Felipe Drugovich extended his title lead following a dramatic fifth round of the 2022 F2 season in Monaco.
Drugovich entered this round with a 26 point lead over Theo Pourchaire and set the pace in Practice but a crazy Qualifying session and two races saw the pendulum swing between the title contenders, culminating in a tense Feature Race finish.
Further back, several drivers found themselves in a series of scraps around the tight and twisty Principality which crowned a new F2 race winner in the Sprint Race, whilst Ralph Boschung again withdrew from the races due to neck pain.
Now, here is a full roundup of all the action from the fifth round of the 2022 F2 season in Monaco.
Carlin’s Liam Lawson and Logan Sargeant were first out on track in Practice as a mixture of two warm-up and reconnaissance laps occurred amongst drivers, with Van Amersfoort Racing’s (VAR) Amaury Cordeel heading Jake Hughes during a brief test of the Virtual Safety Car.
Hughes however proceeded to set the representative initial benchmark time of 1m 31.750 but Marcus Armstrong went 2.933 seconds quicker, only for Dennis Hauger, Ralph Boschung then Roy Nissany to displace him.
Nissany however was swiftly displaced by Felipe Drugovich who went fastest in the 11th minute with 1m 25.655, which was bettered two minutes later by Boschung who went 1.015s quicker only for the Brazilian to snatch back top position with 1m 23.845 a minute later.
Hughes soon displaced Drugovich in the 19th minute with 1m 23.145 before going 0.111s quicker on his next lap, which was quickly beaten by Lawson who posted 1m 22.860 to go top at the halfway mark of the session.
Hughes responded in the 25th minute with 1m 22.837 to go 0.023s quicker than Lawson and looked to go even faster on his next flier, only to lock up at the final corner but was able to avoid a full-on collision with the barriers.
The fastest lap then changed hands once again as Drugovich posted 1m 21.817 to go top in the 36th minute, only to be displaced by Hauger but Drugovich replied with three minutes left as he posted 1m 21.589 to top the session ahead of Boschung by 0.002s with Hauger in third.
|1||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1m 21.589|
|2||Ralph Boschung||Campos||+ 0.002|
|3||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.048|
|4||Jake Hughes||VAR||+ 0.070|
|5||Liam Lawson||Carlin||+ 0.364|
|6||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||+ 0.444|
|7||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||+ 0.463|
|8||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||+ 0.582|
|9||Richard Verschoor||Trident||+ 0.592|
|10||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+ 0.598|
|11||Roy Nissany||DAMS||+ 0.697|
|12||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||+ 0.741|
|13||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+ 0.929|
|14||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||+ 1.271|
|15||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 1.466|
|16||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+ 2.025|
|17||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||+ 2.083|
|18||Olli Caldwell||Campos||+ 2.219|
|19||Calan Williams||Trident||+ 2.272|
|20||Cem Bolukbasi||Charouz||+ 2.273|
|21||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||+ 2.429|
|22||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+ 2.457|
Qualifying Group A
Like in Practice, Lawson was first out onto the track but it was Jack Doohan who set the benchmark lap time of 1m 26.304, which was bettered by Cordeel as several drivers pitted without posting a representative lap time.
Cordeel eventually lowered his benchmark time to 1m 23.601 in the 10th minute but Drugovich hit straight back with 1m 21.795 to go top from Boschung and Armstrong.
Drugovich further improved four minutes later to a Group A topping time of 1m 21.348 but he then crashed out of the final corner on his last flying lap, which caused chaos as Lawson, Iwasa and Doohan all improved their times under yellow flags.
Stewards consequently deleted Lawson’s fastest lap time of 1m 21.229 which would of put him on provisional pole for the Feature Race, whilst he was also hit with a five-place grid drop for his failure to reduce his speed.
Iwasa meanwhile improved to second at the checkered flag but his fastest lap was deleted which demoted him to seventh in Group A, whilst a 10 place grid penalty meant that he was forced to start the Sprint Race from 20th.
|1||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1m 21.348|
|2||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||+ 0.084|
|3||Liam Lawson||Carlin||+ 0.151|
|4||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+ 0.386|
|5||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.469|
|6||Ralph Boschung||Campos||+ 0.511|
|7||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||+ 0.554|
|8||Calan Williams||Trident||+ 0.637|
|9||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 1.355|
|10||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||+ 1.414|
|11||Cem Bolukbasi||Charouz||+ 2.802|
Qualifying Group B
Sargeant was first out in Qualifying Group B with Richard Verschoor setting the benchmark time of 1m 29.993, just before everyone except Clement Novalak pitted for fresh tyres as the Frenchman went top with 1m 29.322.
Novalak then posted a proper representative lap time of 1m 23.884 to stay top in the seventh minute but Sargeant went 1.654s quicker two minutes later, with the American displaced by Nissany a further two minutes later as the Israelian went faster by 0.052s.
Enzo Fittipaldi, Juri Vips then Theo Pourchaire all went fastest in the 14th minute but Pourchaire’s fastest lap of 1m 21.535 wasn’t enough to beat Drugovich’s time in Group A, which handed the Brazilian pole for the Feature Race with the rest of Group A lined up in the odd-numbered grid slots.
Those in Group B meanwhile were lined up in the even-numbered grid slots which meant that Drugovich and Pourchaire shared the front row for the Feature Race, whilst Hughes claimed reverse-pole for the Sprint Race.
