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F2 Feature Race: O’Sullivan claims an unexpected victory in the principality

Written by Jasmin Low

Formula 2 returned to the streets of Monaco in 2024, where a victory at the famed circuit is every driver’s dream. After a rain-soaked practice session and intense split-qualifying, Trident’s Richard Verschoor claimed an all important pole position for the feature race. 

A chaotic sprint race on the Saturday set the tone for the feature, as drivers grappled to manoeuvre their cars between the narrow walls. The retirement of championship leader Zane Maloney allowed the chasing field to whittle down the points gap to just three points to rookie Paul Aron, and eight to the previous feature race winner in Imola, Isack Hadjar. 

The chaos continued into the Feature race, with Zak O’Sullivan eventually taking the coveted victory, as well as valuable points. 

The Race:

Martins suffered a poor start, dropping from the front row all the way down to fourteenth by the end of the first sector, whilst Verschoor held the start. Bearman was the biggest winner at the race start, promoted five places. 

Jak Crawford suffered a tangle which was deemed a racing incident by the stewards, with the Invicta of Kush Maini, coming to a halt and having to retire from the race, however the interventions from a safety car was not required. 

Despite the limited overtaking opportunities during the first 10 laps,  Hadjar kept within DRS of Verschoor, with Aron behind, rounding out the top three, the two championship contenders needing the vital points to add to their tallies. 

On lap eight, Amaury Cordeel in the Hitech returned to the pit lane with an issue, becoming the second retirement of the race. 

Pepe Marti was the first of the runners on the supersoft tyres to peel into the pit lane, coming out at the back of the field. Bortoleto was given the hurry-up to overtake Bearman ahead, as his tyres were starting to struggle. 

Further ahead, Franco Colapinto and Kimi Antonelli were locked into a close battle for fourth position, however, the lack of overtaking opportunities prevented Antonelli from using the pace he had in his Prema. 

On lap 19, race leader Verschoor reported a problem with his car, skipping over the chicane in a panicked moment. Verschoor was able to continue, however his gap to Hadjar and Aron was reduced to under a second. 

Meanwhile, VAR’s Rafael Villagomez limped to the pit lane after losing part of his front wing, and became the third retirement of the race, a race to forget for Van Amersfoort Racing, after Enzo Fittipaldi suffered a slow stop, leaving him at the rear of the field. 

The Prema duo of Antonelli and Bearman were side by side in a thrilling dance throughout lap 22, after Antonelli came into the pits, his cold tyres unable to keep up with his teammate’s. 

Richard Verschoor made his pit stop on lap 24, crucially leaving the pit lane ahead of Hadjar, however Hadjar was able to overtake the next lap, and Aron on lap 26, the issue with Verschoor’s car causing him to lose power and slowly have his chances of victory slip away. 

Bearman, who started in twelfth, slipped past Verschoor, for a potential podium place after the rest of the field made their mandatory pit stops. Verschoor’s woes continued after he was dealt a five second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. 

The Dutchman’s day went from bad to worse, as he eventually retired, in a race he had started from pole position in heartbreaking fashion. However, he was put under investigation again, after he threw out his steering wheel in heartbreak, letting it tumble onto his front wing. 

The Antonelli-Colapinto battle continued into the later stages of the race, as the midfield bunched up behind them. Just ahead, Juan Manuel Correa closed in on Bearman, the Briton on old soft tyres compared with Correa’s newer supersofts. 

On lap 36, Hadjar reported that he had hit the wall momentarily in his Campos, and Maloney collided with sprint race winner Taylor Barnard. Antonelli finally overtook Colapinto on lap 38 after a lock up from the Argentinian, Bortoleto and Maloney also making their way past. 

Barnard again got into a tangle, this time with Colapinto, before Fittipaldi hit him from behind later in the lap, at the Rascasse right-hander. 

Joshua Duerksen retired from the race on lap 40 after a collision with Maloney, and Zak O’Sullivan was called into the pits, making it into the pit lane just before the Virtual Safety Car was implemented, making his pit stop legal. The gamble for ART put O’Sullivan into the race lead, with a charging Hadjar behind for the final lap of the race, taking his race win away. 

O’Sullivan took an extraordinary maiden victory in F2 after a moment of strategic brilliance, gaining 14 places over the 42-lap race, followed over the line by Hadjar and Aron. 

The Frenchman was fuming over the team radio, his race win unexpectedly disappearing from underneath him. Paul Aron now leads the Formula 2 championship, and Hadjar has been promoted to second in the standings. 


Up Next: Formula 2 returns to Barcelona in a month’s time, on the 21st of June.


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