Frederik Vesti Edges Italian Race One Thriller

Frederik Vesti clinched victory for Prema to secure the constructor title for a second consecutive season. (Image credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Frederik Vesti snatched a late victory in a dramatic Italian Race One as Prema secured a second consecutive constructor title, whilst the drivers’ title race took another twist. 

Vesti began the race in ninth but slowly took advantage of various incidents further ahead to work his way up to third, when a safety car was deployed on lap 12 after Sebastian Fernandez spun into the gravel trap at Ascari.

Upon the restart, Vesti swept past Jake Hughes and launched a charge on Theo Pourchaire which saw the Frenchman reeled in and eventually passed on lap 20 into Variante as Vesti then held on for victory.

Oscar Piastri rounded out the podium after fighting through the pack from 15th after a grid penalty to take third and the championship lead, after Prema teammate and title rival – Logan Sargeant was spun out of the points on lap 14 by Carlin’s Clement Novalak.

David Beckmann snatched fourth from Hughes on the final lap as Liam Lawson, Lirim Zendeli, Bent Viscaal, Enzo Fittipaldi and Michael Belov rounded out the points.

In terms of the standings, Piastri now leads Sargeant by eight points with Pourchaire now up to third but 46 points behind Piastri.

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Lawson made a great start from pole position to lead from Matteo Nannini as Pourchaire got a super launch to climb to third ahead of Hughes, whilst Fernandez suffered a spin in mid-pack on the run to Variante of which he luckily avoided contact with several cars around him.

Enzo Fittipaldi stalled at the start but eventually got going and and benefitted from various incidents to secure ninth at the flag.

Pourchaire swept pass Nannini for second on lap two before utilising DRS two laps later to claim the lead from Lawson whilst Hughes got past Nannini on lap three for third with the same move.

Sargeant meanwhile struggled for pace in the opening stages and found himself tumbling down the order when he ran wide down the Variante escape road on lap five, which left him battling fellow title rival and Prema teammate, Piastri until the safety car was deployed on lap 12.

Hughes overtook Lawson for second on lap six to leave the Aussie battling Nannini until the Italian made a late inside move into Variante on lap nine as Lawson cut across and broke Nannini’s front left tyre to send him into race retirement, just two laps after Nannini’s teammate – Calan Williams had been spun out of the points by Alex Peroni at that same corner.

Lawson however would lose third to Vesti through the first Lesmo curve on lap 12 after scrapping through Variante Della Roggia just before the safety car was deployed in order to allow marshals to remove Fernandez’s beached ART GP car from the gravel trap at Ascari.

Upon the safety car restart on lap 14, Vesti utilised the slipstream to breeze past Hughes whilst Sargeant’s hopes of retaining the championship lead was ended at Variante Della Roggia, after the American’s rear was tapped by Novalak to send him spinning down the order to an eventual 26th placed finish in a huge blow for his title hopes with three races left of this season.

Novalak was hit with a ten second time penalty which dropped him from seventh to 14th at the checkered flag.

Up front, Vesti was on an immediate charge as he reeled in Pourchaire and eventually got past with DRS on lap 20 before fending off return attacks from the Frenchman to clinch his second win of the season, whilst Piastri was on a rapid late charge as he took Peroni, Lawson and Hughes for third in the closing stages with Beckmann demoting Hughes to fifth with a late move into Variante on the final lap.

Zendeli finished seventh ahead of Bent Viscaal who had worked his way up from 21st position on the grid, as Fittipaldi and Belov rounded out the top ten with the Russian securing a maiden reverse grid pole for Race Two.

 

Race Results

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Frederik Vesti Prema 22 38m 22.192
2 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 22 + 0.899
3 Oscar Piastri Prema 22 + 5.470
4 David Beckmann Trident 22 + 6.124
5 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 22 + 7.419
6 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 22 + 7.984
7 Lirim Zendeli Trident 22 + 8.692
8 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 22 + 9.232
9 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab 22 + 12.192
10 Michael Belov Charouz 22 + 15.441
11 Roman Stanek Charouz 22 + 15.755
12 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab 22 + 16.862
13 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP 22 + 17.290
14 Clement Novalak Carlin 22 + 18.455
15 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 22 + 19.185
16 Cameron Das Carlin 22 + 20.283
17 Alex Peroni Campos 22 + 21.026
18 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP 22 + 21.922
19 David Schumacher Carlin 22 + 27.277
20 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP 22 + 28.375
21 Sophia Floersch Campos 22 + 28.393
22 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer 22 + 29.057
23 Alessio Deledda Campos 22 + 29.434
24 Igor Fraga Charouz 22 + 34.067
25 Calan Williams Jenzer 22 + 34.500
26 Logan Sargeant Prema 22 + 38.847
27 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 22 + 46.678
28 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP 11 Spin
29 Olli Caldwell Trident 10 Damage
30 Matteo Nannini Jenzer 8 Collision

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