FIA Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel looks back over another weekend of excellent racing and picks out his key topics from Round 10 in Monza. He discusses the touching tributes paid to Anthoine Hubert and Juan Manuel Correa, Nyck de Vries’ title challenge, and some impressive rookie performances.
It was not easy to return to racing after Spa’s horrific events, but the drivers handled it with remarkable strength. They all united to pay their respect to Anthoine Hubert whom we all miss deeply. At the Drivers’ Briefing, they requested that the French national anthem be played on the podium of the Feature Race, and Nobuharu Matsushita wore Anthoine’s cap on the top step. It was a moving and a very fitting homage, and it shows how much respect they have for one another.
I also want to let Juan Manuel Correa and his family know that we keep them in our thoughts. We follow his conditions closely and we wish him all the best during these difficult times.
Following two podium finishes at Monza, Nyck de Vries has one hand on the F2 crown. The Dutchman has a 59 point lead over Nicholas Latifi, who failed to score last weekend. Nyck once again displayed a mature drive in both races. His performance in the Feature Race was particularly impressive: he started from the back of the grid after he was excluded from the Qualifying results. He then proceeded to carve his way through the field all the way up to 3rd! There are 96 points left to award this season, so mathematically, nothing is done yet, but Latifi cannot afford one mistake in Sochi if he wants to keep his title hopes alive.
The conditions in Qualifying were not easy to master, with parts of the Italian track wet, and two red flags. The more experienced drivers were expected to master these conditions, but surprisingly, it was three rookies who topped the session as Callum Ilott went quickest ahead of Guanyu Zhou and Nikita Mazepin. I was pretty pleased to see that.
For the first time, only 17 cars were entered in an event as BWT Arden, Sauber Junior Team by Charouz and Trident understandably raced with one car each. I’ve assured all three teams of my full support and will continue to do so for as long as they need. They are working hard in these trying times towards Sochi and the remainder of the season.