Antonio Fuoco Holds Off Lando Norris To Claim F2 Monaco Sprint Race Win


Antonio Fuoco - Formula 2 - Sprint Race
Credit: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

Antonio Fuoco held off championship leader Lando Norris in the FIA Formula 2 sprint race to win a dramatic and incident filled race around the Circuit de Monaco.

The Italian converted pole position to the win after an intense battle with Norris throughout the race to claim Charouz Racing System‘s first win in Formula 2 in only their fourth round in the series.

Carlin Motorsport‘s Lando Norris claimed second place and increases his championship lead going into the next round in France.

Fuoco’s team-mate Louis Delétraz completes the podium with third place and ending what has been a great weekend for the Swiss driver. He held off feature race winner Artem Mareklov who for multiple laps tried to pass the Charouz driver.

Roberto Merhi finished in fifth place ahead of Trident‘s Arjun Maini and Maximilian Günther in sixth and seventh. The final point was claimed by DAMSNicholas Latifi.

Prior to the race, Antonio Fuoco starts on pole in the sprint race after finishing in eighth in yesterdays race. Jack Aitken would share the front row with the Italian. Alexander Albon was penalised for his incident with Nyck de Vries in the pit entry and would start the race from last place on the grid. Sergio Sette Camara continued to be ruled out due to his hand injury he sustained in his qualifying crash on Friday.

With lights out, it was Fuoco who led the way ahead of Norris who passed Aitken into Turn 1. Nyck de Vries stalled on the grid whilst Luca Ghiotto crashed into the rear of Tadasuke Makino, who had also failed to get off the line. All three cars were pushed back to the pit lane whilst the virtual safety car came out. Ghiotto and de Vries were able to get back out on track and resume racing but it was game over for Makino.

After the virtual safety car ended, Fuoco pulled away from Norris at the start but the Carlin driver soon caught up to the Charouz but couldn’t find a way pass.

Feature race’s second place Sean Gelael ended his race in spectacular fashion crashing heavily at the entrance of the swimming pool section. His damaged Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing brought out the safety car as the marshals cleared the debris and stranded car.

On lap nine, the safety car came in and Fuoco resumed the lead ahead of Norris, Delétraz, Maini, Markelov and Merhi.

Maini and Mareklov engaged in a close battle for fourth place as the Russian Time drew closer and tried to find a way pass the Indian driver on lap 16. The next lap he made a move at La Rascasse, going up the inside of Maini and making the move stick to take fourth place.

The Russian soon caught up with Delétraz and tried to make a move at Turn 1 around the outside but the Swiss driver stayed ahead as he struggled with his tyres. A virtual safety car was called after George Russell crashed heavily at the exit of the swimming pool section to end a disappointing weekend for the British driver.

Once the VSC came in, another retirement came of Ralph Boschung who stopped at Mirabeau Bas. Yellow flags were waved as the marshals cleared the stopped MP Motorsport.

Markelov once again stalked the rear end of Delétraz as he hunted for the final podium spot. After multiple laps of trying to find a way pass, the pair made contact at the final corner as the Russian looked but the door shut on him quickly, luckily the pair didn’t suffer any damage.

Down the field, Albon and Roy Nissany made contact at the exit of the tunnel as the DAMS driver tried to pass the Campos but clash into the back of him, causing the safety car to come out with five laps to go.

With two laps to go, the safety car came in with Fuoco leading away from Norris but soon, the safety car came out again after an incident at La Rascasse when Nirei Fukuzumi and Santino Ferrucci crash into the wall on their own, reporting in something was on the track that distracted them.

The race finished under the safety car which allowed Antonio Fuoco to calmly take Charouz’s first win in Formula 2 in the streets of Monaco ahead of Norris, Deletraz, Markelov, Merhi, Maini, Gunther and Latifi.

POSNODRIVERNATTEAMTIME
121Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System
219Lando NorrisGBRCarlin Motorsport-1.1
320Louis DeletrazSUICharouz Racing System-2.0
41Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time-4.0
59Roberto MerhiESPMP Motorsport-6.0
616Arjun MainiINDTrident-7.4
711Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden-7.9
86Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS-12.2
94Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing1 Lap
1014Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing1 Lap
1112Nirei FukuzumiJPNBWT ArdenDNF
1217Santino FerrucciUSATridentDNF
1315Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec RacingDNF
145Alexander AlbonTHADAMSDNF
1510Ralph BoschungSUIMP MotorsportDNF
168George RussellGBRART Grand PrixDNF
173Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore RacingDNF
182Tadasuke MakinoJPNRussian TimeDNF
197Jack AitkenGBRART Grand PrixDNF
2018Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin MotorsportDNS