Swiss keeps title hopes alive for tomorrow’s final showdown
Mathéo Tuscher claimed a superb second Formula Two win during today’s (Saturday) thrilling wet race at Monza with the Swiss teenager leading home Christopher Zanella and Kevin Mirocha to keep his championship hopes alive for another day.
In damp and slippery conditions, it was Luciano Bacheta who got the better start from pole man Tuscher to lead the field into the tight, first chicane amidst a cloud of spray. As the pack bunched up it was Tuscher who come off worst, cutting the chicane to slot back in P3, whilst the chasing Mirocha grabbed his opportunity to take the lead from Bacheta at Turn 3 with Mathéo now under pressure from Zanella.
The top four then soon broke away from the main pack before beginning a brilliant battle which saw every single driver having their turn at the front, leading to some incredible and brave overtakes.
With tyres beginning to fade, Zanella, Mirocha and Bacheta all had moments at the second chicane seeing them run wide as the halfway mark approached. Tuscher then made a gutsy move to go three-abreast with Zanella and Mirocha through the Parabolica, pulling it off to emerge in front and begin to pull away.
The race was far from over though with Zanella now beginning to find extra grip to close in on the 15-year-old with Mirocha also battling hard with fourth-place Bacheta. Tuscher hung on though to take the chequered flag closely followed by Zanella to take a Swiss one-two in easily the best race of the season so far. The result means Tuscher can still secure the championship honours but only if he takes victory tomorrow and Bacheta, who still has a dropped score to apply, finishes sixth or lower.
Meanwhile, championship leader Bacheta ended fourth ahead of Latvian newcomer Harald Schlegelmilch who was able to get past Mihai Marinescu in the closing stages. Dino Zamparelli finished seventh from eighth place Markus Pommer, who is now out of the title battle, with Alex Fontana and Axcil Jefferies rounding out the top 10.
Speaking afterwards Tuscher said: “I had too much wheelspin at the start and saw that Luciano was already alongside me. I then braked going into the chicane but the track was really slippery, in fact I’ve never seen a track that slippery before, and I had no grip so went over it. After that I was P3 and just everything happened with places changing all the time! I wasn’t as quick at the start of the race but I got faster and faster and was pleased to see the chequered flag. I will do my best to do the same tomorrow but we’ll have to see.”
Tomorrow’s second qualifying session gets underway at 09:40 (local time) with full coverage on the official F2 website.
F2 Results: Monza – Race 1:
1. Mathéo Tuscher, 21 laps
2. Christopher Zanella, +2.827s
3. Kevin Mirocha, +15.712s
4. Luciano Bacheta, +17.676s
5. Harald Schlegelmilch, +25.932s
6. Mihai Marinescu, +26.447s
7. Dino Zamparelli, +32.113s
8. Markus Pommer, +36.188s
9. Alex Fontana, +41.745s
10. Axcil Jefferies, +49.825s
11. Daniel McKenzie, +50.507s
12. David Zhu, +1:07.983s
13. Plamen Kralev, +1:15.227s
14. Max Snegirev, +1:22.055s
15. Hector Hurst, DNF
source: Tom Phillips – F2