Jack Doohan remains in FIA Formula 2 world championship contention despite a scoreless weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix, the 20-year-old's winning run in F2 Feature races coming to an abrupt end after crashing at the end of the formation lap at Zandvoort.
Jack came to the Netherlands after back-to-back Feature wins in Hungary and Belgium to sit fourth in the championship standings, and his podium chances looked promising when he qualified fifth at Zandvoort, 0.148secs behind pole-sitter Jak Crawford (Hitech) after a stop- start qualifying session interrupted by three red flags.
After rain on Sunday morning at Zandvoort, the field took the formation lap behind the safety car. As the pack rounded the final banked sequence of corners at Turns 13-14, Jack spun his Invicta Virtuosi Racing entry and came to rest against the barrier at the inside of the circuit, his race run before the field took the green flag to start the 40-lap contest.
Fortunately for Jack, the three drivers ahead of him in the championship standings all failed to score points. Series leader Theo Pourchaire (France, ART) crashed out at Turn 7 after his pit stop on lap 11, while second-placed Frederik Vesti (Denmark, Prema) retired after his car came to a halt without its rear wheels attached on his first lap after his own pit stop.
Ayumu Iwasa (Japan, DAMS) finished 13th and out of the points after a 10-second penalty for an early-race clash with Kush Maini (India, Campos Racing), while fifth-placed Victor Martins (France, ART) was demoted to ninth after his own 10-second penalty for forcing Oliver Bearman (Great Briton, Prema) off track on lap 17, Bearman having to retire from the race.
"It was over before it got started," Jack said of Sunday's race.
"I wasn't able to get to the grid on the soft tyre … getting half a formation lap on a soft tyre on a wet track, I wasn't able to generate any tyre temperature. With the rolling start, from second to third gear I got some wheelspin that I wasn't able to correct, it just got away from me and it was over."
With 78 points remaining this season for Sprint and Feature races in Italy and Abu Dhabi, Jack is 38 points behind Pourchaire, 26 adrift of Vesti and four behind Iwasa with two of the season's 13 rounds to go.
Earlier in the weekend, Saturday's Sprint race at Zandvoort was delayed, red-flagged and eventually abandoned after just two laps because of heavy rain and an accident at Turn 6 on the opening lap between Campos Racing teammates Maini and Ralph Boschung, along with Crawford.
After a half-hour delay to repair the barriers, the original 29-lap distance was reduced to 22 minutes plus one lap before quickly being called off, Jack starting and finishing sixth in a race where no world championship points were awarded.
FIA Formula 2 World Championship: Round 11 Netherlands results
Sprint race (29 laps): Started 6th, finished 6th (race abandoned, no points awarded)
Feature race (40 laps): Started 5th, did not finish
2023 F2 World Championship standings: 130 points (4th overall)
Next F2 event: Monza, Italy (September 1-3)