Tadasuke Makino took an amazing and unexpected maiden FIA Formula 2 victory at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday, with the Japanese racer climbing from fourteenth on the grid to take the lead within five laps after running a perfect strategy.
The Russian Time racer was one of only three drivers to start the race on the Medium Pirelli tyre, but unlike the MP Motorsport duo of Ralph Boschung and Dorian Boccolacci, Makino was able to make use of the grip of the tyres to make passes on those ahead of him as those who started on the Supersoft compound were forced to struggle around until the pit stop window opened due to extreme degradation.
Makino, Boschung and Boccolacci ran at the front of the field once the Supersoft tyres were discarded from the other seventeen runners, with the Honda-protégé more than sixteen seconds clear of the Swiss racer, while Artem Markelov was more than forty-five seconds back after he made his pit stop.
The Japanese racer at the front of the field stayed out on track until lap twenty-eight to make his mandatory pit stop, but the advantage he had at the front was more than enough to maintain the lead and clinch an amazing victory.
Ultimately it was a Russian Time one-two with Markelov finishing just under two seconds back, while Alexander Albon completed the podium for DAMS after coming out on an entertaining battle for position that involved championship rivals George Russell and Lando Norris, and his team-mate Nicholas Latifi.
Markelov and Albon battled for the early lead after both relegated polesitter Russell at the start, which was made easier when Sergio Sette Câmara was forced to start the race from the pit lane after issues getting away on the formation lap.
After the pit stops, Albon fell behind Russell, with the championship leader then enjoying a battle with Markelov, only for Russell to fall behind both and into the clutches of Carlin’s Norris. The two fought closely, with one attempt by Norris to pass seeing him putting two wheels onto the grass at Curva Grande.
Norris did find a way ahead of the ART Grand Prix driver, but the positions reversed once more a few laps later, with the Briton then falling down to sixth behind Latifi, who had been keeping a watching brief on the battle ahead before his late race move.
After starting from the pit lane, Sette Câmara drove superbly through the field to claim seventh in the second Carlin, while Antonio Fuoco took eighth for Charouz Racing System and reverse grid pole after passing Boschung, who could not hold on for that position after making his own late race stop.
He did at least claim two points for ninth position, while Nyck de Vries took the final point for Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing, passing Luca Ghiotto in the closing stages.
Boccolacci’s afternoon ended early as the Frenchman appeared to suffer a suspension issue, but he had dropped out of points contention already after failing to keep his Medium tyres working as long as he would have liked.
There were also retirements for both Jack Aitken and Arjun Maini, while there was a collision mid-race between Sette Câmara, Roy Nissany and Alessio Lorandi that result in a damaged car for Nissany and a trip through the gravel for Lorandi.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza Feature Race Result
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