Antonio Giovinazzi stole the victory away from his fellow Italian Raffaele Marciello on the final lap having climbed from the back row of the grid to clinch his fourth victory of the season at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday.
The Prema Racing driver had been excluded from qualifying following a tyre pressure irregularity, but saw his luck turn when, having started on the harder Pirelli tyre, he benefited from some confusion with the safety car.
Giovinazzi had pitted along with Marciello and Gustav Malja when the safety car was deployed due to Sergio Canamasas and Arthur Pic colliding at the Lesmos, switching to the softer tyre, and all three were able to get out ahead of the safety car.
Up until then, Pierre Gasly had dominated the race, surviving a first lap, first turn clash with Artem Markelov, and it look that the Frenchman was set to take his fourth victory of the season only to be caught behind the safety car, with officials taking a number of laps to realise that the top three were at the back of the safety car snake rather than at the front of it.
Marciello was leading at this point for Russian Time from Rapax driver Malja, with Giovinazzi in third, but the Prema driver was unstoppable, making consecutive passes on his rivals ahead to claim the lead on the final two laps.
Gasly was ultimately forced to settle for fourth, and his frustration to find out he was no longer in the lead was evident over the radio, with Giovinazzi’s victory cutting his championship lead to just eight points with five races remaining.
Norman Nato took fifth for Racing Engineering after a strong opening spell of the race, with Luca Ghiotto finishing alongside the Frenchman in sixth for Trident, while Jordan King of Racing Engineering and Mitch Evans of Campos Racing were seventh and eighth.
Evans will therefore start the Sprint race from pole position on Sunday, while Oliver Rowland of MP Motorsport and Russian Time’s Markelov completed the top ten.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza Feature Race Result
|1||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Prema Racing||52:28.474|
|2||9||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Russian Time||+1.457|
|4||21||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Prema Racing||+2.294|
|5||3||Norman Nato||FRA||Racing Engineering||+2.809|
|7||4||Jordan King||GBR||Racing Engineering||+3.896|
|8||7||Mitch Evans||NZL||Campos Racing||+6.311|
|9||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||MP Motorsport||+7.898|
|10||10||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||+9.416|
|11||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+10.277|
|13||24||Nabil Jeffri||MAY||Arden International||+17.807|
|14||25||Jimmy Eriksson||SWE||Arden International||+18.109|
|15||2||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||+18.524|
|17||23||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||+22.555|
|19||14||Philo Paz Armand||INO||Trident||+23.482|
|20||8||Sean Gelael||INO||Campos Racing||+1 Lap|