Home Formula 4F1 Academy Garcia, Buhler and Bustamante share F1 Academy wins at Monza

Garcia, Buhler and Bustamante share F1 Academy wins at Monza

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Marta Garcia, Lena Buhler and Bianca Bustamante won the three F1 Academy races at Monza.

Prema driver Garcia took pole for race one and converted it into victory to extend her points lead.

Her main title rival Hamda Al Qubaisi exited contention before the race even began, as the MP Motorsport driver was unable to get away from second place on the grid on the formation lap and so had to start from the pitlane.

That meant Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling was promoted to second in the starting order, but she lost the place to ART Grand Prix’s Buhler on the run down to the opening chicane before red flags were waved as Buhler’s team-mate Chloe Grant had a crash which ended in her car going upside down and led to her withdrawing from the rest of the weekend.

Eventually the race restarted, behind the safety car, and with Buhler being allowed to retain second place after her lap one pass. Despite the safety car’s presence, Pulling overtook Buhler at turn two and then Buhler got back by at Lesmo 1.

On the next lap the pair then started to hassle Garcia, which helped bring Carlin’s Megan Gilkes and Jessica Edgar into the fight at the front too.

Edgar managed to make her way into third, and the quintet were all fighting for the win exiting the final corner on the last lap. Garcia held on in a photo finish by 0.009 seconds over Buhler, with Edgar pipping Pulling in a photo finish to and Gilkes only 0.612s back in fifth.

Amna Al Qubaisi started on the reversed-grid pole for race two, and was passed off-track for the lead by Nerea Marti on lap one. She had to give the position back, then later the pair collided (earning Marti a drive-through penalty) and it promoted Buhler and team-mate Carrie Schreiner into the top two places.

The slipstream effect prevented Buhler from breaking away, with Bustamante briefly getting by her off-track, and she won by a slim 0.145s. Pulling finished third, just 0.195s behind Bustamante.

Hamda Al Qubaisi had a collision with Gilkes, which earned her a 20s post-race penalty that dropped her from eighth to 10th, Garcia collided with Emely de Heus (but still extended her points lead in sixth place) and Lola Lovinfosse was forced into retirement after being shown the black-and-orange flag.

Pulling claimed race three pole by 0.168s over Bustamante, and there were even more collisions. Bustamante got past Pulling then was rear-ended by Hamda Al Qubaisi after she tried passing Pulling too, and it resulted in Al Qubaisi retiring.

Gilkes spun after colliding with Lovinfosse, resulting in a safety car period. Buhler went off at the restart and hit a board while trying to pass Schreiner, then Chloe Chong and Maite Caceres collided which led to the race finishing behind the safety car and ensuring Bustamante won.

Amna Al Qubaisi had gained third from Marti via an off-track moment, and the safety car finish prevented her from being able to return the place so she was given a 0.3s penalty post-race to demote her back to fourth.

Results round-up
Race 1 (7 laps)
1 Marta Garcia Prema 33m21.898s
2 Lena Buhler ART Grand Prix +0.009s
3 Jessica Edgar Carlin +0.499s
4 Abbi Pulling Carlin +0.515s
5 Megan Gilkes Carlin +0.612s
6 Emely de Heus MP Motorsport +3.678s
7 Nerea Marti Campos Racing +4.330s
8 Hamda Al Qubaisi MP Motorsport +4.354s
9 Amna Al Qubaisi MP Motorsport +4.763s
10 Lola Lovinfosse Campos Racing +5.533s
Pole: Garcia, 1m54.151s
Fastest lap: Chloe Chong, 1m54.607s

Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Buhler 19m18.767s
2 Bianca Bustamante Prema +0.145s
3 Pulling +0.340s
4 Carrie Schreiner ART Grand Prix +1.026s
5 Edgar +6.000s
6 Garcia +8.740s
7 A Al Qubaisi +12.065s
8 Maite Caceres Campos Racing +14.208s
9 Chloe Chong Prema +14.584s
10 H Al Qubaisi +33.202s
FL: Pulling, 1m54.244s

Race 3 (14 laps)
1 Bustamante 30m24.300s
2 Pulling +1.466s
3 A Al Qubaisi +2.107s
4 Marti +2.394s
5 Garcia +2.782s
6 Schreiner +3.317s
7 Lovinfosse +3.917s
8 Edgar +4.957s
9 Buhler +5.566s
10 De Heus +5.888s
P: Pulling, 1m52.926s
FL: Garcia, 1m53.652s

Championship standings
1 Garcia 190   2 H Al Qubaisi 154   3 Buhler 148   4 Pulling 121   5 Marti 112   6 A Al Qubaisi 107   7 Bustamante 102   8 de Heus 80   9 Edgar 61   10 Schreiner 47