STRATEGY AND RAIN CONTRIBUTE TO THRILLING F2 AND GP3 RACES AT MONZA
Formula 2 and GP3 staged some thrilling racing at Pirelli’s home circuit of Monza, with tyre strategies in the former producing a surprise winner of the Formula 2 Feature Race.
Feature Race, the winner: Tadasuke Makino (Russian Time) won from 14th on the grid after starting on the medium tyres, which enabled him to take the lead by the end of lap five, overhauling those that started on the supersoft tyres. After displaying very consistent pace, the Honda junior driver pitted for the supersoft tyres with just three laps to go and emerged back in the lead to take his debut win.
Tadasuke Makino: “To be honest, I have no words! I started P14, a difficult position, but my start was really nice, and the option tyres meant everyone else was struggling but my tyres were really nice! After that I just controlled the pace: my car felt really good, and the team did an awesome job. I just can’t believe it!”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: All but three drivers started the race on the supersoft tyres, with most pitting when the pit window opened at the end of lap six. Artem Markelov came out on top of an exciting battle with Alexander Albon (DAMS) and George Russell (ART) just after the pit-stops, to make it a one-two finish for the Russian Time team.
Sprint Race, the winner: Mercedes junior Russell took victory after a mistake from Markelov, who had moved into the lead from seventh on the grid. All drivers used the medium tyres. Russell’s win, helped by accurate tyre management, consolidated his championship lead.
Feature Race, the winner: David Beckmann took his second GP3 win in a week, dominating from pole position and managing his wet tyres well on a drying track to finish six seconds ahead of Anthoine Hubert.
Sprint Race, the winner: Pedro Piquet and Giuliano Alesi staged an exciting duel for victory throughout the race, watched on by their fathers, former Formula 1 drivers Nelson and Jean. After swapping the lead several times on the soft tyres – the sole compound nominated at Monza – Piquet defeated his team-mate to give the Italian Trident squad a double win at home.
Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola: “This was one of the most fascinating weekends in Formula 2 and GP3 that we have seen, with an alternative strategy coming through to win in Formula 2, and a duel between two legendary names in GP3. The drivers often had to cope with adverse and unpredictable conditions, which meant they had to understand the amount of grip available as they went along. With comparatively little representative data to rely on, strategy was also still a question mark. In the end, a bold strategy, which was flawlessly executed, triumphed in Formula 2, while GP3 was all about the correct tyre management in changeable circumstances: finding the correct compromise between aggression and conservation.”