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The F2 cars on track at Monza

Italian Grand Prix: F2 Feature Race results

There was drama from start to finish in the penultimate Feature Race of the F2 season

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Vesti’s F2 championship chances take a hit as Bearman wins a dramatic Feature Race at the Temple of Speed.

F2 feature race winner Ollie Bearman celebrates his win
Victory for the Ferrari Academy driver at Monza. (Image credit: F2 on X)

The 2023 F2 season is in its final stages, and the battle for the championship title remains ongoing. Heading into the Feature Race at Monza, there were just nine points between championship leader Theo Pourchaire and title rival Frederik Vesti. How the pair perform at Monza will prove crucial for the state of their championship hopes.

The flames of Vesti’s title charge were fanned by his Sprint Race win on Saturday. The Mercedes junior held Victor Martins off to claim victory, bridging the gap to Martins’ teammate Pourchaire.

Speaking after Saturday’s Sprint race, Vesti said that it felt “so good to be back on the podium” after a spell of difficult results. “The last few rounds have been very tough for me, so this is a great way to bounce back,” added Vesti. “Ready to push for tomorrow in the Feature Race.”

Championship leader Pourchaire was looking to extend his advantage over Vesti in the Feature Race. The ART Grand Prix driver had the upper hand leading into the race, starting on pole position ahead of Vesti’s P8. However, Vesti’s teammate, Ollie Bearman, started alongside Pourchaire on the front row — and could prove a vital player.

Lights out…

Pourchaire reacted well off the line, maintaining the race lead into the first turn. But the PREMA of Ollie Bearman loomed large in his wing mirrors, the young Brit rapidly closing the gap. Bearman began to challenge Pourchaire, the two going side by side into Curva Grande.

Stanek went wide, cutting the corner, but quickly rescinded the positions back to Bearman and Pourchaire. Victor Martins, who was P4, saw the opportunity for an overtake and went for it.  An ambitious move on Stanek paid off, Martins getting ahead to slot in behind teammate Pourchaire.

Heartbreak for Vesti

But disaster struck on lap 1. As Stanek moved to recover from Martins’ overtake, the Trident squeezed title contender Frederik Vesti. Vesti, left with nowhere to go, strayed onto the grass and spun. The car, now damaged, was irrecoverable. Vesti was forced to retire for the race — his championship chances taking a mighty hit.

A trip into the gravel also brought Clement Novalak’s race to an end. The safety car came out as the marshalls worked to recover the stricken Trident and PREMA.

Safety car comes in — and out again

Bearman held onto the race lead as the action got back underway. Lap 7 saw Arthur Leclerc lost the car under braking as he headed into the chicane. The DAMS driver was forced to take evasive action, soaring into the runoff. It looked as if Leclerc’s brakes had failed.

The safety car came back out, providing the drivers with the perfect opportunity to make their mandatory overtake. Things got close in the pitlane as Bearman and Pourchaire attempted to leave the pits first. Both PREMA and ART Grand Prix were noted for an unsafe release.

The stewards also noted Roman Stanek for the incident with Frederik Vesti. The Trident driver was handed a five-second penalty for his part in the incident. The stewards later decided that there would be no further action on the investigation into Pourchiare and Bearman.

Racing gets back underway

The safety car came back in once more on Lap 11. Jehan Daruvala now had the race lead and got away well as the safety car returned to the pits. Jack Doohan was quick to begin to challenge Daruvala for the lead; the Invicta driver ran wide, soon getting ahead. Daruvala sought to regain first position — but as the two battled it out, Ayumu Iwasa swooped in from out of nowhere, taking the lead.

There were dramatic scenes as Zane Maloney suffered a heavy shunt. The Rodin Carlin driver was tagged from behind and sent spinning out of control. Maloney made heavy contact with the barriers, but thankfully walked away from the incident unharmed.

As the safety car re-emerged, the stewards opened an investigation into an incident between Joshua Mason and Amaury Cordeel. Mason was given a ten-second penalty. Also handed a penalty was Correa, who received five seconds for speeding in the pitlane.

Lap 15/30

Racing got back underway as we reached the halfway point. Bearman had reclaimed the lead, holding a nine-tenths advantage over Jack Doohan. Behind Doohan in P3 was Theo Pourchaire, followed by Daruvala in P4. A little further back, Victor Martins was making a charge. The ART Grand Prix driver got past Maini to take P5.

Pourchaire and Doohan began to battle it out on lap 17, Pourchaire trying to get past into turn 5. Doohan ran wide into the runoff, re-joining the track ahead of Pourchaire.

Martins’ teammate made a move on Doohan on lap 18, moving into second. But up in the lead, Bearman had opened up a mighty gap to Pourchaire, holding an almost three-second advantage.

DRS mayhem

Down in P5, Pourchaire’s teammate was struggling. The ART driver’s DRS was stuck open and his rear tyres quickly began to pay the price. Maini, who was behind Martins, reported the problem over the radio. Meanwhile, Jak Crawford took advantage of the DRS kerfuffle, getting past both Martins and Maini in one move.

Martins’ DRS remained stuck open. It took a couple of laps before the black and orange flag waved. Martin was forced to head to the pits on lap 21. It looked as if Martins would have to retire.

There’s contact

Jak Crawford, who had been driving a stellar race, saw his hard work come undone in a second. Maini made contact with the rear of Crawford, puncturing the left rear tyre. The incident sent Crawford to the pits, whilst bringing Maini’s race to an immediate end.

The safety car came back out — a nightmare scenario for Bearman, who had opened up a mighty advantage over Pourchaire.

Final laps

With three laps to go, green flags waved. Bearman mastered the restart once again, maintaining the race lead. Theo Pourchaire quickly came under pressure from Ayumu Iwasa. The DAMS driver squeezed past Pourchaire, moving up into P2.

Within a lap, Bearman had re-opened a gap between himself and P2, enjoying a two-second lead. In the middle of the pack, Crawford and Stanek went wheel to wheel into Ascari. Crawford found himself running off the track, picking up damage. As his car began to crab, Crawford had to park up, bringing his race to an end.

The safety car came out as marshalls recovered Crawford’s car. With just one lap remaining, it would be a formation car finish. Bearman, who had driven a brilliant race, was the first to cross the line. Ayumu Iwasa – who started P15 – had gained thirteen places to finish second. Pourchaire extended his championship lead, rounding out the podium in third.


Full race results can be found here

Featured Image Credit: Joe Portlock via Getty Images

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