Vesti wins in Monaco after Doohan’s huge crash causes stoppage

Formula 2

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Mercedes junior driver Frederik Vesti took the lead of the Formula 2 championship with his second feature race win of the year in Monaco.

The second of two junior series races ahead of today’s Monaco Grand Prix was interrupted by a red flag after Jack Doohan crashed heavily and damaged a barrier.

Vesti kept his lead when the lights went out while Martins alongside reacted to his team mate’s quick start by closing him off as they approached Sainte Devote.

While one Prema driver made off with the lead the other had an eventful first lap. Oliver Bearman was tapped by Clement Novalak at the exit of Casino Square, but kept under control and ahead, then produced a daring move on Amaury Cordeel to claim 12th place at Tabac. Cordeel subsequently slipped down the order and pitted.

Vesti kept a one-second lead over the ART pair at front of the field, while Jack Doohan gave pursuit followed by Zane Maloney and Richard Verschoor. The leading six started on the soft tyres while Jak Crawford, seventh, was the first driver on super-softs. But the rubber soon went off and by lap 10 he was losing over a second per lap to his rivals.

Further back Juan Manuel Correa was another super-soft runner who was proving a cork in the bottle, his mirrors filled by Bearman, Dennis Hauger, Enzo Fittipaldi and Kush Maini. The quartet sighed with relief when the Van Amersfoort driver headed for the pits on lap 11.

Crawford came in for service the next time by. Meanwhile Vesti had eked out a two-and-a-half second lead over his pursuers and continued to draw ahead.

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Arthur Leclerc’s race came to an end around the sane time. “I lost the brakes completely,” he warned the DAMS crew as he pitted on lap 11 and rolled towards them slowly having straight-lined the chicane earlier on the lap.

Unreliability put Fittipaldi out
Vesti continued to draw clear at the front, pulling around five seconds ahead of Marttins by half-distance. His progress was briefly interrupted by a Virtual Safety Car period triggered when Enzo Fittipaldi pulled his car to a smoky halt in the run-off area at the chicane.

However a bigger disruption came when Jack Doohan had a huge crash at Massenet. The Virtuosi driver had hit the barrier at the exit of the Swimming Pool the lap previously, breaking a front wing mounting, but carried on past the pits. He lost control at the top of the hill and went backwards into the barrier at high speed, wrecking the rear of his car.

Zane Maloney was first to arrive at the scene and only a late swerve meant he missed the car by millimetres. “Oh man I nearly hit him,” he exclaimed. “I think I might have a bit of damage.”

The Safety Car was dispatched immediately and the leaders reacted by coming in to switch to super-softs. Vesti and Martins were turned around quickly, but Pourchaire had to queue behind his team mate and lost more time when the ART crew dropped his car off the front jack. Despite the delay, he maintained his third place.

As Doohan jumped out of his car a fire was already developing at the rear, which the marshals quickly extinguished. A greater threat to the running of the race was the damage he’d down to the barrier, which he’d hit hard enough to embed his car’s rain light into the Armco. The race was therefore red-flagged so the barrier could be repaired.

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Rapid work by the marshals meant the barrier was replaced and the race ready to resume after little more than 20 minutes under red flag. It took two laps to restart the race as the Safety Car had to allow 10 cars past to regain the lead lap.

Martins was given a drive-through penalty
Once that was gone Vesti led Martins, Pourchaire, Maloney, Richard Verschoor and the rest back onto the circuit. Hauger, sixth, resumed racing in the knowledge he had used his pit stop to serve a five-second penalty for cutting Sainte Devote and gaining a position on lap one. Maini and Romain Stanek were next, followed by a gap of more than half a minute to Crawford and the rest who didn’t have enough time to rejoin the queue after the Safety Car came in.

Behind Vesti, Pourchaire was turning up the heat on his team mate, but the battle for second place was decided by the stewards. Martins had failed to slow sufficiently for the yellow flags caused by Doohan and arrived at the scene far too quickly, having to swerve to avoid the wrecked car and a pair of marshals.

The shocking near-miss was reminiscent of Pastor Maldonado’s crash at the corner in 2005 which left a marshal with severe injuries. Martins was ordered to serve a drive-through penalty – a stiff but deserved penalty which would have cost him a points finish had half the field not been left so far behind after the Safety Car period.

The interruption meant there was not enough time to complete the scheduled 42 laps before the one hour time limit was reached. Vesti therefore took the chequered flag first on the 39th tour, three seconds ahead of Pourchaire, though the ART driver ended the race under investigation for potentially failing to follow the race director’s instructions.

Maloney took third after his near-miss, followed by Verschoor, Hauger, Maini and Stanek. Martins claimed eighth after his penalty and took the bonus point for fastest lap, and was followed home by Crawford and Ayumu Iwasa.

Vesti’s win means he leaves Monaco with a five-point lead over Pourchaire at the top of the championship standings.

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Formula 2 Monaco race two results

Position Car Driver Team
1 7 Frederik Vesti Prema
2 5 Theo Pourchaire ART
3 3 Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin
4 22 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort
5 1 Dennis Hauger MP
6 24 Kush Maini Campos
7 20 Roman Staněk Trident
8 6 Victor Martins ART
9 9 Jak Crawford Hitech
10 11 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS
11 8 Ollie Bearman Prema
12 10 Isack Hadjar Hitech
13 2 Jehan Daruvala MP
14 23 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort
15 16 Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz
16 17 Brad Benavides PHM Racing by Charouz
17 21 Clement Novalak Trident
18 25 Ralph Boschung Campos
DNF 14 Jack Doohan Virtuosi
20 15 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi
DNF 4 Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin
22 Arthur Leclerc DAMS

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Vesti wins in Monaco after Doohan’s huge crash causes stoppage”

  1. Another ‘race’ at Monaco almost completely lacking in actual racing.
    And what’s going on with the SC putting half the field 40 seconds behind? What a disgrace.

  2. Martins should get a race ban, that was disgraceful. You can’t just take a blind corner at near racing speeds during a SC, even if you aren’t aware of the exact location of the accident.

    Probably nothing will be done though, because the human being at risk of getting killed was a race marshall, so no biggie.

    1. And yet he was the angry one, waving his hand. I’d say a season ban, just for being such an… khm, khm.

  3. Fully agree @casjo
    I really don’t think people take a SC seriously these days unless they’re literally following it. And double waved yellows seem to be considered a polite request rather than a thing to be obeyed.

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