An eventful Feature Race in the wet saw Luca Ghiotto secure his maiden Formula 2 win on Saturday, however, when the Italian received a time penalty post-race, he was dropped down to fourth. A penalty for Alexander Albon who originally finished in fifth, meant that the field was shaken up, with Gustav Malja starting on pole position for Sunday’s Sprint Race by being promoted to eighth in the Feature.
Luca Ghiotto secures redemption with Monza Sprint Race win
When the lights went out, Malja had a poor start from pole and dropped down the field. It was Sean Gelael who had the best start of anyone else, and the Indonesian racer jumped into the lead in Turn 1 followed by Louis Deletraz. After exchanging positions with the Swiss driver multiple times on the first tour of the circuit, Gelael settled into first and set the pace with a fastest lap on lap 2. He quickly started struggling and was overtaken by Deletraz on lap 4.
Malja’s difficult race continued when he was overtaken by Ghiotto for fourth, out braking himself in Turn 1, meaning that he had to take to the escape road. This dropped him to eighth.
When Sergio Sette Camara cleared Gelael to move into second place, the only way was down for the Arden driver who had previously led, being overtaken by Ghiotto and Nicholas Latifi in quick succession. This dropped him to fifth but he quickly fought back to move into fourth, passing the Canadian in front of him.
A tyre lockup from Sette Camara saw him go off the road, handing Ghiotto second place. Meanwhile, Gelael again dropped down to fifth, being passed by yesterday’s winner, Antonio Fuoco. Now in second place and with the chance to redeem himself following Saturday’s penalty, Ghiotto closed up to the back of Deletraz and cleared him on lap 11, with Sette Camara following him through.
While one Rapax was losing positions, the other was gaining them, and Roberto Merhi overtook Gelael to get himself into fifth place.
In the mid-field a mammoth battle was shaping up, with a train of cars forming up behind Latifi. In the middle of this battle was Charles Leclerc who started in 17th place after crashing in the final lap of Saturday’s Feature Race, moving into ninth after 14 laps. When the field ran three wide into Turn 1, Leclerc made contact with another driver after moving into seventh. This caused him to drop down to eighth and then ninth when Albon quickly overtook him.
Nobuharu Matsushita was then on the charge, looking to recover from the disappointing start that he had, overtaking Artem Markelov, Leclerc, Latifi and Albon to get into seventh place.
Out in front, Ghiotto continued to lead followed by Sette Camara and Deletraz. With a maiden F2 podium within grasping point, Deletraz was shuffled down to fourth when overtaken by Fuoco on lap 20.
When the checkered flag waved, Ghiotto took a memorable win at Monza, seeking redemption following his penalty after Saturday’s the Feature Race. Sette Camara secured his second podium finish in two consecutive Sprint Races, while Fuoco stood on the final step of the podium in front of his home crowd, marking a strong weekend for the Prema driver.
Deletraz headed up the rest of the points paying positions in fourth followed by Merhi, Gelael, Matsushita and Albon. Leclerc finished in ninth, meaning that he was outside of the points, bringing about a thoroughly disappointing weekend in Italy for the driver.
Results from the Italian Formula 2 Sprint Race:
- Luca Ghiotto, Russian Time, 15 points
- Sergio Sette Camara, MP Motorsport, 12 points
- Antonio Fuoco, Prema Racing, 10 points
- Louis Deletraz, Rapax, 8 points
- Roberto Merhi, Rapax, 6 points
- Sean Gelael, Pertamina Arden Racing, 4 points
- Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix, 2 points
- Alexander Albon, ART Grand Prix, 1 point
- Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, 0 points
- Norman Nato, Pertamina Arden Racing, 0 points
- Oliver Rowland, DAMS, 0 points
- Nyck de Vries, Racing Engineering, 0 points
- Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing, 0 points
- Santino Ferrucci, Trident, 0 points
- Artem Markelov, Russian Time, 0 points
- Nicholas Latifi, DAMS, 0 points
- Nabil Jeffri, Trident, 0 points
- Gustav Malja, Racing Engineering, 0 points
- Robert Visoiu, Campos Racing, 0 points
- Jordan King, MP Motorsport, 0 points