Theo Pourchaire Wins Chaotic 2021 F2 Italian Sprint Race One

(Image credit: @Formula2)

ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire survived a chaotic opening F2 Italian Sprint Race One to clinch victory ahead of UNI-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou.

Pourchaire survived a second lap tangle with Dan Ticktum to dispatch David Beckmann and Juri Vips for victory with a race winning move at the start of Lap 15, ahead of Zhou who drove from eighth on the grid to finish second.

.Christian Lundgaard delivered a stunning charge from 19th on grid to finish third after a time penalty for Robert Shwartzman.

Oscar Piastri, Liam Lawson, Shwartzman, Bent Viscaal and Juri Vips rounded out the top eight finishers with Pourchaire claiming two extra points for fastest lap.

In the drivers’ standings, Piastri’s lead over Zhou is now down to five points with Shwartzman a further 20 points behind in third.

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Beckmann started from reverse-pole after finishing tenth in Qualifying but was outdragged into Variante del Rettifilo by Vips for the lead, as Ticktum battled to defend third from Pourchaire.

That particular battle quickly hit its climax at the beginning of the second lap as Pourchaire ran wide at Variante del Rettifilo, whilst Ticktum took wide line and slightly touched the inside kerb which sent him spinning out across the corner without luckily getting hit by other drivers.

Felipe Drugovich though did make minor contact with Ticktum which damaged the Brazilian’s front wing, causing him to pit for a front wing change during a resulting Safety Car, only to spin out himself three laps later after lighting up his rear tyres on the exit of Ascari and cause a Virtual Safety Car (VSC).

Elsewhere on the restart on Lap Five, Lawson damaged his front wing trying to pass Pourchaire which forced him to pit at the end of the next lap, as Zhou passed Lirim Zendeli for fifth.

Once the VSC was withdrawn during lap seven, PREMA teammates, Piastri and Shwartzman did battle with Shwartzman winning out after squeezing Piastri wide out of the second Lesmo to drop the Aussie behind Roy Nissany with Jehan Daruvala briefly following the Israelian through.

Daruvala soon afterwards found himself overtaken by Lundgaard and Richard Verschoor, as a result of front wing damage which forced him to pit at the start of Lap 10, just before Nissany spun out of Ascari and stalled to cause a second Safety Car.

The Safety Car was withdrawn at the end of lap 13 with Shwartzman and Zendeli quickly clearing Beckmann on the restart.

Pourchaire meanwhile had stuck to Vips’ gearbox and was able to force his way past on lap 15 with a late braking inside move into Variante del Rettifilo, before sprinting away to victory.

Vips meanwhile fought off Zhou until he suffered a massive lock-up and ran wide at Variante del Rettifilo three laps later, conceding second to Zhou as he fell to an eighth-placed finish at the checkered flag.

Lundgaard meanwhile passed Zendeli for fifth on Lap 17 which became fourth on the road after he, Piastri, Lawson and Viscaal cleared Vips in the closing stages.

Zendeli meanwhile pulled over at Variante della Roggia on Lap 20 to prevent overtaking into that corner for the final two laps, as local yellow flags were waved by marshals.

Up front, Pourchaire claimed his first F2 Sprint Race victory of the season by 4.360 seconds from Zhou as Shwartzman’s five-second time penalty for an early infringement dropped him to sixth at the checkered flag.

Jake Hughes meanwhile marked his competitive return to F2 as a stand-in for Jack Aitken at HWA Racelab with a 12th placed finish, after gambling on soft tyres during the second Safety Car period following his start from the pit-lane after stalling on the grid.

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 21 39m 12.495
2 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 21 + 4.360
3 Christian Lundgaard ART GP 21 + 6.929
4 Oscar Piastri PREMA 21 + 7.694
5 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 21 + 9.767
6 Robert Shwartzman PREMA 21 + 10.747
7 Bent Viscaal Trident 21 + 11.504
8 Juri Vips Hitech GP 21 + 12.789
9 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 21 + 13.168
10 David Beckmann Campos 21 + 15.232
11 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 21 + 15.646
12 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 21 + 18.840
13 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 21 + 20.397
14 Ralph Boschung Campos 21 + 1 Lap
15 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 21 + 3 Laps
NC Marino Sato Trident 16 + 5 Laps
RET Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 10 Mechanical
RET Roy Nissany DAMS 1 Spin
RET Guilherme Samaia Charouz 1 Mechanical
RET Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 4 Spin
RET Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz 2 Collision
RET Dan Ticktum Carlin 1 Spin

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