Formula 2: Taylor Barnard takes first victory

As is often the case in Monaco, the Formula 2 sprint on the treacherous city circuit had its share of adventures on Saturday, and not everyone made it to the finish.

In the short race, Taylor Barnard started from pole and struggled to maintain the lead. He braked in Turn 1 while his wheels locked and his tires destroyed. But the measure was forced, as he was immediately attacked by Gabriel Bortoleto, who started the race second, but the situation did not develop further.

And this is the reason: in the very first corner, Victor Martin, who started 9th, crashed his car – this year things are not going well for the Alpine youth program driver. Yellow flags appeared on the track and the safety car came out.

But he did not stay on the track for long and the race resumed on the third lap. Barnard was in the lead, followed by Bortoleto, and right behind him was Dennis Hauger, who almost immediately overdid it and hit the barriers in the final corner of the track at the start of the fourth lap. But his car’s suspension held up and he kept fighting.

And he had to fight not so much with Bortoletto, who was in front, but with Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who was fourth, just 0.2 seconds behind the Norwegian’s orange car. But already on the 5th lap the race was neutralized again – this time due to the fact that the car was crashed quite seriously by Pepe Marti, driving for Campos Racing.

This was due to his own mistake in leaving the pool chicane and the track was littered with debris. The peloton spent the next three laps behind the safety car, after which Barnard, despite being a Formula 2 novice, once again acted confidently and retained the lead.

The decision of the stewards to punish Kush Maini for violating the rules became known: the Indian driver cut the chicane at the exit of the tunnel on the first lap and did not return to the position, for which he received 10 penalty seconds.

On lap 11, the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was introduced when Richard Ferschor hit a barrier and damaged his front wing, the wreckage of which lay on the track exiting Turn 5. The VSC mode was introduced so that the marshals could remove them. The Dutch driver went to the pits to have his nose cone replaced and although he will start from pole tomorrow, he lost his chance to earn points today by dropping to last position.

The next restart took place on the 12th lap, but there were no position changes on the track. However, Hauger made a mistake at the tunnel exit, locked the wheels and cut the chicane. Antonelli was literally right behind him, their cars were only 0.3 seconds apart, but for some reason he fell a full two seconds behind the Norwegian!

Oliver Berman, Antonelli’s Prema teammate, was eleventh but hit the barriers quite heavily at the end of lap 15, but even in his case the Dallara front suspension withstood the impact. But from the outside it looked like the team asked Oliver on the radio if he could continue the race? “Why not,” he replied. “We will continue to attack!”

With ten laps to go, rookie Barnard remained in the lead, but when Bortoleto made a typical mistake by cutting the chicane after the tunnel, the 19-year-old Briton’s lead grew to almost three seconds, and he was already slightly easier .

Some problems began to arise with Berman’s car, Oliver slowed sharply as he passed through the tunnel, letting three rivals pass, but then accelerated again and continued the race.

On lap 22, Hauger complained to the Bortoleto team that the Brazilian driver had already cut the chicane twice, and MP Motorsport promised to report to the stewards.

And then Zane Maloney, the leader of the individual competition, started doing strange things on the court. He first attacked Zach O’Sullivan at the hairpin, but that didn’t work and the debris flew in different directions. And then the Barbados driver braked sharply before the Rascasse corner to avoid crashing into the slowing O’Sullivan, but Juan Manuel Correa, who was trailing in 13th place, had no time to react.

He poked Maloney’s car, it was spun across the track and immediately blocked it. Therefore, Maini had to resort to an emergency shutdown, which also stopped, aggravating this blockage. Race management immediately called it quits with red flags. The peloton returned to the pit lane.

There were still five laps to go before the finish, but it was decided to announce another restart, which was given along the way. After a break of about 15 minutes, the race resumed and this time Barnard was able to immediately create a large lead. In general, the impression was that everyone had already accepted the situation and was not particularly eager to continue aggressive actions. Moreover, a lot of equipment was already broken.

Everyone kept their position, with Barnard already 4 seconds ahead. But Hauger still tried to attack Bortoleto, who was running second, and Antonelli put pressure on Hauger. In the last two laps the battle on track intensified; Correa even tried to take over 11th position from Berman in the final corner of the lap, but Oliver fought back.

Taylor Barnard calmly completed the race to claim his first win in Formula 2, and considering he recently made a fairly successful debut in Formula E, today’s success will only further cement his reputation as an all-round racer. It’s worth adding that these are his very first points earned this season.

Gabriel Bortoleto finished second, Dennis Hauger third, who could not stay ahead of Antonelli no matter how hard he tried. Although Zane Maloney withdrew from the sprint and did not score any points, and Paul Aron, who is 2nd in the individual competition, finished 7th, the Estonian managed to reduce the gap with the championship leader to three points, so it picture may change tomorrow.

Isaac Hajjar, the winner of Sunday’s race at Imola, also earned one bonus point for 8th today and also slightly strengthened his third position, but Dennis Hauger, who finished third today, was noticeably closer to him. In general, everyone has something to fight for, and tomorrow’s race also promises to be interesting.

Sprint results on Saturday

Pilot Team Difference
1. T. Barnard AIX Racing 1:04’20,946
2. G. Bortoleto Virtuoso racing +5,246
3. D. Hauger MP Motorsport +5,817
4. C. Antonelli Prema +8,213
5. F. Colapinto MP Motorsport +10,857
6. R. Stanek Trident +13,594
7. P. Aron Hitech GP +15.085
8. A.Hajar Campos Racing +16,495
9. E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing +16,890
10. Z. O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +17.752
11. O. Berman Prema +18.334
12. J.-M CHECKERS +18.830
13. D.Crawford CHECKERS +19.225
14. A. Kordil Hitech GP +22.049
15. R. Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +24.054
16. R. Fershor Trident +24.327
17. R.Miata Rodin Motorsport +25.203
18. D. Durksen AIX Racing +25.915
– Z. Maloney Rodin Motorsport meeting
– K. Maini Virtuoso racing meeting
– H. Marty Campos Racing meeting
– V. Marten ART Grand Prix meeting

Source: F1 News

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