Oscar Piastri starred on the treacherous streets of Monte Carlo as he advanced to second in the race for this year’s FIA Formula 2 championship.
The young Aussie didn’t win, but was quick and consistent through twin sprints – one in the wet – before finishing a strong second in the F2 feature race with the Prema Powerteam.
He left Monaco with trophies from a pair of podiums and serious respect from his rivals, including Race 2 winner Dan Ticktum who crashed trying to pass him in the main event.
“Two second places is a pretty solid day in Monaco,” said Piastri.
Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou is on top of the points, with a 16-point lead over Piastri, but things can change rapidly in F2 with a combination of equal equipment, tight qualifying and a reverse-grid race.
Piastri managed to battle through the reversed race in Monaco and then got going in the second sprint on a wet track before the main event with its compulsory pitstop to change tyres.
“We had a decent race this morning in the rain, then the Feature Race was really good. I struggled a bit in the beginning but then once I found my feet I pushed. So, yeah, a pretty solid day.
“The pace in Monaco is very much dictated by what the leader wants to do, so it was more or less follow the leader. Then I saw Ticktum went for the undercut on me so we had to react to that and covered it successfully. I’d say we definitely better than this morning, the same position on track, but it was a bit more comfortable this afternoon.”
Piastri had little to say about the crash that took Ticktum out of the race.
“I actually haven’t seen what happened. Obviously, I locked up into the swimming pool and then we were side-by-side to Rascasse and next thing I knew he wasn’t there anymore. I don’t really have much more to comment on then that.”
But Ticktum took responsibility.
“Unfortunately, Oscar made a mistake in the corner before, and I got the run on the outside. Had I closed the door more, we would’ve crashed so I don’t really know what else I could’ve done.
“I take responsibility for it but it’s just such a shame. The car was amazing, our pace was so strong.”
With Monaco into the records, the F2 field is heading to Baku in Azerbaijan.
“There’s still six weekends to go so I’m not looking at that too much, but it’s nice to be able to finish the job off here,” said Piastri.
“Ok, we didn’t win but in Bahrain we had a very solid weekend and I kind of threw it away with a few laps to go, so to have a really strong weekend and finish it off with P2 in the Feature Race is much more satisfying than in Bahrain.”