Mercedes-AMG Petronas triumph as Huis clinches Formula Pro Series title
Bono Huis has won the sixth and final Formula Pro Series race for this season and with it Mercedes-AMG Petronas the teams' title.
With every race week that rolled through, it seemed more and more inevitable that Huis would sit upon the Formula Pro Series throne. Now that he was cemented as king of rFactor 2 single-seaters, the final pieces of the championship puzzle were set to be placed in the last round of the season at Monza.
Lap times tend to be much tighter at Monza than other venues due to the lack of corners around the Temple of Speed. Nevertheless, Huis wasn’t going on holiday until the final chequered flag flew, taking yet another pole position.
Behind him was early rival and recent Le Mans Virtual Series round winner Jeffrey Rietveld, Erhan Jajovski and current GT Pro Series championship leader Jernej Simoncic. Once again two Redline cars stood between the Silver Arrows but, after another race in the wilderness, Pejic was once again looking competitive with a highly respectable sixth.
With one of the best starts of the season, Jajovski flew out the gates to such an extent that he led heading into the Rettifilo chicane. Perhaps rattled by what had just occurred, Huis was immediately pushed back once again by Rietveld who seized the chance to snatch second into the Della Roggia chicane. It was an opening lap to forget for Mercedes-AMG with Pejic also losing two positions.
The top three began to stretch their legs, in spite of the battle growing in intensity, and were given even more of a buffer after Siggy went wide at the second Lesmo. This paved the way for Simoncic to go fourth. Up ahead, Rietveld looked to pounce a superb move on Jajovski but contact in the second chicane left the Dutchman fuming as his countryman took the spoils. Just two laps later, the lead of the race was his.
Over the next ten minutes, this incident would prove to be a flashpoint between the aggrieved pair who locked wheels and strayed close to the limit an uncomfortable amount of times. After yet another incident at the Della Roggia chicane, Rietveld took the narrative into his own hands returning onto the track ahead of the R8G pilot.
Suspected to have damage, Jajovski was struggling to keep the eager pack behind and his characterful defending caught out Simoncic at the second Lesmo. Siggy would retake the fourth position he previously ceded at the same corner he earlier lost it on. The Austro-Slovenian was none too impressed either with the type of defending he was up against and with just shy of 34 minutes left on the clock, it happened.
Almost a carbon copy of the Hamilton/Verstappen clash at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. This time, however, Siggy would remain on track whilst Jajovski was muscled out to the gravel; forced to settle ultimately for ninth on the road. The Redline machine would not come away unscathed though, with Simoncic back through.
Away from all the drama, Pejic had been running a solid stint after his underwhelming start. At half-distance, the German found a way past Marcell Csincsik to sit inside the top five. The Hungarian would be the first frontrunner to shoot for the pits hoping for an undercut response. This sparked the frontrunners into action just to cover their bases.
Siggy went for the alternate strategy and running long worked a treat as upon pit exit he was well clear of the Burst machine. In fact, he was ready to look ahead as over the ensuing 15 minutes he reeled in his team-mate to battle for second. Meanwhile, Jajovski crashed out of the race after using too much kerb at Ascari, as the season overall entered its twilight minutes.
The damage had been done though and in a world of his own once again was Huis who completed a clean sweep of the season. With Pejic netting fifth, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports could breathe a sigh of relief as they would be champions alongside their star driver.
Down the other side of standings lay JAE Academy and Musto GD who witnessed half of their line-ups not even make it to the end of the race. They suffer the pain of relegation to Formula Challenge for next season.
Formula Pro Series 2021, Round 6, Monza, Race Results
- Bono Huis – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports – 44 laps
- Jeffrey Rietveld – Team Redline
- Kevin Siggy – Team Redline
- Jernej Simoncic – Burst Esports
- Marko Pejic – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports
- Michi Hoyer – Burst Esports
- Marcell Csincsik – Varga Sim Racing
- Alex Siebel – Red Bull Racing Esports
- Jiri Toman – Varga Sim Racing
- Dennis Jordan – Red Bull Racing Esports
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