PREVIEW: 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Autodromo Nazionale Monza

by Aaron Gillard

Round 10 of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship heads to the outside of Milan for the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, home of the ‘Temple of Speed’ and the ‘Tifosi’. Following on from the tragic events that occurred during the feature race at Spa-Francorchamps, both races were cancelled and no points were handed out as a result. The teams and drivers will return to racing this weekend, with Anthoine Hubert on their minds, who tragically died during the race in Belgium.

#RacingForAnthoine

Anthoine Hubert was a talented, intelligent and humorous character within the F2 paddock, who in his rookie year was impressing everyone around with the two wins and consistent points scoring. The BWT Arden driver scored two wins in his first year in F2 – at Monaco and in his home race in France. Hubert’s impressive rookie form caught the attention of some teams inching to sign him on for next year. According to Renault, Hubert’s plans for 2020 had already been identified.

A week after the events at Spa, seventeen drivers will take the track again as Arden, Sauber Junior Team and Trident will race with a single car. All three teams were involved in the incident at Spa, and due to the devastating damage and outcome of the accident, they will use one car for this weekend. All the teams and drivers will be racing with Anthoine in their hearts.

Anthoine Hubert will forever be in the F2, Motorsport and our hearts #AH19
Credit: Joe Portlock/LAT Images/FIA Formula 2

WHAT HAPPENED AT LAST YEAR’S ROUND IN ITALY?

The feature race in Italy produced one of the surprises of the season as Russian Time‘s Tadasuke Makino performed one of the greatest opening laps in Formula 2 history, going from fourteenth to first in a few laps. The field started on the option tyres, but Makino on the prime tyres stormed his way past the drivers into the lead of the race. Makino made his stop with a handful of laps to go but retained the lead ahead of team-mate Artem Markelov. Makino grabbed his first win in F2 ahead of team-mate Markelov, rounding off a Russian Time one-two. DAMSAlexander Albon secured third place.

In the sprint race, George Russell snatched the win away from Markelov, who in the lead made a crucial error that allowed the Brit through towards the win. Markelov led the majority of the race until the mistake, whilst Russell fought his way through the field to the win, including an intense battle with fellow Brit Lando Norris. Carlin’s Sergio Sette Câmara captured third place in the race.

You can read last year’s reports here: Feature | Sprint

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS WEEKEND?

Everyone on the Formula 2 grid will be racing for one man this weekend: Anthoine Hubert. Whilst it is tough for the drivers, teams, and media team to go back racing following a devastating loss, they will all be doing their best and racing for Anthoine in their hearts. The majority of the grid had strong relationships with the Frenchman and will be hoping to do him proud this weekend by delivering enjoyable, close and epic racing. It’s what Anthoine would of wanted from everyone within the F2 family.

The Formula 2 grid for Monza will consist of seventeen cars in total, following on from the events at Spa. BWT Arden will run just Tatiana Calderón this weekend, as well as Sauber Junior Team with Callum Ilott. Trident will run a sole car for their home race, however, it will be Giuliano Alesi who will be driving, despite his car being impounded by Belgium authorities for being involved in a serious accident. Alesi, running with a full-time contract, will drive for the team instead of Ralph Boschung in the second Trident. Boschung will miss this round but aims to be back for Russia.

Two teams will be racing in on home soil this weekend: PREMA Racing and Trident. Both teams find themselves at the bottom of the teams’ standings, sitting ninth and tenth overall and will be hoping to impress in front of their local crowd. Only one Italian will have the privilege of racing in front of his home fans this weekend. Luca Ghiotto for UNI-Virtuosi Racing has enjoyed a strong 2019 season, squabbling in the mix for the championship. But the Italian will be hoping to earn some big points to cement his championship charge going into the final two rounds in Russia and Abu Dhabi.

Luca Ghiotto is the only Italian driver on the grid in Formula 2
Credit: Joe Portlock/LAT Images/FIA Formula 2

WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEKEND?

FRIDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER

Practice: 12:00PM (UK Time)/1:00PM (Italy Time)
Qualifying : 3:55PM (UK Time)/4:55PM (Italy Time)

SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER

Feature Race: 3:45PM (UK Time)/4:45PM (Italy Time)

SUNDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER

Sprint Race: 09:50AM (UK Time)/10:50AM (Italy Time)

WHERE CAN I WATCH FIA FORMULA 2 THIS WEEKEND?

You can watch the FIA Formula 2 championship sessions live on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend in the UK and Ireland. Re-runs of the races will be shown over the week.

HOW CAN I KEEP UP WITH ALL OF THE NEWS OVER THE WEEKEND?

The Checkered Flag will provide the latest news and updates from 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship this weekend and throughout the season.

#AH19
Credit: Joe Portlock/LAT Images/FIA Formula 2

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