Monaco F2: Hubert takes first win in photo finish with Deletraz

Reigning GP3 Series champion and Renault Formula 1 junior Anthoine Hubert earned his first Formula 2 victory in Monaco by fending off Haas protege Louis Deletraz

Monaco F2: Hubert takes first win in photo finish with Deletraz

F2 rookie Hubert had had an eventful feature race where a slow pitstop and brake issues dropped him down the order, but the reverse-grid pole was some consolation.

He was never headed during Saturday's race, one of his biggest challenge managing two safety car restarts.

Both safety cars were caused by incidents involving Luca Ghiotto, third in the championship and excluded from Friday's feature race.

He was dicing with Tatiana Calderon's Arden car as she ended up in the wall at Mirabeau, while an optimistic dive up the inside of the Loews hairpin then sent both Ghiotto and Mahaveer Raghunathan into the barrier just a few laps later.

Hubert managed both restarts with excellent drives off the final turn, but he did have to hold off a late charge by Deletraz.

The Carlin driver closed in late and pestered Hubert for the win. Deletraz dropped back slightly in the second sector of the last lap and it was just enough for Hubert to hold on.

Deletraz tried to draw alongside out of the final corner and the pair crossed the line with '0.0s' on the timing screens, half a car length the distance between them and 0.059 seconds the final official gap.

Hubert proved that Arden's early season strong race pace is no fluke, even if it still needs to work on qualifying, which also improved in Monaco, and was praised with "viva la France" by Irish team boss Kenny Kirwan, and greeted by his father, brother and girlfriend as he emerged from his car delighted.

Deletraz earned his best result of the season since switching to Carlin, having also scored second in last year's sprint race.

Guan Yu Zhou and Artem Markelov joined Hubert and Deletraz in racing away in the early stages.

It was clear Markelov - driving for MP Motorsport in place of Indianapolis 500-bound Jordan King - was faster but rookie Zhou defended brilliantly.

Zhou, Ghiotto's Virtuosi Racing team-mate, had raced from 16th to fifth in the first race and bettered that with his second F2 podium, right on the leaders' tail at the flag.

Markelov ran off at the Swimming Pool exit, using the escape road, and struggled to trouble Zhou thereafter, almost hitting the wall at Ste Devote on the last lap.

Behind Markelov, with a 10s gap for most of the race, Dorian Boccolacci was the cork in the sprint race bottle as he backed up the back behind. But he wouldn't be beaten, heading Sergio Sette Camara's DAMS-prepared car.

Nyck de Vries moved up one spot from his eighth-place start after winning the feature race.

De Vries's ART Grand Prix team-mate Nikita Mazepin and Nobuharu Matsushita headed Nicholas Latifi to round out the top 10.

Latifi retains a one-point championship lead over de Vries by virtue of setting second-fastest lap and picking up the two bonus points because actual fastest lap setter Sean Gelael finished outside the top 10 in 15th after a clash with Giuliano Alesi.

Sprint race result

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Anthoine Hubert BWT Arden 30 44m23.388s
2 Louis Deletraz Carlin 30 0.059s
3 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 30 0.922s
4 Artem Markelov MP Motorsport 30 2.459s
5 Dorian Boccolacci Campos Racing 30 13.689s
6 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS 30 16.322s
7 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 30 16.952s
8 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 30 17.337s
9 Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin 30 18.770s
10 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 30 19.335s
11 Mick Schumacher Prema Racing 30 21.559s
12 Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 30 22.639s
13 Jack Aitken Campos Racing 30 23.284s
14 Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 30 24.813s
15 Sean Gelael Prema Racing 29 1 Lap
- Giuliano Alesi Trident 17 Retirement
- Ralph Boschung Trident 9 Retirement
- Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport 6 Retirement
- Luca Ghiotto UNI-Virtuosi 6 Retirement
- Tatiana Calderon BWT Arden 2 Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Nicholas Latifi 95
2 Nyck de Vries 94
3 Luca Ghiotto 67
4 Jack Aitken 62
5 Guanyu Zhou 54
6 Sergio Sette Camara 52
7 Anthoine Hubert 46
8 Louis Deletraz 34
9 Dorian Boccolacci 30
10 Nobuharu Matsushita 26
11 Jordan King 26
12 Juan Manuel Correa 18
13 Artem Markelov 16
14 Callum Ilott 14
15 Mick Schumacher 14
16 Sean Gelael 11
17 Nikita Mazepin 6
18 Ralph Boschung 3
19 Giuliano Alesi 0
20 Mahaveer Raghunathan 0
21 Tatiana Calderon 0

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