F2 Monaco

Double points

Formula 2 moved in style to their second round, Monaco. After missing out on Monaco last year due to the pandemic, this was a track everyone was looking forward to. We’ve had three interesting races, especially the second was a good one because it started wet.

Richard qualified P16 and Lirim P17.

Sprint Race 1

Because it’s Monaco, the practice and qualifying sessions were on Thursday, and Race 1 on Friday. Richard had a good start, where he gained 2 positions, Lirim gained 1 position at the start. Overtaking in Monaco is quite hard, so the positions remained the same in the following 14 laps. In lap 15 Lundgaard had to retire because of engine issues, which got both Richard and Lirim a place up. This is also how both drivers finished, Richard on P13 and Lirim on P15. Even though both drivers did not score points, it was a good outcome for the second race on Saturday morning.

Sprint Race 2

The second Sprint Race started very excitingly, as it had been pouring rain early in the morning, the track was still very wet. Both Richard and Lirim gained 2 positions during the start, getting Richard on P11 and Lirim on P13. By lap 5, Richard gained another position and was driving on P10, which is during the Sprint Races still outside the points. Only the top 8 receives points. With both Virtuosi drivers pitting in lap 11, Richard found himself on P9 and Lirim on P11. Both drivers were getting closer and closer to points. While Richard was fighting with Daruvala, Nissany and Boschung for P6, Lirim overtook Beckmann and got the 10th position. During the fight for P6, Richard overtook Daruvala and found himself on P8, which is in the points. In lap 23, Nissany took the first corner too wide and hit the wall shortly, which gave Richard the opportunity to drive on P8, and Lirim on P9, right behind Daruvala. With only a few laps to go, the safety car had to come out in turn 1, where Viscaal and Beckmann hit each other. In the very first lap, right before Lawson saw the chequered flag, Lirim overtook Daruvala for P8, which meant he was also driving in the points.

After the race, Lawson was disqualified for a technical non-conformity. This promoted Richard to P6 and Lirim to P7, which were good points for both and the team.

MONACO (MC) May 20-24 2021 – Grand Prix de Monaco. Richard Verschoor #11 MP Motorsport. © 2021 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Feature Race

The Feature Race followed on Saturday, at the end of the afternoon. The drivers started as to how they qualified, Richard on P16 and Lirim on P17. Richard had a good start, by lap 10 he found himself on P10. Lirim, unfortunately, had to pit very soon and was driving on P21 after that. In lap 19 Daruvala had to retire, so Lirim gained another position. In lap 28, Richard was driving on P13 after having pitted, and Lirim on P17. Lirim was under investigation for overtaking Petecof, where both cars hit each other. Luckily, no investigation was necessary. In lap 31 Armstrong hit the wall, which got a virtual safety car out but also got Richard to P12.

With Lundgaard, who was driving on P11, receiving a 5-second penalty, the points were very close to him. Right after the virtual safety car was gone, Lirim had a wheel block and ended in the wall. Unfortunately, not able to continue. A few laps later, Ticktum tried to overtake Piastri for the third position, but couldn’t make the same turn 17 as to where Lirim crashed, which made him retire too. Richard gained another position and was driving on P11. Richard was able to stay close to Lundgaard till the end, who still had the 5 second time penalty. This meant Richard finished P10 and was able to score another point.

Quotes

“I am happy with the 5 points.”

I think it was quite a tough weekend. We’ve had a big gap during qualifying which made it harder for us in the races. In the end, we’ve had 3 pretty good races. I am happy with the 5 points we took, even though I think the race pace could be a bit better overall. In the second race, which was in the rain, we were very quick. We can take a few positives with us, but we still need to work on some things to be back at the top in Baku and the following races.

— Richard Verschoor

“I was quickest on the soft tires.”

I think we showed some good pace in the races. Especially in the Feature Race, where I was the quickest on the soft tires. We need a bit of better luck during the qualifying sessions, so things will be different in Baku. It was a positive weekend.

— Lirim Zendeli