F2 Monza: Pourchaire takes second series win in dramatic sprint race

Theo Pourchaire took his second FIA Formula 2 win of 2021, fighting through the field from sixth to cross the line four seconds clear in a dramatic Monza sprint race.

F2 Monza: Pourchaire takes second series win in dramatic sprint race

The Frenchman took the lead on lap 14 and stayed there to cross the line 4.3 seconds ahead of UNI-Virtuosi driver Guanyu Zhou.

Pourchaire previously became the youngest-ever F2 race winner in Monaco at 17 years-old, taking the record from now McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris.

Team-mate Christian Lundgaard made an incredible charge through the field, in a race that featured two safety cars and ended under one of several yellow flags, from 19th to finish fourth on the road - which became third after a penalty for Robert Shwartzman was applied. 

Oscar Piastri was fourth for Prema, having started in 10th courtesy of his feature race pole position, with Liam Lawson in fifth for Hitech. 

At the start, Juri Vips got the jump on polesitter David Beckmann into the first run down to Turn 1, while Bent Viscaal was forced onto the exit road in his Trident-run car. 

Shwartzman was handed a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage at the start, while further back Enzo Fittipaldi was handed a penalty for causing Marino Sato to spin at Turn 1.

On the second tour, Dan Ticktum and Pourchaire went deep into Turn 1 while disputing third, the Frenchman forced down the escape road. 

Ticktum attempted to stay on track to take the second apex of the chicane but was hit in the rear by Felipe Drugovich - prompting the safety car's arrival on lap three. 

Race winner Théo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix

Race winner Théo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Ralph Boschung was also forced to pit for a new front wing after he also caught Ticktum in the lap two melee, but did so after the safety car ended at the end of lap four, costing him even more time. The pitstop, which took place under a virtual safety car required when Drugovich went off again at the Ascari chicane, is set to be investigated after the race. 

When racing resumed on lap five of 21, Lawson also fell victim to the black-and-orange flags with wing damage sustained while battling new third-placed man Pourchaire. He too changed to the soft tyres before rejoining deep in the pack. 

On lap seven, team-mates Piastri and Shwartzman fought wheel-to-wheel over seventh at the second Lesmo, with the Russian driver taking the inside line to take the place. Shortly afterwards, Piastri made contact with Jehan Daruvala, prompting the Red Bull Junior to become the latest driver forced into the pits with a damaged front wing. He also took soft tyres. 

By lap nine, Pourchaire was right on the gearbox of Beckmann, with the pair edging closer to Vips in the lead.  When Beckmann headed down the Turn 1 escape road, Pourchaire inherited second place before Zhou followed through into third. 

The safety car was prompted again after Roy Nissany spun out of the Ascari chicane at the end of lap 10, before racing resumed at the end of lap 13. 

Pourchaire soon swept past Vips on the way into Rettifilo to take the lead, while a struggling Beckmann lost out to Shwartzman, Lirim Zendeli and a charging Lundgaard.

The Dane soon made short work of Zendeli to claim fifth, which became fourth when second-placed Vips locked up into the first chicane on lap 18 and dropped back to fifth.

Podium: Race winner Théo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix, second place  Guanyu Zhou, UNI-Vertuosi, third place Christian Lundgaard, ART GRand Prix

Podium: Race winner Théo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix, second place Guanyu Zhou, UNI-Vertuosi, third place Christian Lundgaard, ART GRand Prix

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

That promoted Zhou to second, albeit not close enough to challenge Pourchaire, with Shwartzman moving up to third but with a penalty hanging over him. The Russian would eventually be demoted to sixth behind Piastri and the recovering Lawson, both of whom passed the struggling Vips in the closing stages.

The long-time race leader also fell behind Viscaal before finishing eighth.

The race finished under yellow flags when Zendeli went off at the first chicane and got stuck in the gravel. 

Monza F2 Race 1 Results - 21 laps:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 10 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 39'12.495  
2 3 China Guanyu Zhou United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 39'16.855 4.360
3 9 Denmark Christian Lundgaard France ART Grand Prix 39'19.424 6.929
4 2 Australia Oscar Piastri Italy Prema Powerteam 39'20.189 7.694
5 7 New Zealand Liam Lawson United Kingdom HitechGP 39'22.262 9.767
6 1 Russian Federation Robert Shwartzman Italy Prema Powerteam 39'23.242 10.747
7 24 Netherlands Bent Viscaal Italy Trident 39'23.999 11.504
8 8 Estonia Jüri Vips United Kingdom HitechGP 39'25.284 12.789
9 6 India Jehan Daruvala United Kingdom Carlin 39'25.663 13.168
10 20 Germany David Beckmann Spain Campos Racing 39'27.727 15.232
11 17 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong France DAMS 39'28.141 15.646
12 22 United Kingdom Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 39'31.335 18.840
13 23 Italy Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 39'32.892 20.397
14 21 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 39'38.836 1 Lap
15 12 Germany Lirim Zendeli Netherlands MP Motorsport 34'35.351 3 Laps
  25 Japan Marino Sato Italy Trident 5 laps  
  11 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Netherlands MP Motorsport 11 laps  
  16 Israel Roy Nissany France DAMS 12 laps  
  15 Brazil Guilherme Samaia Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 13 laps  
  4 Brazil Felipe Drugovich United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 17 laps  
  14 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 19 laps  
  5 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom Carlin 20 laps  
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