Romanian comfortably wins as Bortolotti edges ever closer to championship
Mihai Marinescu secured his maiden FIA Formula Two Championship win during today’s (Saturday) thrilling round 13 at Monza with Mirko Bortolotti just being denied the championship crown.
The Romanian drove superbly to secure his first F2 victory with Italian Bortolotti in second and Alex Brundle completing the podium honours for the 21-lap race. Ramon Pineiro narrowly missed out on a podium spot to secure fourth with Christopher Zanella completing the top five and just doing enough to force the title race over for another day.
As the lights went out, Marinescu made a good start to lead the field but was beaten into the run for Turn 1 by a charging Brundle. The following lap, however, Marinescu retook the lead at the same corner and never looked back, powering his way to victory around the 5.793km F1 favourite and now lies fourth in the drivers’ standings from his previous eighth position.
Meanwhile Brundle looked certain to secure P2, and return to the podium for the first time since Magny-Cours, until Bortolotti just got past him at the second chicane on the last lap to deny the young Brit.
Bortolotti, who started from fourth on the grid, once again demonstrated great racecraft to pass Pineiro early in the race before his move on Brundle in the dying moments of the race.
Swiss racer Zanella, who had to secure fifth to have any chance of halting Bortolotti, was just able to find a way passed Tobias Hegewald, doing so on the inside line up into the Parabolic on lap eight. The 21-year-old now has an uphill challenge to prevent the Italian from securing the title on home soil.
Thiemo Storz produced one of his best finishes with seventh place with Jack Clarke, Mikkel Mac and Luciano Bacheta rounding out the top 10 for the closely fought race.
Speaking afterwards Marinescu said: “I’m really happy and most of all I’m happier because it happened here in Monza. I feel really at home here. I had a tricky get away from the start, Alex got past at the first chicane but on the next lap I made my move and overtook him and then I drove it safely home. I’ve done a lot of things differently since Austria starting with the preparation for the weekend itself and then a different approach to the whole weekend and it looks like it paid off.”
Round 14 of the series takes place tomorrow (Sunday) at 14:40 (local time) with full coverage, including live streaming, on the official F2 website.
Race one, Monza, results:
1. Mihai Marinescu, 21 Laps
2. Mirko Bortolotti, +5.411s
3. Alex Brundle, +6.114s
4. Ramon Pineiro, +7.676s
5. Christopher Zanella, +8.655s
6. Tobias Hegewald, +19.576s
7. Thiemo Storz, +22.622s
8. Jack Clarke, +24.320s
9. Mikkel Mac, +31.739s
10. Luciano Bacheta, +34.480s