Dan Ticktum, Dams, managed to keep the pack at bay after he overtook the reverse grid pole-sitter, Louis Deletraz, Charouz, to take the lead on the first lap of the race.
It was a clean start for the pack once the lights went out. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best start for the Racelab driver, Artem Markelov, as he temporarily remained on the grid while the rest of the pack made their way to the first chicane.
However, as the field trundled around to Della Roggia (turn 3), Robert Shwartzman, Prema, squeezed Jack Aitken, Campos, off the track – similar to Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton last year – which forced the British driver to take the escape road.
But, it was a race to forget for Carlins Yuki Tsunoda as he plummeted down the grid after he suffered with technical issues with his car, on the second lap. This saw the Japanese driver crawl back to the pit lane, seemingly, to retire. However, the Carlin driver was able to return to the race but ended six laps down by the time race ended.
After Mick Schumacher, Prema, defended from Guanyu Zhou, into the first chicane, he locked up his front left tyre as he missed his braking zone and was forced to take the escape road. This allowed Zhou to easily overtake Schumacher. However, the German driver was able to regain the position as the Uni-Virtuosi driver fell down the pack as he slowly limped back to the pits with technical issues. Zhou managed to return to the race but ended up eight laps down when the chequered flag was waved.
With all to play for in the Formula Two drivers standings, Callum Ilott, Uni-Virtuosi, managed to overtake Deletraz on the pit straight on lap 12. Set to lead the World Drivers Championship when the series travels to Mugello next weekend. But, a chance for the race win seemed unlikely as Ticktum had already gained a 3.8 second gap over Ilott and Deletraz.
There was late drama on lap 17 as Felipe Drugovich, MP Motorsport, retired from the sprint race as he was spun around at the Del Rettifilo chicane (T1). Bumped by Trident’s Roy Nissany – who gained a 10 second timed penalty for the collision. This prompted the only Virtual Safety Car of the session.
- Dan Ticktum (Dams)
- Callum Ilott (Uni-Virtuosi)
- Christian Lundgaard (ART)