There was no nip and tuck about Nyck De Vries’ victory in Monaco: the Dutch dynamo produced a flawless display to claim back-to-back FIA Formula 2 wins. The ART man led Luca Ghiotto from lights-to-flag, whilst Carlin’s Nobuharu Matsushita took third.
Callum Ilott suffered heartbreak after the formation lap: the Briton who was starting from P2 signalled an issue on the grid, which caused an aborted race start. He would later retire from the pits.
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – MAY 24: Luca Ghiotto (ITA, UNI VIRTUOSI), Race winner Nyck De Vries (NLD, ART GRAND PRIX) and Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, CARLIN) on the podium with the trophy during the Monaco at Monte Carlo on May 24, 2019 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship)
Polesitter De Vries appeared to be in an entirely different race when the lights went out: the Dutchman was unopposed off the line without anyone in P2 and quickly collected a comfortable lead. Ilott’s retirement also left Mick Schumacher with a clear run when the lights went out, but a poor getaway from the German allowed Anthoine Hubert to lunge ahead.
After his disappointing beginning, Schumacher would use the power of his PREMA to good effect and quickly reassumed his position in fourth thanks to a daring move on Hubert. On the option/prime strategy, the German was amongst the first drivers to switch to Soft compounds and would head the cars on the same strategy.
At the front, Ghiotto set the fastest lap in his pursuit of De Vries, but to little effect as the race leader was still able to build a 3s gap to the Italian who also had to check his mirrors as Sérgio Sette Câmara remained close.
De Vries’ race lead looked all the more lucrative given his Championship rival’s woes further back: Nicholas Latifi tried to make a move on Schumacher but made the jump too soon and attempted a tight move on the hairpin which resulted in a battered front wing, having found no room on the inside. This forced the Canadian into the pits and he re-joined in lowly 15th.
Trying to stay ahead of Louis Delétraz who was on the same strategy as him, Schumacher was desperate to overtake Tatiana Calderon (on the prime/option strategy). The German attempted to squeeze between the Colombian and the barrier at La Rascasse, but the room wasn’t there and he caught her tyre and spun the BWT Arden car. Delétraz had nowhere to go and came to a halt behind and the trio blocked the track, bringing out a red flag.