It was hard luck for Alex Brundle in the second F2 race this weekend as he stalled off the line. The winner was rookie Miki Monras, with a struggling Mirko Bortolotti being granted second after Will Bratt was penalised following his ignorance of several black flags. Christopher Zanella was promoted to third place.
A good race was also had by Natalia Kowalska, who finished 12th, but the best was had by James Cole, who qualified a miserable 21st but rose 8 places to 13th.
After two races, the best drivers at qualifying are Mirko Bortolotti and Miki Monras, who have each qualified in 1st and 2nd. The best finisher is Bortolotti, who has finished 1st and 2nd in the two races and has 43 points. Not quite a Sebastian Vettel just yet. Monras – finishing 1st and 3rd – has 40 points. The overall championship standings will be updated momentarily, along with the F1 standings.
A fantastic F2 race. If only F1 had this much excitement! The winner Italian Mirko Bortolotti of course started from pole, with rookie Brit Will Bratt second after some pressure from Spaniard Miki Monras behind – he finished third. Johannes Theobald beached his car deep into the gravel after a battle with Kelvin Snoeks, and the Dutchman also had to retire. Kowalska failed to finish possibly with car problems. Sadly Alex Brundle got a puncture and ended up last of the finishers after beginning with a great battle against rookie Ramon Pineiro – who finished fifth after qualifying seventh.
GP2 driver Jolyon Palmer (his Dad Jonathan Palmer reintroduced the series in 2009) provided some great commentary, and rather unsurprisingly a few references to F1 were made. One driver was even referred to as trying to ‘fly like Petrov’ at the start of the race, though that driver survived.
F2 has a ‘boost’ button similar to KERS in F1. It can be used ten times in the race for six seconds at a time. Seemed to work reasonably well.
So another round of qualifying and another race tomorrow. Qualifying is at 9.30, which is awful timing with the Chinese GP. The race is at a more reasonable 2.40pm, and is live at formulatwo.com or on Motors TV on Sky and Virgin.
Last year’s Formula Two champion Dean Stoneman presented the prizes. He was supposed to be in FR3.5 this year, but after being diagnosed with testicular cancer has been off the track. He is now recovering after chemotherapy and is expected to be driving again in 2012.
An exciting F2 qualifying session for the first race of the season put Mirko Bortolotti on pole for the first time in his F2 career, with rookie Miki Monras second. British boys Will Bratt and Alex Brundle lock out the second row, matching Brundle’s best-ever qualifying. Fast in practice, Ramon Pineiro was only able to come seventh in the session, while Natalia Kowalska stopped her car at Maggotts and finished 21st. The race is at 2pm today.