Chloe Chambers didn’t just add her name to the F1 ACADEMY history books, the Haas driver well and truly stamped it in around Barcelona. In one of the most dominant performances the series has seen so far, Chambers made it look easy as she took the chequered flag in Race 2 over six seconds clear.

Lining up on the front row, the American driver made one move, but it was the move that counted. Assured and faultless behind the wheel, Chambers precisely balanced the need to put plenty of clear air between herself and Standings leader Abbi Pulling and the ever-present risk of overcooking her tyres.

A resounding victory that has earned Chambers a place as one of the season’s title protagonists deserves a closer look into how she and Campos Racing made it possible.


The foundation for Chambers’ win was built on Friday. A closely fought Qualifying session saw her miss out on either pole position by the skin of her teeth. Trading personal bests with Pulling, the Alpine driver could only deny her by 0.059s and 0.076s.

Although disappointed not to take the fastest lap honours, her improved one-lap pace was undeniable. With P8, P6, P7 and P8 results beforehand, Chambers’ first appearances on the front row put the possibility of victory in her sights.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be in Race 1. Evenly matched with Pulling at lights out, her teammate Nerea Martí got a better launch than them both and the Haas driver eventually had to yield second after a slight bit of contact between the two.

Chambers helped Campos Racing secure a double podium in Race 1 finishing seven tenths behind Martí
Chambers helped Campos Racing secure a double podium in Race 1, finishing seven tenths behind Martí

An early Safety Car appearance on the opening lap didn’t open up Chambers’ chances, as she struggled to easily follow the Tommy Hilfiger car after the restart. Taking her second podium of the season, she was determined to replicate Pulling’s performance the following day — taking the lead and quickly distancing herself from the pack behind.


After a less than ideal getaway had cost her P2 in the first race, Chambers had learnt from her mistakes a second time around. Accelerating rapidly off the line, her start was nothing short of perfection.

Immediately alongside Pulling down the main straight, Chambers emerged comfortably ahead by the time she reached the opening chicane. Her composure out front became evident, as a mistake from Pulling sent the Briton bouncing over the kerbs at Turn 9 and gifting Chambers some much needed breathing room.

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Reflecting on that pivotal moment, Chambers beamed: “That start was probably the best start I’ve ever done in my life and I did it when it counted! I really needed to get that start right after yesterday, especially seeing how much it affected my race.

“My main thing today was just to get the start right, hopefully get into the lead into Turn 1 and that's what ended up happening, and the rest of the race is history.”

Over on the pit wall, her race engineer Santiago Navarro was there to give her some words of encouragement: “Well done Chloe! Now you have the pace, that’s for sure, especially in Sectors 2 and 3. So let’s go for this.”

Chambers secured the extra point on offer for the fastest lap setting her personal best on Lap 3
Chambers secured the extra point on offer for the fastest lap, setting her personal best on Lap 3


Ticking her first task off her to-do list, Chambers now had to put as much distance as possible between her and Pulling behind. Opening up a seven tenths lead by the end of the opening lap; she artfully balanced her tyre life and impressive race pace.

Setting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 3 with a 1:42.942, the #14 car remained the only one to go under the 1:43s barrier. Crucially, Chambers wouldn’t drop into the 1:45s until Lap 14, six laps later than Pulling by comparison.

As those behind used up the peak of their Pirelli rubber duelling for position, the Campos Racing driver didn’t waste a split second on those behind her. The gap rapidly grew as she pulled 5.5 seconds between Lap 6 to 11, before hitting its peak at the end of Lap 13 on 7.488s.

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This remained a double-edged sword for those on the pit wall. Whilst Chambers and her engineer relished the gap, she wasn’t out of the woods yet. The chance of a Safety Car or restart loomed over her race and Chambers knew she had to keep some tyre life tucked away in case she had to go toe-to-toe with Pulling towards the latter stages.

“My main thing was just to keep hitting my marks, not make any big mistakes,” she noted. “Nothing major that could either ruin my tyres or allow Abbi to catch up a little bit. My engineer was telling me manage your tyres, manage the tyres just in case there was a Safety Car or something happened where we’d have to restart. So, I was really trying to keep the tyres calm, keep the car under me and keep the lap times relatively quick as well.”

Chambers now has three podium finishes to her name across the first six races
Chambers now has three podium finishes to her name across the first six races

Leading a race in F1 ACADEMY might have been uncharted territory for Chambers, but she didn’t let it show for a moment. Her advantage only started to wain slightly in the final three laps, as Pulling shaved seven tenths off as the tyres reached the end of their life.

Avoiding hitting the heavy performance cliff that had ruined several drivers’ races behind her, Chambers took the chequered flag with a 6.695s margin — the third largest gap after Marta García’s eight-second victory over Bianca Bustamante in Spielberg Race 1 and Hamda Al Qubaisi’s seven-second advantage over Nerea Martí in Valencia Race 1 last year.

READ MORE: ‘Not what we wanted’: Pin looking to get back to winning ways after Round 3 disappointments

Securing Haas’ first win rounded out the American’s best weekend in F1 ACADEMY so far, who added 41 points to her tally and elevated herself to third in the Drivers’ Standings, tied with second-place Doriane Pin on 81.

Speaking after the race, Chambers said she thought “the rest of the season has even more wins in store” and if any of them are in the same manner as this one, the rest of field will need to watch out.