Home Featured Colapinto takes dramatic last lap F2 sprint victory from Aron at Imola

Colapinto takes dramatic last lap F2 sprint victory from Aron at Imola

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto took a dramatic victory in the Formula 2 sprint race at Imola, as he fought his way past Paul Aron at Tamburello on the final lap.

Aron had taken the lead from his Hitech team-mate Amaury Cordeel at the start as a dramatic incident unfolded in the pack, eliminating five cars and bringing out the safety car.

He held off a charging Colapinto for the rest of the race as the Williams junior was able to use the DRS to close right up into Tamburello on each lap without finding a way past.

As he exited Rivazza to start the last lap, Aron lost grip at the rear, costing him momentum across the line. Colapinto used the DRS to attack Aron around the outside of Tamburello, bouncing over the kerb through the right-hander.

As Colapinto ran wide on the exit, he in turn pushed Aron to the edge of the track, forcing the Estonian to back off and leaving him feeling slightly aggrieved at the move, but stewards deemed no investigation necessary.

However Colapinto’s involvement in the first lap incident, when he appeared to move slightly to the right as the field jostled for position, is to be investigated.

Championship leader Zane Maloney spent most of the race stuck behind Cordeel, before getting past, again into Tamburello.

A great start from Aron on the second row gave him a run on team-mate Cordeel into Tamburello at the start, calmly making the move for the lead around the outside.

Behind them, however, there was chaos as Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar was squeezed onto the grass by Trident’s Roman Stanek.

The Red Bull junior was pitched into a spin, rotating back across the track, and the ensuing turmoil took out the cars of Joshua Duerksen, Enzo Fittipaldi and Dennis Hauger.

The safety car was immediately deployed with racing resuming at the end of lap five. As Aron pulled out a gap, a mistake from Cordeel, running wide on the exit of Rivazza, allowed Colapinto through into second on the run down into turn one.

The Williams junior set about reducing the 2.1-second gap to Aron, posting a series of fastest laps as he closed to within one second of the leader.

Superb driving from Aron kept Colapinto at bay, the MP Motorsport car using the DRS to close onto Aron’s gearbox into Tamburello without ever coming near enough to make a move until the opportunity finally arose on the last lap.

Cordeel defended vigorously to keep Maloney at bay as the pair managed to extend the gap to Prema’s Oliver Bearman in fifth, who was having to hold off Gabriel Bortoleto and Taylor Barnard.

Maloney finally got a run on Cordeel into Tamburello on lap 23, passing around the outside to take third, but with a gap of six seconds to the leader, had to settle for the final podium position with Cordeel taking his best-ever finish in F2 in fourth.

Bearman held off a late challenge from Bortoleto to keep fifth as Barnard scored his first points with seventh, ahead of Richard Verschoor.

Campos Racing’s Pepe Marti was running in 10th in the early stages but a 10s penalty for a start infringement, dropping him to 17th and last of the finishers.

Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli started sixth but finished 11th after a slow launch.

Race results (25 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 41m43.964s
2 Paul Aron Hitech GP +1.706s
3 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +6.618s
4 Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP +8.173s
5 Ollie Bearman Prema +11.125s
6 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +11.589s
7 Taylor Barnard AIX Racing +11.920s
8 Richard Verschoor Trident +14.254s
9 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +16.330s
10 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +17.427s
11 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +18.286s
12 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +18.960s
13 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +19.396s
14 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +19.788s
15 Jak Crawford DAMS +20.089s
16 Juan Manuel Correa Trident +20.587s
17 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +55.602s
Ret Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport
Ret Roman Stanek Trident
Ret Isack Hadjar Campos Racing
Ret Joshua Duerksen AIX Racing
Ret Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing
Fastest lap: Colapinto, 1m20.352ss

Championship standings
Maloney 68   2 Aron 55   3 Hauger 41   4 Hadjar 34   5 Maini 33   6 Fittipaldi 32   7 Marti 26   8 Crawford 26   9 Colapinto 24   10 Antonelli 24