Nobuharu Matsushita claimed his second FIA Formula 2 victory of the 2019 season by charging to victory in the feature race at Monza.

The Carlin driver started fifth on the grid but immediately jumped up to third place at the start, before making his way into the lead of the race with a sweeping pass around polesitter Callum Ilott at Curve Grande.

Matsushita maintained his advantage over Ilott following their respective pit stops and pulled clear in the closing stages to seal his second win of the campaign, while Ilott began to drop into the clutches of his rivals behind.

Despite enduring a slow pit stop, Luca Ghiotto recovered strongly to claim a podium on home soil in second place for the Uni-Virtuosi squad, having passed Ilott late on.

Ilott lost a further position to ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries with three laps to go, with the Dutchman turning in a remarkable charge from 17th following his disqualification from qualifying to complete the podium.

de Vries has strengthened his grasp on the title race after his nearest championship rival Nicholas Latifi failed to score in a nightmare race. The DAMS driver suffered front wing damage in a collision with Guanyu Zhou at mid-distance and ultimately fell to 13th.

Sergio Sette Camara finished fifth in the other DAMS entry, ahead of MP Motorsport’s Jordan King, Giuliano Alesi and Jack Aitken, who will start Sunday’s reverse grid race from pole position.

Prema driver Sean Gelael took a distant ninth, while Mahaveer Raghunathan scored his first points in F2 in 10th, albeit finishing over a minute down on race-winner Matsushita.

The French national anthem was played in tribute to Anthoine Hubert - who was tragically killed in a crash last weekend at Spa - during the podium celebrations, while no champagne was sprayed out of respect to the Frenchman. 



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