**Due to the fatal accident that occurred in session 9 at S.P.A. Francorchamps, Belgium, during Formula 2 race, this website news decided to postpone its articles and comments on the ensuing race (FIA Formula 2 Championship Session 10, Circuit de Monza, Italy). They may be published at any time prior to the official start of the 11th Session in Sochi, Russia, when we reset to the normal programming schedule of our content.
by journalist Bruna Pickler (cover photo credit: Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship © – September 7th, 2019 in Monza, Italy)
Saturday, Featured Race:
Japanese driver Nobuharu emotionally celebrates his victory and displays colors of the French flag on podium in honor of the friend and frenchman racing driver, Anthoine Hubert
Carlin dominates from fifth place and wins, finishing ahead of Ghiotto and De Vries
Nobuharu Matsushita got his second FIA Formula 2 win this season, at Monza. The Japanese racing driver climbed from fifth on the grid and finished 7 seconds ahead of home hero Luca Ghiotto and championship leader Nyck de Vries, who completed a sensational run from last position (see details at end of this article).*
It was an exciting afternoon for Forumla 2 in Italy and each car was adorned with a tribute to Anthoine Hubert, who tragically died when he crashed in the previous weekend’s race at SPA Francorchamps, Belgium. The adornments on the cars also brought tribute to Juan Manuel Correa, who was left seriously injured in the terrible collision. The entire Formula 2 family was racing for Anthoine, and race winner Matsushita later dedicated his victory to the Frenchman.
Correa’s team-mate Callum Ilott started on pole for the first time in his Formula 2 career and got off the track cleanly, driving away the challenge from rookie Guanyu Zhou. The third of the three novice pioneers was not so lucky: Nikita Mazepin opened wide at the entrance to turn 1, which dragged him under the order.
Zhou suffered the same fate as his Russian rival a lap later, opening the corner too far into the complicated turn 1, which led him to fifth position. Behind him, Louis Delétraz twisted in the same corner, what ended his race, and De Vries as well went wide.
The fights ahead of them gave Matsushita second place, with the Carlin driver maneuvering perfectly around the corner and marking the fastest lap behind race leader Ilott. The Japanese began fighting with the British and on lap 5 he was within DRS range. The duo were side by side in the pits and the Sauber Junior driver drove aggressively. Matsushita was relentless and eventually forced ahead of Ilott, who could no longer fight against the Carlin of the Japanese driver.
Farther back, Ghiotto had fired at his teammate when those on the soft tire strategy began to hit the pits. Matsushita was among those about to enter the pits last and returned to race sixth, ahead of Ilott who was seventh. The leadership was given to Ghiotto, who was in the alternative strategy.
The Italian was 30 seconds ahead of Matsushita – who used cooler tires – and was pushing his UNI-Virtuosi engine to its limit in an attempt to further widen the gap. Behind them, an approach between Nicholas Latifi and Zhou left the latter with a puncture in his right rear tire and he was eventually forced out of the pits. Latifi opted for a new front wing, which left him to last.
Ghiotto went to the pits with a 20 second buffer between him and Matsushita, but a slow stop from his UNI-Virtuosi team left him seventh and hurt his dreams of a home win – but he kept trying.
As the remainder of the cars on the alternate strategy started pitting, Matsushita took the lead and began putting air between him and Ilott. De Vries overtook Sergio Sette Câmara for the third time, with a 3-second deficit to end with P2. When resuming, in two laps surpassed the Ferrari F1 junior down the pit straight.
Despite his troubled pit stop, Ghiotto somehow managed to return to third place, following De Vries past Ilott one lap later. The Italian had the coolest tires of the two and added another “recap” to his growing list of overtaking, passing the Dutchman at the roaring sound of an Italian crowd. Just one lap to the end, there was plenty of room to cover for the first position, leaving the Italian wondering what might have happened.
Just one lap to the end, there was plenty of room to cover for the first position, leaving the Italian wondering what might have happened.
Sette Câmara passes Ilott on the last lap for fourth position before Matsushita crosses the line for the first time. He was followed by Ghiotto and De Vries, who completed the podium. In accordance to the driver’s request, the French national anthem was played during the podium celebrations in honor to Hubert.
Sette Câmara and Ilott were fourth and fifth, but the Brazilian received a 5-second penalty for gaining lead on the track at the start of the race, which resulted in Illot ranking ahead of Sette Câmara. Jordan King finished sixth ahead of Giuliano Alesi, who scored his best Formula 2 result. Jack Aitken, Sean Gelael and Mahaveer Raghunathan – who also scored their best results – were the last drivers in the points positions.
