Formula 2 Stewards Admit Feature Race Red Flag Restart Error; Luca Ghiotto Disqualified

by Aaron Gillard
de Vries - ART - Monaco Pit lane

The FIA Formula 2 race stewards admit to mistakenly placing over half of the field a lap down after the red flag restart, whilst UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto has been disqualified from the Feature race in Monaco.

ART Grand Prix‘s Nyck de Vries took pole and the win in the first F2 race of the weekend. The Dutch driver has decrease the points deficit to championship leader Nicholas Latifi by one point going into Saturday’s Sprint Race.

Ghiotto initially finished the race in second, but the stewards found whilst changing his tyres during the red flag, Virtuosi used rack stops of a thickness that did not meet Article 2 of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 championship technical regulations and Page 75 of the Dallara User Manual.

Therefore, the Italian driver has had his Feature race result removed and will start the Sprint race from last position on the grid. This allows Carlin‘s Nobuharu Matsushita to take Ghiotto’s second place, whilst DAMSSérgio Sette Câmara jumps up to third.

Anthoine Hubert is promoted to eighth place and will start Saturday’s Sprint race on reverse grid pole alongside Louis Delétraz.

The stewards have also issued a penalty to MP Motorsport‘s Mahaveer Raghunathan for causing an avoidable collision with Campos Racing‘s Jack Aitken. The Indian-Dutch driver tapped the rear of Aitken’s car at the Grand Hotel Hairpin, resulting in the Anglo-Korean driver to crash into the wall and taking him out of the race.

Raghunathan has been handed a drive-through penalty as a result, which has turned into a 20-second time penalty added to his race time. The MP driver finished the race in fifteenth place.

The results of the Feature race were protested by the teams because the grid order for the restart was not established correctly according to Article 42 of the 2019 FIA F2 Sporting Regulations.

Prema‘s Mick Schumacher and Arden‘s Tatiana Calderón caused the red flag as the two cars collided with each other, causing a road block at La Rascasse. The incident resulted in a black flag as all the cars were left queuing at the corner.

All the cars were placed in the pit lane during the red flag and later, pushed into the correct order for the restart. This later led to some confusion over cars from ninth place and below being a lap down from the leading top eight drivers.

The order of the field was arranged in accordance to the last racing lap. However, Article 42.3 of the 2019 FIA F2 Sporting Regulations was not processed properly as those cars who were the pit lane ahead of the leaders weren’t allowed to transit the circuit and join for the restart on the same lap and in the correct order.

The result for the race was protested and the F2 stewards investigated the matter, later admitting their own error in which saw most of the field be a lap down from the top eight cars. They further investigated into trying to find a solution, but couldn’t find a method to resolve this error and chose to leave the results of the race as they stand.

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