Liam Lawson took his second FIA Formula 2 victory after passing early leader Oscar Piastri in Saturday’s sprint race at Monaco in wet conditions.
The Hitech driver finished ahead of Carlin’s Dan Ticktum and Prema’s Piastri, with a rain shower before the start making conditions tricky.
After claiming pole position for the reversed grid encounter with a last-lap overtake in Friday’s race, an issue for Marcus Armstrong on the way to grid forced him to start from the pitlane, and he retired on the first lap.
That meant Lawson started from the front, but he was passed off the line by Piastri. A virtual safety car period was required after Giancula Petecof crashed at Sainte Devote, the Campos driver having also hit the barriers in race one. Lawson was immediately on the offensive once racing resumed, making a lunge for the lead at the chicane. Piastri held on, having missed the corner, but Lawson made a second move up the inside stick at La Rascasse moments later.
As Lawson pulled out a gap at the front, Piastri found himself under pressure from Ticktum, who backed out of a move into Sainte Devote. But a few laps later the Briton tried again at the chicane, this time making his way by. Ticktum pulled well clear of Piastri, while keeping within two seconds of race leader Lawson.
The safety car was deployed in the closing stages after Charouz driver David Beckmann rear-ended Trident’s Bent Viscaal at Sainte Devote, putting both drivers out. Racing resumed with two laps remaining, with Lawson pulling out an eight-second gap to take the win. Juri Vips finished fourth for Hitech after passing ART’s Theo Pourchaire – who will start from pole in the feature race – just before the late caution period.
Campos driver Ralph Boschung took sixth, despite pressure from a train of cars behind for most of the encounter. Roy Nissany, who claimed his maiden F2 podium in the first race, made a move on Boschung into the chicane. But the DAMS driver missed the corner and had to give the position back. Before he could try again, NIssany brushed the wall at Sainte Devote and dropped down the order.
That handed Richard Verschoor seventh, the MP Motorsport driver having passed Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala early on. Liam Zendelli scored the final point in eighth after also passing Daruvala, who ended up ninth. Series returnee Jack Aitken rounded out the top ten for HWA. After a one-two finish in yesterday’s race, the Virtuosi pair of Guanyu Zhou and Felipe Drugovich finished near the rear of the field after a gamble to switch to slick tyres during the race failed.
Race result (28 laps)
|7||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+16.449s|
|8||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||+21.452s|
|13||Alessio Deledda||HWA||+1 lap|
|14||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz||+1 lap|
|15||Felipe Drugovich||Virtuosi||+2 laps|
|16||Guanyu Zhou||Virtuosi||+2 laps|
Featured image credit: fiaformula2.com