Russian Time’s Luca Ghiotto won a rain-affected Formula 2 feature race at Monza after championship leader Charles Leclerc collided with Nyck de Vries while fighting for the lead on the last lap.
De Vries seized the lead of the race as polesitter Nobuharu Matsushita was slow away. Artem Markelov misjudged his braking and slammed into the side of de Vries at the first corner.
Markelov got wing damage while de Vries continued with a seemingly undamaged car. Meanwhile, Leclerc made quick progress to second place and closed within touching distance of the Dutchman.
Racing Engineering’s de Vries repelled Leclerc’s charge but both faced mounting pressure from the DAMS of Oliver Rowland in third, who had made brilliant progress from 13th on the grid.
However disaster struck for Rowland with just five laps to go, his wheel parted from his car and he was forced to pull to the outside of the track. The safety car was deployed bunching the field up with de Vries leading from Leclerc and Ghiotto.
A three-way fight for the lead was set up with just two laps left to run. Leclerc made his move on the restart but then was forced to cut the first chicane.
When he was handing the position back to de Vries, Ghiotto swooped through and overtook them both for the lead of the race.
Onto the final lap, and Ghiotto was defending hard against de Vries for the race win and the Italian had to take evasive action at Turn 1 as did polesitter Matsushita.
De Vries and Leclerc collided on the exit of the opening corner in dramatic fashion, ending the chance of points for both drivers.
When Ghiotto rejoined the track he had no drivers to give the place back to so he held the lead and won his second race in the series.
Fuoco earned his third podium of the year and completed an Italian 1-2 for the second year in a row. Matsushita struggled for pace all race but still came home to take his fourth podium of 2017.
Coming from 14th to finish in fourth was Nicholas Latifi. Alexander Albon was fifth and Sean Gelael recorded sixth place, his best result since his podium in Austria last year.
Sergio Sette Camara was seventh while Louis Deletraz came home in eighth and will thus start from pole position tomorrow.
His former team-mate Gustav Malja picked up two points for ninth and Markelov recovered from his opening lap calamity to salvage a solitary point.
Roberto Mehri had run as high as fourth early on but fell foul of the steward’s wrath as he failed to lift significantly after cutting the chicanes on multiple occasions. He finished 12th, with an early-race scrap with Rowland one of the highlights of the race.
Ralph Boschung received a drive-through for jumping the start but still beat his Campos Racing team-mate Robert Visoiu to 15th place.
Leclerc and de Vries were classified in 17th and 18th. All results are still provisional and there is a small chance Ghiotto could receive punishment for cutting Turn 1 on the last lap.