Anglo-Korean Aitken fended off the attacks of his rivals to bring another win home at Monza’s Temple of Speed. The Italian venue was another huge learning curve for Sato, who made excellent progress throughout the weekend
Campos Racing added to its run of success in the FIA Formula 2 with a third win of the season at Monza. Jack Aitken mastered Sunday’s sprint race to keep his rivals at bay and cruised to anther triumph in the main Formula 1 feeder series.
On Friday, Aitken and Marino Sato made a strong start to the Italian Grand Prix in the free practice. Aitken posted the fifth-fastest lap with a time of 1m33.676s with Japanese Sato clocking a lap time of 1m35.076s. Unfortunately, both Campos Racing drivers were baffled as they couldn’t translate his practice pace into qualifying speed due to traffic, which made impossible to complete a clean lap. Aitken set to start from 12th on the grid with his lap time of 1m35.547s and Sato lined up 14th on the grid with his 1m36.709s.
When the lights went out on Saturday, Aitken immediately gained several places at the start and moved up to eighth. Further adrift, Sato also was moving through the field. The latter pitted in lap 6 for a new set of fresh tires and rejoined after a quick pit stop involved in a closely-fought battle. Aitken’s strategy was the opposite and he made a very long first stint. In fact, Aitken took the lead with ten laps to go before making his mandatory pit stop in lap 22. On the soft compound, Aitken secured reverse grid pole position after moving past Sean Gelael and took the checkered flag in 8th place. Sato finished 12th.
On Sunday, Aitken made a clean start and kept the lead ahead of Jordan King and Callum Ilott. The driver in Campos Racing colors remained in first place until lap 6 when King passed him taking advantage of DRS just when a Virtual Safety Car was called. At the restart, Aitken moved into the lead again and, from then onwards, he fended off pressure from King and Ilott to cross the finish line as race winner. Aitken dedicated his third win to memory of Anthoine Hubert. Sato finished eleventh with his Campos Racing-run Dallara F2 2018.
Aitken currently sits fourth in the Drivers’ standings with 153 points. Campos Racing also ranks fourth in the Teams’ standings with 168 points.
The FIA Formula 2 will resume at Sochi Autodrom (Russia) for its penultimate round of the season on September 28-29.
Jack Aitken (Driver of Campos Racing): “Extremely happy to manage a win, especially after a difficult week for everyone at Renault and in the paddock. Happy to have closed the gap in the championship as well, we’ll keep working for more wins!”
Marino Sato (Driver of Campos Racing): “There were positive things and a few negatives ones. Clearly we moved one step forward so I’m looking forward to the next race.”
Adrián Campos (President of Campos Racing): “It was a weekend with ups and downs. After a scary moment on Saturday, a win on Sunday is the best gift. My heartfelt congratulations to everybody at the team because they all made a massive effort, particularly Jack. And I wish Alex (Peroni) a speedy recovery.”