Monza (Italy), Sep 12 (IANS) Winner of Sprint Race 2, India’s Jehan Daruvala of Carlin Racing could not maintain momentum in the Feature Race and missed out on another podium finish, eventually ending fifth in the F2 section of the Italian GP here on Sunday.
Daruvala, who won his first race of the season on Saturday, was sluggish from the second spot on the grid and got mugged by both Guanyu Zhou and Liam Lawson. He tried to recover throughout the race but could not and eventually ended fifth.
Oscar Piastri clinched a dominant first Feature Race win, beating Zhou to extend his Championship lead.
Piastri had been unable to convert pole in the previous round at Silverstone, losing out to Zhou when the lights went out but looked to have learned from the experience and completed the opening lap at the front.
Jumping from third to second off the line, Zhou kept the pressure on throughout the race but was unable to find a way past his title rival. The duo was sparred a late battle with the rapid Dan Ticktum on fresh soft tyres as the race ended under Safety Car conditions, with the Carlin in third.
As the highest placed driver on the alternate strategy, Ticktum was handed a shot at victory by a Safety Car with five laps to go. Eight overtakes on the option tyre followed, before he was stopped by Bernd Mayländer’s Mercedes, brought out after a collision between David Beckmann and Bent Viscaal.
Piastri now holds a 15-point advantage over Zhou with three rounds of the season to go, sitting first with 149 points. Shwartzman is third with 113, ahead of Ticktum on 104 and Pourchaire on 94.
In the Teams’ title race, PREMA has 262 ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 193 and Carlin on 185. Hitech is fourth with 162 and ART fifth with 132.
The title fight will continue in just under two weeks at Sochi, where Piastri and Zhou will look to pick up their battle from the front.