MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Richard Verschoor of Netherlands and Van Amersfoort Racing (22), Ralph Boschung of Switzerland and Campos Racing (25) and Frederik Vesti of Denmark and PREMA Racing (7) lead the field into turn one at the start during the Round 13:Monza Sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 02, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)
Italian Grand Prix: F2 Sprint Race results
Find out what happened in the first race of the weekend for Formula 2 in Monza
Frederik Vesti came out on top in the Formula 2 Sprint Race after a tense last-lap battle.
How it happened
Reverse grid polesitter Ralph Bosching got a good start, but so did his competitors. Followed directly by Richard Verschoor and Frederik Vesti, the three went into Turn 1 side by side. Boschung had an unfortunate lockup and didn’t make the corner, dropping down a few places and allowing Verschoor and Vesti to battle for the lead.
Vesti came out on top, leading after the first few turns, and into the first Safety Car as Invita Virtuosi’s Amaury Cordeel was spun by Zane Maloney towards the end of the first lap. Cordeel retired as a result of the incident.
The marshalls recovered Cordeel’s car and the Safety Car came back in after Lap 4. Vesti had a smooth restart and maintained the lead of the race. Not so lucky was Boschung, who slipped from 4th to 13th during the first lap after the Safety Car. He dropped all the way to the back of the field when he pitted for new tyres on Lap 7.
As the laps ticked down, both ART Grand Prix drivers were on a strong charge through the field. Victor Martins, who started sixth, made his way up to third past Kush Maini, jumping into the podium positions. His teammate, championship leader Theo Pourchaire, came from tenth up to fifth and continued making up ground.
At the beginning of Lap 12 Martins got second place from Verschoor with an incredible lunge to make the overtake. He had just begun to hunt down Vesti when Roy Nissany was caught up in an incident and spun, bringing out the second Safety Car of the race.
Two drivers came into the pits during the Safety Car, Ayumu Iwasa to retire with a mechanical issue and Josh Mason to switch to the Super Soft tyres.
A rapid Martins closed in on Vesti when the Safety Car came back in on Lap 16, but also came under pressure himself from Verschoor in third.
Further down the field an intense four-way battle for the final point was occurring between Dennis Hauger, Oliver Bearman, Roman Stanek, and Arthur Leclerc. It resulted in Hauger going into the gravel and dropping to 13th, allowing Doohan to join the battle.
Just a few laps after Martins overtook Maini, Pourchaire also got past the Indian driver and took fourth position. In the final laps, Martins and Pourchaire both continued to close in on their respective rivals, Martins for the lead and Pourchaire for third.
On the final lap, Martins was within just a few tenths of Vesti but also needed to defend from Verschoor. The top two continued to battle till the final corner but in the end it was Vesti who won out, taking the win to close the gap to Pourchaire in the title fight.
Martins came second, followed by Verschoor and Pourchaire. Maini completed the top five. Jak Crawford finished sixth ahead of Bearman, while the final point of the day went to Leclerc. Stanek and Jack Doohan completed the top ten.