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Chloe Chambers secures first F1 Academy victory with flawless run in Barcelona race 2

Chloe Chambers took her first F1 Academy victory in Barcelona race 2, bringing MoneyGram Haas F1 Team its maiden victory, and positioned herself among the championship contenders, equaling Doriane Pin in points.

Chloe Chambers, Campos Racing, F1 Academy, 2024 Barcelona Spanish GP
Photo credits: Formula Motorsport Ltd

F1 Academy has a new race winner - and her name is Chloe Chambers.

The 20 year old completed a flawless second race of the weekend in Barcelona to become one of only three race winners of the season so far, writing her name in the championship contenders, as the US American now equalled on points Doriane Pin.

Chambers, who brought the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team's colours to the top step of the podium for the first time in the team's history, is no stranger to the winners' circle - including in single seaters: she became the first woman to ever win a race in Formula Regional Oceania last year, then went on to secure a whopping 7 race wins, 8 podium finishes and 3 pole positions out of 12 races on her debut season of GT competitions, establishing herself as one of the most exciting female prospects worldwide.

Having previously raced in the US series, Chambers returned to F4 machinery in 2024 as she joined Campos Racing in the all-female series promoted by F1. As one of the two US Americans on the field, Chambers was picked up to represent Haas F1 Team - and the partnership soon proved to be fruitful: Chloe was fast in pre-season testing and scored big points in the opening rounds, with a fourth place in Saudi and her first podium finish at her home race in Miami.

The young racer aimed to carry momentum into the third double-header of the season in Barcelona, which had also hosted pre-season testing. After having her best lap deleted in practice due to track limits, Chloe again showcased her speed in qualifying, as she finished just behind championship leader Abbi Pulling in the 30 minute session that set the grid for both races 1 and 2, based on the fastest and second-best laps.

With two starts from the front row, Chambers therefore had a great chance to try and break Pulling's dominance, which continued on Saturday as Chambers was overtaken off the line by her Campos Racing teammate Nere Marti and ultimately finished third. It was nevertheless her second podium in two weekends, which clearly established the American among the contenders for the top three in the standings. But it would be a spectacular performance in race 2 to gain her the second victory in single seaters, and the first on the F1 platform.

Under more cloudy skies - but still in dry conditions, despite some weather forecast had predicted a wet second race - Pulling and Chambers shared once again the front row.

Chloe had a blistering start and took the lead into turn one, as the Briton couldn't held off the Haas F1-supported driver.

Nerea Marti was up to third again, with Doriane Pin having another poor start off the line and was passed also by Hamda Al Qubaisi and Bianca Bustamante. From sixth on the grid, Lia Block had to take to the run off of turn 1 and dropped to eighth, just like Jessica Edgar.

After one lap, Chambers was trying to pull away and set fastest sector times, opening a one second buffer to Abbi Pulling. Pin, meanwhile, started to put pressure on Bustamante - whose start came under scrutiny for a potential jump start.

Hausmann also made up ground on the first lap as she passed Lovinfosse - and then caught the group of cars ahead, with Jess Edgar being handed a penalty for going off track at turn 1 and gaining an advantage. Block made a great pass stick into turn 1 on Edgar, leaving the British racer now in Hausmann's target.

Bustamante did eventually get a penalty for the jump start - and then lost fifth place to Doriane Pin on lap 7, as the Frenchwoman forced her way past at turn 3, with a determined move.

Ahead, Chambers had checked out and was unchallenged, being the only driver to lap under the 1m44 mark; Pulling in fact was increasingly coming under pressure from Nerea Marti and Hamda Al Qubaisi; this battle gave the chance to Doriane Pin to join this train as well, in a four-car fight for second place.

Edgar lost eighth to Hausmann, and Amna Al Qubaisi made up one position on Aurelia Nobels on lap 9. Her sister Hamda was also on the move: the Red Bull driver had a better exit form the final corner and, with Pulling's slipstream, she jumped ahead of Nerea Marti for third place - then immediately hunted down Pulling.

The midfield was on fire: Lovinfosse overtook Edgar, while Schreiner and De Heus almost banged wheels; the Dutchwoman also leapfrogged the AMEX-sponsored car, followed a few corners later by Amna Al Qubaisi and Maya Weug, who had spent several laps wheel to wheel with fellow FDA driver Aurelia Nobels.

After a spectacular race, Chloe Chambers clocked the fastest lap of the race and took her maiden victory in F1 Academy, almost 7 seconds clear of Abbi Pulling, who could nevertheless defend hard enough to Hamda Al Qubaisi to retain second place. Hamda secured her first podium of the season and preceded Nerea Marti and Doriane Pin, fifth across the line.

Chloe Chambers, Campos Racing, F1 Academy, 2024 Barcelona Spanish GP
Photo credits: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Lia Block managed to close in on Bianca Bustamante in the final laps and capitalized on the Filipina's penalty to move up to sixth - claiming her personal best finish to date, in her third consecutive point-scoring result.

Bustamante still scored good points with P7, and preceded a charging Tina Hausmann, Lola Lovinfosse and Emely De Heus, again in the top ten after scoring her first points in race one on Saturday.

Carrie Schreiner made up a few positions but was just short of a top ten; the German preceded Amna Al Qubaisi in P12, as the latter also picked up two places from her starting position. After yesterday's incident that took Al Qubaisi out of contention on lap 1, Maya Weug received a 5 grid drop and therefore started from the back of the grid. She still finished P13, having passed Aurelia Nobels and Jessica Edgar - who significantly struggled with her tyre deg in the second half of the race.

With six races now in the books, Abbi Pulling leads Pin and Chambers by 66 points. Nerea Marti is 18 points further behind, with Bianca Bustamante, Hamda Al QUbaisi and Maya Weug also in contention for the third place, separated by a handful of points.

Tina Hausmann scored points in both the weekend's races for the first time and climbed the championship order; so did Lia Block, after a brilliant third round for the Williams Academy driver.

In the team's standings, a difficult weekend for the Italian team saw Prema Racing going from first to third: Rodin Motorsport leaves Barcelona in the lead, 23 points ahead of Campos Racing - with the Spanish team capitalizing on their home round with a healthy haul of points.

Next up will be the second and final European leg of the 2024 season: teams and drivers will head to Zandvoort, a fast and twisty circuit that saw Hamda Al Qubaisi dominating the weekend last year. As the F1 Academy season is about to reach its mid-way point, action resumes on 24-25 August.



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