Ferrari academy driver Antonio Fuoco claimed victory in Formula 2’s Monaco sprint race, ahead of McLaren Formula 1 reserve driver Lando Norris who extends his championship lead.
Fuoco led away from pole position. After successfully defending his lead during a safety car restart on lap nine, he built a comfortable two-second advantage over second-placed Norris by mid-distance and proceeded to control the remainder of the race.
Fuoco’s second F2 victory is the first for 2018 series newcomer team Charouz Racing System.
Norris finished in second. He vaulted ahead of Jack Aitken at the start of the race. The ART Grand Prix driver suffered a throttle issue which forced him to retire after the opening lap.
Becoming one of Norris’s primary championship challengers following his feature race victory on Friday, Artem Markelov climbed to fourth from eighth on the grid.
Markelov squeezed between both Sean Gelael and Roberto Merhi immediately after a fast launch off the line. He later passed Trident’s Arjun Maini on the inside at Rasscasse.
For the second half of the race, Markelov battled against Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz for third place.
The two were side by side on several occasions, making contact at the final corner with five of the 30 laps remaining. Deletraz was able to hold on to claim his first F2 podium.
After both Nirei Fukuzumi and Santino Ferrucci locked-up and slid into the barriers at Rasscasse after a safety car restart on the penultimate lap, the race ended under the safety car.
Maini complained on the radio that he had been overtaken by Roberto Merhi while the final safety car was deployed. Merhi was classified fifth ahead of Maini, but the incident will be investigated.
Arden International’s Maximilian Gunther and DAMS’s Nicholas Latifi rounded out the points scorers.
Nyck de Vries ended up one lap down after stalling at the start, but still finished in ninth given the attritional nature of the race. Tadasuke Makino also stalled and was hit by an unsighted Luca Ghiotto. Makino retired as a result of the damage sustained, while Ghiotto finished 10th.
De Vries’s Prema Racing team-mate Sean Gelael bounced over the apex kerb at the high-speed swimming pool chicane on lap four. He made heavy contact with the barrier and triggered the first full safety car of the race.
Five laps were spent behind the safety car while the barriers were repaired and debris cleared.
A crash for Mercedes F1 junior George Russell at Piscine required a virtual safety car to clear on lap 20. It was Russell’s second crash of the weekend following his bump into the barriers at Rasscasse in the feature race.
Roy Nissany and Alexander Albon caused the first of the two late-race safety car’s. Exiting the tunnel, Albon hit the back of Nissany as the two approached the braking zone.