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Deledda permitted to race in Monaco despite missing F2 qualifying cut

by Ida Wood

Alessio Deledda will contest this weekend’s Formula 2 races in Monaco despite failing to lap within 107% of the pace set in his group in qualifying.

To avoid congestion, F2 split its 22-car field into two groups for qualifying and HWA Racelab driver Deledda ran in Group B that ended up being the slower of the two when it came to the best laptime of the fastest driver in each group.

This meant Deledda had to be within 5.698 seconds of Prema’s Robert Shwartzman, who topped the group with a 1m21.403s lap, but he ended up 6.341s off the pace. As that was outside the 107% cut, HWA team manager Nicola Palarchi had to request permission from the stewards for Deledda to race.

In announcing their decision, the stewards did not elaborate on their reasons for permitting Deledda to race, simply stating:  “Permission given by the stewards to start race one and race three at the back of the grid after any other penalties have been applied.

“The stewards summoned and heard the team manager in respect of the request for the start permission for car 23. Car 23 is given permission to start race one and race three.”

While the stewards’ notice does not mention race two – the second sprint race of the weekend that takes place on Saturday morning – its grid is not set by qualifying results but rather by the results of the first sprint race on Friday morning, meaning Deledda will qualify by participating in race one.

Deledda’s presence means his new team-mate Jack Aitken, returning to F2 in place of Matteo Nannini for the Monaco and Baku rounds, won’t be starting from last place on the grid for his first race back in the category.