Home Featured George Russell wins Monza sprint race to extend F2 lead

George Russell wins Monza sprint race to extend F2 lead

by Peter Allen

Photo: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

George Russell capitalised on a mistake from Artem Markelov to win the Monza Formula 2 sprint race and increase his championship lead.

Russell leapt to the front of the field at the start together with fellow third-row starter Nicholas Latifi, who took the lead on the inside of the first chicane.

ART Grand Prix driver Russell got ahead of Latifi into the same corner on lap five but he ran too deep and missed Turn 2, not only allowing Latifi back past but also enabling Markelov to pass him through Curva Grande.

Markelov took the lead away from Latifi on the following lap and was able to build a gap while Russell looked for a way past the DAMS driver.

Russell took second on lap nine of 21 and was into the lead just two laps later after Markelov locked up at Turn 1 and had to take to the escape road, giving Russell a run through Curva Grande.

Markelov was able to put Russell under pressure for a few laps, but the Mercedes junior pulled away for his fifth win of the season.

Russian Time driver Markelov, whose engineer spoke over the radio of an engine issue limiting his performance, came under attack from Sergio Sette Camara, who spurned a front-row start and slipped to fifth place through the opening turns.

Sette Camara, who put his issue before the start of the feature down to a misunderstanding on his part, made a final bid to try and snatch second heading onto the final lap but locked up and ran straight on at the first chicane.

Latifi held on to fourth place under pressure from Lando Norris, who fell from fourth to eighth on the first lap.

Norris now has a deficit of 22 points to Russell with two rounds remaining, having closed to within five points at Spa one week ago.

Alex Albon was defending fifth from Norris in the middle of the race when he developed a gearbox problem that caused him to slowly fall through the field before eventually pitting. It leaves him 43 points adrift of Russell in the title race.

Luca Ghiotto ended a muted home weekend a distant sixth, while Dorian Boccolacci and Jack Aitken raced well to take the final points in seventh and eighth.

Boccolacci’s second weekend in F2 had been hampered so far by mechanical issues in qualifying and the feature race and he started in 18th, one place behind Aitken, who had suffered a damaged wheel rim and resultant puncture on Saturday.

Ralph Boschung, team-mate to Boccolacci at MP Motorsport, made a poor start from his inherited reversed-grid pole position and then collided with Sean Gelael over eighth on lap three, with Gelael furious that the Swiss driver had moved over on him under braking for the second chicane.

Shock feature race winner Tadasuke Makino got ahead of Norris on the first lap but pitted early on and finished 14th.


Sprint race results (21 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 33m31.886s
2 Artem Markelov Russian Time +1.056s
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin +4.347s
4 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +5.651s
5 Lando Norris Carlin +6.174s
6 Luca Ghiotto Campos Racing +17.452s
7 Dorian Boccolacci MP Motorsport +20.751s
8 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix +24.216s
9 Arjun Maini Trident +25.188s
10 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System +28.453s
11 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System +31.875s
12 Alessio Lorandi Trident +34.792s
13 Nirei Fukuzumi Arden International +38.323s
14 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time +1m04.379s
15 Roy Nissany Campos Racing +1m17.780s
16 Maximilian Gunther Arden International +1m18.848s
17 Nyck de Vries Prema +1 lap
Ret Alexander Albon DAMS
Ret Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport
Ret Sean Gelael Prema
Fastest lap: Sette Camara, 1m34.896s

Championship Standings
?Russell 219? ?2 Norris 197? ?3 Albon 176? ?4?Markelov 160? ?5?de Vries 155? ?6 Sette Camara 142? ?7 Fuoco 112? ?8 Ghiotto 94? ?9?Latifi 73? ?10?Aitken 62