Formula 2

Formula 2: Pourchaire triumphs in incident-filled sprint race at Monza

Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter

Theo Pourchaire took his second FIA Formula 2 victory in an eventful opening sprint race at Monza.

The ART driver climbed from seventh on the grid to pass early leader Juri Vips before finishing 4.1 seconds ahead of Guanyu Zhou in a race that was interrupted three caution periods.

Hitech GP’s Vips took the lead away from Campos Racing’s David Beckmann at the start of the reversed-grid encounter, while Carlin’s Dan Ticktum rose from eighth to third.

But Ticktum’s race ended early after Pourchaire tried a move into the first chicane and ran wide, with the Briton locking up before being clipped from behind by Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich. That triggered the first safety car period, with Campos driver Ralph Boschung forced to pit for a new front wing, having been unable to avoid Ticktum’s stationary car.

Vips led away at the restart, while Hitech’s Liam Lawson suffered front wing damage while attempting to take third from Pourchaire, but was able to continue. Drugovich triggered the second intervention by spinning into the barriers, with a brief virtual safety period to recover his car.

Soon afterwards, Pourchaire and Zhou inherited second and third respectively after Beckmann locked up and ran wide. Oscar Piastri was passed for sixth by Prema team-mate Robert Shwartzman, and conceded a further position to Roy Nissany after running wide. But Nissany spun out of the race, bringing out the safety car for a second time.

Vips led the field away at the resumption, before Pourchaire dived down the inside of Vips into the first chicane on the next lap to snatch the lead. Two fastest laps in a row enabled the ART driver to pull out more than a three-second lead, which he controlled until the finish.

Vips came under increasing pressure from Zhou behind, before a mistake led to the Estonian taking to the escape road at turn one and dropping to fifth. That enabled Zhou to finish second ahead of Shwartzman, but the latter was demoted to sixth at the chequered flag due to a 10s time penalty for exceeding track limits during the race.

ART’s Christian Lundgaard took the final podium spot as a result after a superb drive from 19th on the grid. Piastri took fourth ahead of Lawson, with Viscaal finishing seventh, the trio  all passing Vips late on. Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala took ninth ahead of Beckmann.

Charouz driver Enzo Fittipaldi also pulled into the pits and retired after suffering damage in a first-lap collision with Trident’s Marino Sato, while HWA’s Jake Hughes was unable to start on his F2 return after a car issue on the grid.

Race result (21 laps)

1 Theo Pourchaire ART
2 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi +4.360s
3 Christian Lundgaard ART +6.929s
4 Oscar Piastri Prema +7.694s
5 Liam Lawson Hitech +9.767s
6 Robert Shwartzman Prema +10.747s
7 Bent Viscaal Trident +11.504s
8 Juri Vips Hitech +12.789s
9 Jehan Daruvala Carlin +13.168s
10 David Beckmann Campos +15.232s
11 Marcus Armstrong DAMS +15.646s
12 Jake Hughes HWA +18.840s
13 Alessio Deledda HWA +20.397s
14 Ralph Boschung Campos +1 lap
15 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport +3 laps
DNF Marino Sato Trident
DNF Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport
DNF Roy Nissany DAMS
DNF Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System
DNF Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi
DNF Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System
DNF Dan Ticktum DAMS


Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter

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