MEDIABALAP.com – Pirelli Round 9 round up
There were two exciting, action-packed races across GP2 at the iconic Monza circuit close to Pirelli’s Milan home. Antonio Giovinazzi thrilled the Italian fans with a spectacular GP2 Feature Race victory, a mix of strategy and speed helping him win from the back row of the grid. Norman Nato triumphed in the Sprint Race.
The P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft were the two compounds nominated for GP2 Series at Monza. All of the top 10 starters opted to begin the race on the soft, while some of those further back pinned their hopes on a medium-soft strategy. Pierre Gasly led the early stages from pole position on the soft compound tyre and was able to stay out on track until lap 12 before he pitted to fit the mediums, later than his nearest rivals.
A collision on lap 16 of 30 between Sergio Canamasas and Arthur Pic triggered a safety car, which played into the hands of those that started on the medium tyre by picking up Gasly instead of the actual leaders. This allowed Raffaele Marciello, Gustav Malja and Antonio Giovinazzi to pit for the soft tyre and remain at the front of the order.
The safety car stayed on track for several laps while the damaged cars were cleared and rest of the pack was then released to join up with the leaders. The front trio were able to preserve the life in their soft tyres for seven laps of green flag racing at the end. Giovinazzi, who had been excluded from second place in qualifying because of a tyre pressure infringement, used this to the maximum to charge past Malja and Marciello in the final two laps and take victory.
Norman Nato used a great start from fourth on the grid to lead the Sprint Race from the first corner, maintaining the medium tyre well to stay clear of the charging PREMA pairing of Gasly and Giovinazzi, who are separated by just 10 points at the top of the standings. (gp2series.com/seangp.com/ARL/MB)