Monza F2: Ghiotto wins as race leaders de Vries and Leclerc collide

Luca Ghiotto triumphed in a chaotic wet Formula 2 feature race at Monza, as race leaders Nyck de Vries and Charles Leclerc collided on the final lap

Monza F2: Ghiotto wins as race leaders de Vries and Leclerc collide

Leclerc and de Vries came together on the approach to the Curva Grande after a late-race safety car, which was caused by Oliver Rowland retiring when a wheel fell off his DAMS-run car. Both eventually finished in 17th and 18th.

At the delayed start, de Vries leapt off the line to seize first from polesitter Matsushita.

The top three, including Artem Markelov who dived to the inside of de Vries and clattered into him at the apex of Turn 1, scampered across the run-off area.

UPDATE: Ghiotto stripped of victory

Leclerc, who had burst up the order with a rapid start, emerged from the chicane in fourth place.

That became third for the Prema Racing driver when Roberto Merhi, Markelov and Alexander Albon clashed at the Roggia chicane, which caused the latter to spin, and he then attacked and passed Matsushita on the run out of the Parabolica.

Behind the top two, Rowland had surged up from 13th on the grid to sixth by the end of the first lap and he then engaged in a thrilling battle over fourth place with former-F1 driver Merhi.

The Rapax driver survived an early attack from Rowland at the Rettifilo by cutting the chicane - a move he repeat at the Roggia one tour later.

Rowland finally got by when he got a better run out Turn 2 a few laps later and he quickly hunted down and passed Matsushita for third.

The race then settled down with Leclerc stalking de Vries and Rowland lighting up the timing screens in an effort to cut the gap to the leaders.

After waiting until lap 17 to pit to avoid emerging in traffic, Leclerc came in first for fresh wets but was still behind de Vries when the McLaren junior made his own stop one lap later.

Rowland, who had pitted moments after de Vries, lost a wheel on the approach to the first Lesmo and stopped on the inside of the track, bringing out the safety car.

After a two-lap interruption, de Vries led the pack back to racing speeds under intense pressure from Leclerc, who took the escape road at Turn 1.

De Vries was attacked by Ghiotto going through Curve Grande and the Italian seized the lead as Leclerc let them both back past.

At the start of the final lap, Leclerc and de Vries collided as the former attempted to go around the outside on the approach to Turn 3.

The championship leader was sent into the barriers on the outside of the right-hander, but carried on to the flag, as de Vries tumbled down the order with a puncture.

Ghiotto took his first win of 2017 by 1.9 seconds over Antonio Fuoco, with Nobuharu Matsushita completing the podium ahead of Nicholas Latifi.

Albon finished fifth ahead of Sean Gelael, Sergio Sette Camara, Deletraz and Gustav Malja. Markelov rounded out the top 10.

Race one result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Antonio Fuoco Prema Racing Dallara/Renault 44m10.800s
2 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix Dallara/Renault 0.351s
3 Nicholas Latifi DAMS Dallara/Renault 1.477s
4 Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME Dallara/Renault 3.085s
5 Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden Dallara/Renault 3.844s
6 Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport Dallara/Renault 5.268s
7 Louis Deletraz Rapax Dallara/Renault 6.031s
8 Gustav Malja Racing Engineering Dallara/Renault 6.930s
9 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME Dallara/Renault 7.878s
10 Jordan King MP Motorsport Dallara/Renault 8.219s
11 Roberto Merhi Rapax Dallara/Renault 9.712s
12 Nabil Jeffri Trident Dallara/Renault 11.679s
13 Norman Nato Pertamina Arden Dallara/Renault 11.979s
14 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix Dallara/Renault 12.046s
15 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing Dallara/Renault 12.406s
16 Robert Visoiu Campos Racing Dallara/Renault 13.531s
17 Charles Leclerc Prema Racing Dallara/Renault 33.989s
18 Nyck de Vries Racing Engineering Dallara/Renault 1m12.409s
- Oliver Rowland DAMS Dallara/Renault Retirement
- Santino Ferrucci Trident Dallara/Renault Retirement


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