With Latifi out of points, De Vries extends his championship lead by 49 points with another podium. The Canadian comes second with 166, ahead of Ghiotto, with 155, and Sette Câmara, with 151 points. Aitken completes the top five with 138. In the team championship, DAMS leads the championship with 317 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi with 262 and ART Grand Prix with 221. Carlin is fourth with 170 and Campos Racing is fifth with 168 points.
Jack Aitken starts on reverse pole ahead of Alesi and King at Sunday’s Sprint Race.
Monza, Sunday, “Sprint Race”:
Despite being disqualified of Friday’s qualifying race, current championship leader is able to secure third place on the podium in both weekend races in Monza.
Thrilled Jack Aitken clinched his third victory of the season in a thrilling race at Monza He dedicate his “drive to victory” to the flag of fellow Renault Academy rider and friend, Anthoine Hubert (in memoriam). The Campos driver led the Sprint Race straight to the checkered flag, finishing narrowly ahead of fellow British driver Jordan King and championship leader Dutch Nyck de Vries.
On a still dry track, the polesitter had a surprising start, increasing distance without any opposition, while those behind him vied for the final podiums. De Vries was amongst the group of drivers fleeing the line, but traffic at turn 1 forced him to sit in sixth position. King and Callum Ilott found room to overtake Giuliano Alesi on P2 to make the British 1-2-3 effect happen.
Despite his excellent start, King soon closed the gap between him and Aitken on P1, displaying the impressive power of his MP Motorsport machine on the exclusive Monza National Speedway Circuit.
The 25-year-old took a look at Aitken’s right side but opted to go against the move, preferring to wait longer and charge more for the Renault F1 junior. His team urged him to make the move early rather than ater, and on his next ride on the track, he drove straight past the pit, passing the Campos driver. Aitken had an instant response to King’s speed and forced himself back to his side, but he was wide and had to return the position.
The fight behind them intensified rapidly as turn 1 continued to be tricky for the young drivers. De Vries, Sergio Sette Câmara and Luca Ghiotto fought for the corner and came together. De Vries was lucky to escape unharmed, but the Brazilian suffered a puncture and Ghiotto lost pieces of his front wing. Sette Câmara was forced to withdraw while the Italian asked for a replacement and came back last.
This brought a Virtual Safety Car, and when the race resumed, Aitken sent him alongside King to regain the lead in the straight pit race. De Vries came out ahead of Alesi in fourth.
Aitken was yet to put the battle between him and his British colleague “to sleep” and the 25-year-old again tried to get around Campos, but the angles intensified. Aitken was wide while King was forced to slow down at the corner, allowing Ilott to escape for second.
Once again, Turn 1 proved difficult to master and De Vries stalled in his attack. He staggered and flew across the grass before finally slowing down enough to return safely behind Nobuharu Matsushita in fifth place.
The same happened to Ilott on the last lap, who crashed at the entrance. The Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s driver lost control on the grass and bit the tire as he stepped on the barrier. It tore his rubber apart and forced him to finish his second run.
Meanwhile, Matsushita had suffered a 5-second penalty for a VSC infraction, which led him back to fifth and allowed De Vries to move third behind Aitken and King, who crossed first and second on the checkered flag. The trio proudly displayed the French flag on the podium in honor of Hubert.
Behind the three, Guanyu Zhou was fourth and Matsushita fifth. Mick Schumacher, Alesi and Louis Delétraz completed the positions.
De Vries extends his championship lead to another 59 points after his second podium finish over the weekend, totalling 225 points for the Dutchman. Nicholas Latifi remains second with 166 points, 10 points ahead of Luca Ghiotto, who is third. Aitken is two points behind in fourth, and Sette Câmara two more points in fifth. In the team championship, DAMS leads with 317 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi by 270. ART Grand Prix is third with 231 points and Campos Racing is fourth with 183. Carlin is fifth with 177.
De Vries could potentially finish the title in Sochi at the end of September, when races restart in Russia.
*Nyck De Vries’ times in the qualifying race were zeroed after fuel infringement was reported.
Competitors must ensure that a 0.8 kg fuel sample can be taken from the car at any time during the event. De Vries’ car could not provide this sample when tested.
Stewards determined that the ART Grand Prix incorrectly calculated the number of completed laps, since an additional lap was completed and therefore the fuel load calculated before the start of the session was insufficient.
As a result, the Dutchman was disqualified from the results and all his lap times were canceled.
De Vries, who had originally ranked fourth, was allowed to start the Saturday Feature Race in any position, read last, to be determined by the stewards.