Taylor Barnard put in a dominant performance from reverse grid Pole in the Monte Carlo Sprint Race to earn his and AIX Racing’s first victory in Formula 2.

The British driver saw off the challenge from Invicta Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto and a late Red Flag caused by Zane Maloney and Kush Maini stopping on track, to take to the top step in the Principality.

Bortoleto sealed his second successive trip to the podium after he finished second, while MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger came home in third.


Despite a slower getaway than fellow front row starter Bortoleto, Barnard was able to keep a hold of the lead while Hauger tucked into third. However, a Safety Car was required after Victor Martins’ race ended early in the barriers at Turn 1.

The ART Grand Prix driver appeared to collide with DAMS Lucas Oil’s Jak Crawford and Campos Racing’s Josep María Martí, taking off his front wing and sending him into the wall.

At the restart, Barnard kept a hold of the lead, but the Safety Car was deployed again on Lap 6 when Martí crashed into the wall at the swimming pool section after suffering a snap upon exit at Turn 15.

Racing resumed on Lap 8 and by the end of the next tour of the track, the top four from Barnard to Andrea Kimi Antonelli were separated by a second and a half.

The Virtual Safety Car was then deployed on Lap 11 after Richard Verschoor sustained damage on his front wing after hitting the apex at Mirabeau. The Trident driver appeared to receive a tap by AIX Racing’s Joshua Duerksen causing him to lose control – with the AIX driver later given a 10-second penalty for his part in the incident.

Bortoleto finished the race in second scoring his second consecutive podium finish
Bortoleto finished the race in second scoring his second consecutive podium finish

At the halfway stage, Oliver Bearman came on the radio to say he had suffered damage after hitting the barrier at the final corner. However, the PREMA Racing driver was able to continue on in P11.

Out in front, Barnard’s lead over Bortoleto was now over two seconds by the start of Lap 19, the Brazilian driver now coming under pressure from Hauger.

Bearman’s day was then made worse when he had a slow moment out of Portier following an issue, dropping him to P14.

This promoted Maloney to 11th, and he looked to dive down the inside of Zak O’Sullivan for P10 at the Turn 6 hairpin. However, the two made contact leading the Rodin Motorsport driver to lose a piece of his front wing endplate.

The Championship leader’s day then came to an end at La Rascasse after he locked up into the corner before being sent into a spin by Juan Manuel Correa. This also left Maini without a place to go causing him to stop next to Maloney. With the track blocked, it triggered a Red Flag.

Racing got back underway with a rolling start on Lap 26 and Barnard was now nearly four seconds clear of Bortoleto as they rounded the track for the 28th time.

As they started the final lap, the gap out front was five seconds leaving Barnard to cross the line in first, giving him and AIX Racing their maiden Formula 2 victory. Bortoleto finished in P2 while Hauger followed him across the line to take P3.

Antonelli was fourth for the third time in the last four races ahead of the second MP car of Franco Colapinto. Trident’s Roman Stanek finished in sixth ahead of Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Paul Aron with Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar taking the final point in P8.

Barnard scored his and AIX Racings first victory in Formula 2
Barnard scored his and AIX Racing's first victory in Formula 2

KEY QUOTE – Taylor Barnard, AIX Racing

“Starting in P1, I knew it was going to be a matter of trying to keep hold of P1 at the first corner. I dreamt about this last night, coming out of the first corner in first. We had a great car today and when I got in front, I could feel straight away that I had good pace, and I just managed the pace and the car throughout the race. The mini–Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars and one Red Flag didn’t make my life easy to say the least. Very happy, thank you to the whole team for the car they gave me today and really happy to get my first win in Monaco.”


Despite his race ending early Maloney still retains his spot at the top of the Drivers’ Championship with 68 points. However, with second-placed Aron finishing seventh in the Sprint Race, the gap between the two drivers is now just three points, while Hadjar stays third in the Standings with 60 points.

In terms of the Teams’ Title, it is as extremely close up at the top. Campos Racing maintain their lead out front, while MP Motorsport move up to second and with 85 points, the gap between the top two is just a solitary point. Rodin however are just one point further back in third, while Hitech Pulse-Eight and Invicta Racing are in fourth and fifth respectively with 80 each.

UP NEXT Next up is the Monte Carlo Feature Race at 09:40 local time on Sunday morning. Who will take to the top step in the Principality?