Jüri Vips started from pole position in the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race in Imola, but didn’t enjoy it for long. The Estonian got off to a bad start and dropped to fourth behind Roy Nissany, Ralph Boschung and Ayumu Iwasa. The latter was on the front row alongside Vips but saw Nissany and Boschung pass from P6 and P4 respectively.
At the start, VIP colleague Red Bull Junior Dennis Hauger had even less reason to smile. The Norwegian, who had started fifth, ended up in the pit wall after colliding with Jack Doohan (started from P3), resulting in a DNF for both parties. The incident between Doohan and Hauger triggered a safety car period. which lasted until the fourth round. At the restart, Nissany led ahead of Boschung, Iwasa and Vips.
Two laps later the safety car was able to re-emerge after Vips got worse and worse. The hi-tech driver went too far on the exit of the Tamburello corner, lost control of his car on the still-damp grass and ended up in the barriers. “I’m such an idiot,” Vips immediately replied guiltily over the radio.
The top three (Nissany, Boschung and Iwasa) used the neutralization to make the mandatory pit stop, allowing Jehan Daruvala to take the lead. Like the new numbers two and three, Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lawson, the Indian opted for a long first stint. The field cleared again on lap ten, with Daruvala keeping the lead ahead of Armstrong and Lawson.
After that it was quiet for some time until Nissany crashed on lap 20 of 35. The Israeli was practically in the lead but went wide on the Rivazza exit and flew through the wet grass into the edge of the runway. Nissany made it to the pit lane but his DAMS car was too damaged to continue. His crash resulted in another neutralization so the whole mess could be cleaned up.
With Nissany gone, Theo Pourchaire, who had now overtaken Boschung and Iwasa, effectively took the lead. After the drivers who had opted for a late pit stop also got new tires, the Frenchman actually took the lead and never gave it up again. The race ended behind the safety car after Lawson crashed on lap 32 after the Acque Minerali.
Enzo Fittipaldi was second behind Pourchaire with Boschung securing the final podium spot. Clement Novalak relegated MP Motorsport to fourth ahead of Iwasa, Frederik Vesti, Logan Sargeant, David Beckmann and Daruvala. Felipe Drugovich, who was in the lead before his late pit stop, took the final point for MP Motorsport. Richard Verschoor started from 19th and also opted for a late pit stop, which did not result in more than P15.