Monza F2: Aitken holds off King for Race 2 win

Renault Formula 1 junior Jack Aitken took a third win of the Formula 2 season in the Monza sprint race following a fierce battle with Jordan King and Callum Ilott.

Monza F2: Aitken holds off King for Race 2 win

MP Motorsport driver King shadowed poleman Aitken in the early stages until lap seven of 21, when he made his move at Turn 1, and defended at the Variante della Roggia, where Aitken had to use the kerbs to avoid an incident. 

After a virtual safety car period, Campos Racing’s Aitken got a great run on the main straight and retook the lead into Turn 1.

One lap later, Aitken went off into the run-off again at the Roggia chicane as King had took the inside line and appeared to have the advantage. 

But instead of conceding, Aitken held the lead at the exit as King had to cut the second part of the chicane, allowing Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott to demote King to third.

On the final lap, Ilott made a last-ditch attempt to pass Aitken at Turn 1, but a locked front-left tyre sent him onto the grass, which led to him clipping the wall and spinning. He picked up a puncture and trundled home in 12th.

Aitken was able to escape after Ilott's issues, with King second - although King complained after the race that Aitken had been weaving on the straights in order to break the tow, calling Aitken’s behaviour “dangerous”.

Championship leader Nyck de Vries (ART Grand Prix) had fallen back from the lead group with four laps to go when he had a terrifying moment, having to take to the grass to avoid King after locking up at Turn 1.

Feature race winner Nobuharu Matsushita (Carlin) was third on the road, but a five-second time penalty for a VSC infringement handed third spot back to de Vries. 

Earlier in the race de Vries was fortunate to continue after being hit from behind by Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi) at Turn 1 in an optimistic move that pushed de Vries into Sergio Sette Camara’s DAMS car.

The latter spun and had to retire, while Ghiotto pitted for a broken wing and finished 15th and last.

Starting 17th after a three-place grid penalty, Guan Yu Zhou (UNI-Virtuosi) delivered fourth after Matsushita’s penalty, narrowly heading off Prema driver Mick Schumacher, who took sixth behind Matsushita from 14th on the grid.

Giuliano Alesi (Trident) and Louis Deletraz (Carlin) completed the scorers in seventh and eighth places.

Championship contender Nicholas Latifi (DAMS) appeared to have an issue as he fell back after running in the top eight early on, finishing 10th.

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