Mercedes junior and ART Grand Prix’s George Russell fought through to win FIA Formula 2 Championship’s sprint race at Monza.
ART’s Russell made a good start to slot behind leader DAMS’ Nicholas Latifi who took the lead from third after reverse grid pole-sitter MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung bogged down to ninth at the end of Lap 1.
Also losing out from the front-row was Carlin’s Sergio Sette Camara who dropped to fifth behind Russian Time’s Artem Markelov and DAMS’ Alexander Albon. Camara’s teammate Lando Norris lost out to Campos’ Luca Ghiotto and Russian Time’s Tadasuke Makino.
At the front, Russell stayed on with Latifi and made the move on Lap 4 but braked late in Turn 1, thereby missing the corner allowing Markelov to clear him as the Russian then soon made a quick work of Latifi to take the lead of the race.
The three were bunched up together still with Russell overtaking Latifi in his chase of Markelov. The British driver got the chance on Lap 13 when the Renault junior made a similar mistake like Russell to cut the corner in Turn 1.
It was enough for Russell to pounce on Markelov in Curva Grande and assume the lead spot. The Russian tried to fight off but couldn’t retake the position as Russell went on to win the race by just a second from Markelov in a close finish.
Behind, Latifi lost out to the recovering Camara who had overtaken Albon early on to complete the podium with Latifi then fending off Norris for fourth. The British driver passed Ghiotto and Albon in the process.
Albon was forced to retire with issues which allowed Ghiotto to finish sixth ahead of MP Motorsport’s Dorian Boccolacci who overtook ART’s Jack Aitken in the end stages to score his first points in the F2 category.
The two started from the back along with Trident’s Arjun Maini and Charouz Racing System’s Antonio Fuoco and impressively all four made it inside the Top 10 with Maini in ninth and Fuoco 10th.
There were few other incidents as well with Arden’s Maximilian Gunther suffering front wing damage while Prema’s Sean Gelael and Boschung coming together and also Prema’s Nyck de Vries suffering a puncture after a collision with Campos’ Roy Nissany.
Position 11-17: Louis Deletraz, Alessio Lorandi, Nirei Fukuzumi, Makino, Nissany, Gunther and de Vries. DNF: Albon, Boschung and Gelael.