Russell makes use of Markelov’s mistake to win in Italy

George Russell, Monza 2018
The Mercedes protégé takes his fifth win of the season

After tricky early stages of the race, George Russell takes the victory at Monza thanks to a huge mistake of Artem Markelov in the final laps of the race.

Ralph Boschung and Sergio Sette Camara led the formation lap under cloudy but dry conditions when Nyck de Vries prolonged his hard luck by stalling his car. Boschung and Sette Camara had a tough start themselves as they dropped to P9 and P5 respectively.

Nicholas Latifi immediately snatched away the lead starting from P4, just ahead of Russell, Markelov and Alexander Albon. Maximilian Günther had to pit due to a damaged front wing after lap 2.

Boschung tried to defend against Sean Gelael, went on the inside of the second chicane but moved a little bit back under braking, which led to wheel banging with the Indonesian. The Prema driver couldn’t go any further, the Swiss retired a lap later. The situation will be investigated after the race, right after the incident, Gelael was furious about the move of the MP driver.

On the sharp end of the field, Russell increased the pressure on Latifi, easily took the lead at the main straight, surprisingly missed the breaking point and hence not only lost P1 but P2 as well to Markelov just behind them.

Markelov held up the pace and completed a move into the first chicane to take P1. Simultaneously, the second DAMS of Alex Albon was overtaken by Sergio Sette Camara, who delivered a similar show to yesterday: Unlucky start but sheer pace throughout the remainder of the race.

It looked like a tough race for Russell at that stage of the race as the Briton almost overtook Latifi into turn 1 again, he failed again which led him vulnerable to Sette Camara, but as the ART driver braked later into the second chicane, he kept P3.

From that moment onwards, the race improved steadily as he could pass Latifi into the first chicane and increased the pace to close the gap to Markelov.

When Sette Camara went past Latifi to take the final place on the rostrum, Markelov, who easily led the race, totally missed the braking point into turn 1, cut the chicane and unnecessarily lost the lead to Russell. The Mercedes third driver completed the move into Curva Grande and pulled away to secure P1.

Alex Albon, who was fighting not only for race but also for champion position against Lando Norris, suddenly got passed by the Briton due to his engine cutting out when shifting into third gear. After lap 17, the Thai DAMS driver retired as he almost dropped to the back of the grid already.

The final laps of the race saw a tight-packed grid as the first three cars could regularly found within a second to each other while six cars were fighting for P9 at some point. Two of them were de Vries and Roy Nissany, but when they didn’t have enough space to go through the second chicane at the same time, the Dutchman slowed down significantly while the Israeli had to change his frontwing afterwords.

However, before he entered the pits, he fought against both Charouz on the main straight. Both Nissany and Deletraz missed the braking point. The Campos driver led them through the polystyrene blocks to rejoin the race but the Swiss just destroyed them to gain a track position unorthodoxly.

In the final lap, Sette Camara hurt the polystyrene even more as the Brazilian missed the chicane as well after trying to overtake Markelov. Markelov stayed ahead, the Carlin driver was also lucky enough to keep his podium position.

George Russell took the chequered, Markelov and Sette Camara completed the podium ahead of Latifi and Norris. Luca Ghiotto came home in P6, Dorian Boccolacci and and Jack Aitken came back from the bottom end of the grid. For the French MP Motorsport driver, it’s the first point finish at this level.

After another long break, Formula 2 will return for the Russian GP on the 28th of September.

UPDATE: Boschung has received a five-position grid penalty for Sochi for causing a collision with Gelael.

Race Results

Pos. Driver Team Gap Points
1 George Russell ART 21 laps 15
2 Artem Markelov Russian Time +1.056 12
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin +4.347 10 + 2
4 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +5.651 8
5 Lando Norris Carlin +6.174 6
6 Luca Ghiotto Campos +17.452 4
7 Dorian Boccolacci MP Motorsport +20.751 2
8 Jack Aitken ART +24.216 1
9 Arjun Maini Trident +25.188
10 Antonio Fuoco Charouz +28.453
11 Louis Deletraz Charouz +31.875
12 Alessio Lorandi Trident +34.792
13 Nirei Fukuzumi Arden +38.323
14 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time +1:04.379
15 Roy Nissany Campos +1:17.780
16 Maximilian Günther Arden +1:18.848
17 Nyck de Vries Prema +1 lap
Ret Alexander Albon DAMS +5 laps
Ret Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport +17 laps
Ret Sean Gelael Prema +18 laps

Fastest lap

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1:34.896 4

Fastest lap points

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 1:34.896 4

Standings

Drivers’ Standings

Pos. Driver Country Points
1 George Russell United Kingdom 219
2 Lando Norris United Kingdom 197
3 Alexander Albon Thailand 176
4 Artem Markelov Russia 158
5 Nyck de Vries Netherlands 155
6 Sergio Sette Camara Brazil 144
7 Antonio Fuoco Italy 112
8 Luca Ghiotto Italy 94
9 Nicholas Latifi Canada 73
10 Louis Deletraz Switzerland 62
11 Jack Aitken United Kingdom 62
12 Tadasuke Makino Japan 45
13 Maximilian Günther Germany 41
14 Roberto Merhi Spain 41
15 Sean Gelael Indonesia 29
16 Arjun Maini India 24
17 Ralph Boschung Switzerland 17
18 Nirei Fukuzumi Japan 11
19 Santino Ferrucci United States 7
20 Dorian Boccolacci France 2
21 Roy Nissany Israel 1
22 Alessio Lorandi Italy 0

Teams’ Standings

Pos. Team Country Points
1 Carlin United Kingdom 341
2 ART France 281
3 DAMS France 247
4 Russian Time Russia 203
5 Prema Italy 184
6 Charouz Czech Republic 174
7 Campos Spain 95
8 MP Motorsport United Kingdom 60
9 Arden United Kingdom 52
10 Trident Italy 31
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