. The most I could do was brake a little bit later than Robert and get second which is good for the championship - I recovered from my penalty yesterday and I am again leading it."
Wickens didn't have to recover from a penalty yesterday, but his team had heavy repairs to do after the start-line shunt in yesterday's race, when Jason Moore ran into the back of the clutch-less Wickens.
While Alex Brundle gave him some trouble early on, making his way past at the La Source hairpin on the first lap, the Canadian responded quickly, taking third back from Brundle with a brave maneuver at Eau Rouge.
"I'm happy to be back on the podium but definitely need to do better at Brands Hatch," Wickens said, referring to his string of three DNFs. "Another six points doesn't hurt but obviously I would have rather got four more!"
Brundle looked set for a season-best fourth-place finish, but the persistent attentions of Milos Pavlovic eventually paid off for the latter, as he won the hard-fought battle for fourth place and five championship points.
Brundle managed to hold off Julian Jousse, Kazim Vasiliauskas and Mikhail Aleshin, though, and still claim fifth place and four points.
Erstwhile championship leader Mirko Bortolotti completed a weekend to forget, matching his ninth-place finish from yesterday.
Soucek now holds the championship lead with 28 points, with Wickens close behind at 26 and Jousse at 25. Hegewald and Bortolotti are not far behind them, either.
After a three-week break, the series will return to action on 17 July at Brands Hatch for another double-header weekend.