The F2 Report: Yet another Championship leader

The F2 Report: Yet another Championship leader

The Formula 2 grid headed to the Principality of Monaco for yet more close action and a shuffle at the top of the Standings.

We missed out on any racing at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as mass flooding devastated the region, so anticipation for the next round of the Championship was high.

Some of the close racing somehow offset the procession both races turned out to be, while there were still quite a few interesting stories and events that transpired over the course of the weekend.

The F2 Report investigates.

A New Championship Leader!

The 2023 season is quickly proving to be extremely hard-fought at the top of the Drivers’ Standings, and we have a brand-new man topping the leaderboard.

The Prema driver of Frederick Vesti now leads the Championship, having taken a commanding victory in the all-important Feature race and a massive haul of 27 points.

Monaco is a notoriously difficult racetrack to overtake on, with narrow corners and short straights. Friday qualifying would be crucial, and Vesti duly delivered with pole position for the second race.

It was a relatively calm race for the Dane, who remained composed with a fast-charging Theo Pourchaire closing the gap to within three seconds by the chequered flag. Vesti led every lap of the 39-lap race, taking advantage of a red flag brought out by a certain someone…

Doohan in the doldrums

We keep waiting each week for Jack Doohan’s year to turn itself around, but it’s just not happening for the young Australian. Three points in the Sprint race was all that he managed over the weekend, and he has only himself to blame for how the Feature race transpired.

The Invicta Virtuosi Racing driver clattered the barriers past Tabac corner on lap 21, damaging the rear of his car. The Aussie duly binned it at Turn 3, unable to stay in control of the failing vehicle.

Yet another avoidable error from Doohan, who now sits 13th in the Standings. For someone who was “expecting nothing else but to dominate the Championship”, 2023 has been nothing short of a disaster for the son of legendary motorcycle Champion Mick Doohan.

Martins millimeters from murder

With Doohan’s stricken car sideways on the circuit, yellow flags were initially waved to slow approaching cars down.

However, the ART Grand Prix of Victor Martins continued at an unsafe pace and came within millimetres of a marshal who had been called to deal with the broken-down vehicle, which was now on fire.

This brought back memories of Ocon’s incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when the media were thrust out onto the pitlane as the Alpine driver was coming in to change tyres.

The marshal was unharmed, but Martins’ race was hindered by a drive-through penalty as a direct consequence of his ill judgement. What could have been second place ultimately became eighth.

2023 Formula 2 Standings after 5/13 rounds