Drugovich also picked up two points for pole position which extended his title lead over Pourchaire to 28 points.
|1||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||1m 21.535|
|2||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+ 0.083|
|3||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||+ 0.184|
|4||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||+ 0.393|
|5||Jake Hughes||VAR||+ 0.476|
|6||Roy Nissany||DAMS||+ 0.482|
|7||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||+ 0.537|
|8||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+ 1.645|
|9||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||+ 1.706|
|10||Olli Caldwell||Campos||+ 1.963|
|11||Richard Verschoor||Trident||No Time Set|
Following a 25 minute delay due to a messy conclusion to F1 Qualifying, F2’s Sprint Race got off to a disastrous start for Hughes as the Brit stalled as the lights went green which allowed Hauger to sweep into the lead ahead of Daruvala, Armstrong, Fittipaldi and Vips.
Pourchaire meanwhile overtook Doohan for sixth on the opening lap with the top seven all holding position in a quiet opening stint, as championship leader – Drugovich picked up damage in a collision at Saint Devote, which ruined his race following tyre change blunders at MP Motorsport.
Drugovich consequently was forced to retire from the race after the team held discussions with race control.
Up front, Hauger controlled the pace from Daruvala with a steady gap of around one-and-a-half seconds until the Safety Car was deployed on Lap 10, after Iwasa had squeezed Novalak into the wall at Rascasse to end the Frenchman’s race.
Iwasa consequently was hit with a 10s time penalty for the collision whilst Hauger led the field back racing on Lap 14, as the Norwegian continued to comfortably control the pace to clinch his maiden F2 victory from PREMA teammate, Daruvala who fought off Armstrong for second.
Fittipaldi, Vips, Pourchaire, Doohan and Lawson rounded out the top eight with Doohan also picking up a point for the fastest lap.
In the driver standings, Pourchaire reduced his deficit to Drugovich down to 25 points by virtue of finishing sixth, whilst his title rival failed to even finish the race.
Boschung meanwhile withdrew from both races due to a neck injury.
|1||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||30||44m 28.491|
|2||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||30||+ 6.711|
|3||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||30||+ 7.267|
|4||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||30||+ 13.164|
|5||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||30||+ 14.566|
|6||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||30||+ 15.829|
|7||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||30||+ 17.365|
|8||Liam Lawson||Carlin||30||+ 21.670|
|9||Roy Nissany||DAMS||30||+ 22.838|
|10||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||30||+ 23.031|
|11||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||30||+ 26.356|
|12||Cem Bolukbasi||Charouz||30||+ 31.338|
|13||Richard Verschoor||Trident||30||+ 32.414|
|14||Calan Williams||Trident||30||+ 44.226|
|15||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||30||+ 44.652|
|16||Olli Caldwell||Campos||30||+ 45.245|
|17||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||30||+ 47.270|
|18||Jake Hughes||VAR||30||+ 55.403|
|19||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||30||+ 55.751|
|RET||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||11||Tyre|
|RET||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||8||Collision|
A chaotic start saw the race delayed 15 minutes then Lawson and Nissany both stalled at the start of the formation lap, yet Drugovich got a clean start to lead Pourchaire, Doohan and Vips as the top four all opted for the soft tyre in their opening stints.
Hauger meanwhile opted for the alternate strategy of starting on super-soft tyres which saw him launch from ninth to fifth in the opening corners.
Up front, Drugovich swiftly built a gap to Pourchaire of around three seconds but a mistake from the Brazilian on Lap Nine allowed Pourchaire to find momentum, with last year’s Feature Race winner proceeding to place the pressure on Drugovich.
Hauger meanwhile pitted from fifth on Lap 10 and dropped to 15th but quickly showed his raw pace on the soft tyres, which looked set to put him in contention for the win until the Safety Car was deployed on Lap 19 after Amaury Cordeel crashed out of the final corner on the preceding lap.
Those who begun on the soft tyres consequently pitted on Lap 20 with Drugovich retaining his lead ahead of Pourchaire as Vips jumped Doohan for third, whilst Fittipaldi and Armstrong held onto fifth and sixth respectively.
Once racing resumed on Lap 22, the top 12 all held position as Lawson passed Sato into Loews Hairpin for 13th, only to then make contact with Novalak at the same corner on the next lap to end the latter’s race and bring the Safety Car back out.
The race recommenced on Lap 26 as everyone held position with Drugovich quickly locked in a tense duel for victory against a much-faster Pourchaire who hustled his ART GP car within Drugovich’s mirrors until the checkered flag but unable to make a race-winning overtake.
Vips finished third ahead of Doohan, Fittipaldi, Armstrong and Hauger who all rounded out the top seven.
Daruvala lost eighth on Lap 37 to Calan Williams but regained the position a lap later at Tabac with Logan Sargeant following through, as Williams eventually was taken out at Lowes Hairpin on the final lap by Iwasa who made a late inside lunge.
Marino Sato consequently picked up the final point in 10th place.
In the driver standings, Drugovich’s victory meant that the Brazilian extended his lead in the title race to 32 points over Pourchaire with Daruvala a further 28 points behind in third place.
|1||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||42||1h 02m 35.675|
|2||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||42||+ 0.827|
|3||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||42||+ 8.042|
|4||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||42||+ 12.954|
|5||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||42||+ 13.534|
|6||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||42||+ 14.746|
|7||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||42||+ 15.301|
|8||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||42||+ 15.721|
|9||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||42||+ 16.164|
|10||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||42||+ 24.165|
|11||Cem Bolukbasi||Charouz||42||+ 27.670|
|12||Richard Verschoor||Trident||42||+ 27.755|
|13||Jake Hughes||VAR||42||+ 30.513|
|14||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||42||+ 31.625|
|15||Olli Caldwell||Campos||42||+ 32.609|
|16||Calan Williams||Trident||41||+ 1 Lap|
|17||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||41||+ 1 Lap|
|RET||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||22||Collision|