Formula 3

Tsunoda claims maiden F3 win in wet Monza

2 Mins read
Yuki Tsunoda - Jenzer Motorsport in the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship - Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Race 2 - Parc ferme
Credit: Joe Portlock/LAT Images/FIA F3 Championship

Yuki Tsunoda becomes the ninth different winner in the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship by taking victory in the second race of the weekend at Monza.

The Japanese driver started sixth on a wet track but made up places at the beginning while Jake Hughes jumped into the lead from third in front of reverse-grid pole sitter Fabio Scherer and Liam Lawson.

Meanwhile, Marcus Armstrong was tipped into a spin at the Rettifilo chicane by David Beckmann, which had sent the PREMA Racing driver to the back of the field.

Lap Two saw Tsunoda overtake Scherer for second position at the first chicane and set about chasing Hughes in front. Leonardo Pulcini was also able to make a move by passing Pedro Piquet for sixth on the next lap at the Della Roggia chicane.

The race order at the end of Lap Four was Hughes, Tsunoda, Scherer, Lawson, Richard Verschoor, Pulcini, Piquet and Robert Shwartzman in eighth.

As the track continued to get faster, it was still not the time to be switching to dry tyres. The positions in the points remained the same until Lap Ten when Lawson pulled off a brilliant move round the outside of Scherer at the Rettifilo chicane and was up to third.

Verschoor was also sprinting to action by taking fourth from the Swiss driver at the same complex. Lap Fifteen and Tsunoda was alongside Hughes coming into the first turn and the Jenzer Motorsport driver was through into the lead with eight laps left. Pulcini was also ahead of Scherer for fifth almost simultaneously.

Piquet was the next man to send the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz pilot down the order two laps later. Lap Eighteen saw Lawson moving in front of Hughes for second position, as the track was getting dryer and dryer all the time.

The beginning of the last lap saw Piquet overtake Pulcini for fifth before Tsunoda crossed the line to take his first ever FIA Formula 3 win ahead of Lawson and Hughes. Verschoor got the extra points, as he had set the fastest lap out of all those in the top ten.

Shwartzman was eighth, which means he will have to wait until his home round in Sochi to seal the title there. The Russian now has a thirty-three point lead over Jehan Daruvala, who is the only one who can stop Shwartzman from taking the championship with only forty-eight points left on the table.

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