Piastri extends championship lead after Monza feature victory

Oscar Piastri extended his advantage over Guanyu Zhou at the top of the Formula 2 drivers’ standings to 15 points after an assured victory in Sunday’s feature race.

“It was tricky out there,” said Piastri during his post-race interview. “We were quite fortunate with the Safety Car timing at the beginning to come into the pits then it was a very, very tight pit exit with Drugovich double stacking.

“After that I wanted to get through the people on alternative strategy as quick as I could. Dan was a bit too quick to get past but then once I could stay within DRS and Zhou was out of my hair I could just manage the tyres because we were struggling with that yesterday.”

Piastri had started from pole position after his brilliant lap in Friday’s qualifying session and maintained his advantage as Zhou got the better of Jehan Daruvala off the lights.

The Australian driver maintained his lead until contact between Dan Ticktum and Juri Vips at the second chicane gave drivers the opportunity to pit under a full Safety Car, Piastri having to negotiate Marcus Armstrong and Christian Lundgaard when he rejoined.

And when he surged past rival Zhou to regain the lead, the Prema man never looked back, notching his fourth consecutive podium finish.

“After that it was just managing the tyres and then the last Safety Car almost was my unbringing but managed to hold on and very happy to get the win,” added Piastri. “Leading the championship is always good and extending it is even better so I really wanted to get a feature race win on the board which was the one thing I was missing this year. So yeah, like to think I’m ticking a few boxes, so it feels good.”

Ticktum recovered from his contact to finish an excellent third after running much longer on the opening stint, the Brit finishing ahead of Theo Pourchaire, Jehan Daruvala and the second Prema of Robert Shwartzman and Richard Verschoor.

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