Home Featured Vesti wins red-flagged Monaco F2 feature race

Vesti wins red-flagged Monaco F2 feature race

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Prema

Prema’s Frederik Vesti dominated an intense red-flagged Monaco Formula 2 feature race ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire and Rodin Carlin’s Zane Maloney.

The Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior leaves the principality as the new championship leader, five points ahead of Sauber junior Pourchaire.

Poleman Vesti comfortably led at the start as fellow front row starter Victor Martins had to cover the inside after a slow getaway.

Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan briefly placed himself alongside Pourchaire as a result of Martins’ manoeuvre, but Pourchaire held on to third place.

Prema’s Ollie Bearman overtook Virtuosi’s Amaury Cordeel heading into Tabac corner to round off his opening lap progression from 16th to 12th place. Meanwhile Campos Racing’s Kush Maini dropped from 12th to 17th.

The leading driver to start on the supersoft compound tyres, Hitech GP’s Jak Crawford was also first to pit on lap 12 of 42.

At the front, Vesti continued to set the pace with a two-and-a-half second advantage over Martins.

The overcut worked for Bearman, who left the pits on lap 15 ahead of DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa, Hitech’s Isack Hadjar and MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala. However, Iwasa took advantage of Bearman being on cold tyres and dived into his inside at Mirabeau.

The virtual safety car was deployed on lap 19 as Enzo Fittipaldi’s engine blew up in the tunnel. The Carlin driver was able to pull out at the chicane and racing resumed shortly after. Previously, Cordeel and DAMS’ Arthur Leclerc had retired from the race with car issues.

It wasn’t long until the racing was halted again. Doohan lost control of his car at Massenet, hitting the outside wall. His car then set on fire, and the safety car appeared again. The accident was preceded by a heavy contact with the wall at the exit of the turns 15-16 chicane, where his front wing came loose.

The top five, who had opted for soft compound tyre at the start, immediately headed into the pitlane when the second safety car period began.

ART GP’s double stack led to two slow pitstops for Martins and Pourchaire. A mistake from the mechanics led to Pourchaire being dropped from the front jack before the front tyres were fitted. In spite of that, neither drive lost positions.

The red flag was brought out a lap later to allow marshals to clear the track and repair the barrier.

Following that, MP’s Dennis Hauger, Maini and Trident’s Roman Stanek moved into top 10 as they benefited from a race direction mistake. The safety car had picked up Crawford instead of race leader Vesti, which resulted in the cars stopping in the wrong order in the pitlane.

Hauger had served a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining advantage in the first corner.

The race resumed 20 minutes later with a rolling start after the out of order cars had been waved through, but without waiting for them to catch the back of the pack. Cordeel also rejoined the action 18 laps down as mechanics had repaired his car.

The next drama was stewards handing Martins a drive-through penalty for failing to slow down under double waved yellow flags. Track footage showed him going at speed through the section where Doohan’s accident had happened, and drove excessively close to the firemen working on track. The Alpine junior emerged in eighth after serving the penalty.

The chequered flag was waved on lap 39 of 42 as the race hit the time limit of one hour of running.

Race result (39 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Frederik Vesti Prema 1h20m02.426s
2 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +2.504s
3 Zane Maloney Carlin +15.553s
4 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing +21.623s
5 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +22.364s
6 Kush Maini Campos Racing +25.317s
7 Roman Stanek Trident +27.368s
8 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +27.653s
9 Jak Crawford Hitech GP +42.084s
10 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS +44.372s
11 Ollie Bearman Prema +45.253s
12 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +46.049s
13 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport +54.559s
14 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing +57.642s
15 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz +1m12.520s
16 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz +1m12.410s
17 Clement Novalak Trident +1m12.842s
Ret Ralph Boschung Campos Racing
Ret Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing
NC Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing
Ret Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin
Ret Arthur Leclerc DAMS
Fastest lap: Martins, 1m21.724s

Championship standings
 Vesti 89   2 Pourchaire 84   3 Iwasa 69   4 Maini 49   5 Hauger 48   6 Maloney 48   7 Verschoor 46   8 Bearman 41   9 Daruvala 40   10 Leclerc 34