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F1 Academy 2023: Round 5 Monza Review

F1 Academy 2023: Round 5 | Monza Review

July 9, 2023

An action-packed weekend in Monza saw three different drivers take the race wins, igniting the championship battles.

Marta García’s Race 1 win sees her keep her championship lead, with the Spaniard sitting pretty at the top with 190 points. Hamda Al Qubaisi’s poor weekend sees her just about hold on the second spot, while Léna Bühler’s strong weekend puts her just six points behind Hamda in third place. Abbi Pulling lies in fourth place, 27 points behind the Swiss driver, while Nerea Martí is in fifth position with 112 points. 

MP Motorsports, meanwhile, hold on to their first place in the Constructors’ table with 331 points, though PREMA Racing are closing the gap, sitting in second place and 28 points behind them. ART Grand Prix are third with 226 points, while Rodin Carlin lie fourth with 211. Campos Racing are at the bottom of the table with 147 points. 

F1 Academy 2023 now takes a three-week break before returning on July 29 in France for Round 6. 

Race 1

Marta García led off the line with Lena Bühler behind in P3, getting Abbi Pulling in the opening lap to move up to P2. The Spaniard stretched her lead out front as ART Grand Prix’s Chloe Grant got involved in a scary incident, which led to the race being red-flagged and Grant taken to the hospital for checks. 

Once racing resumed, it was García leading from Bühler, with Pulling close behind. Pulling got back her second spot as she went on the outside at Turn 1. Bühler wasn’t giving up, though, and took back the spot as she overtook Pulling at the Lesmo corner. Down the grid, it was Megan Gilkes and Jessica Edgar battling it out as they rounded out the top five spots. 

García eventually held on ahead of the Swiss driver, taking the win by 0.009 seconds. Pulling, meanwhile, was overtaken by Edgar right at the end to clinch a podium finish. Pulling thus finished fourth, ahead of teammate Megan Gilkes in fifth. MP Motorsports’ Emely de Heus was sixth, and behind her were Nerea Martí, Hamda Al Qubaisi, Amna Al Qubaisi and Lola Lovinfosse, in that order.  

Race 2

Amna Al Qubaisi got things underway off the line and had immediate pressure from Nerea Martí behind her. Amna’s sister Hamda had an early collision with Megal Gilkes, which dropped her to the back of the grid. The action wasn’t done yet, as Martí and Amna came together on Lap 4, which saw Martí ending up with a broken front wing and the Emirati driver spun around, falling down the order.

Making the most of the collision, it was Léna Bühler who led from her teammate Carrie Schreiner with Bianca Bustamante behind them. The PREMA Racing driver got Schreiner on Lap 5, going on the outside of Curva Alboreto to take second position. Bustamante immediately set off behind Bühler with Bustamante, Schreiner and Pulling closely behind her.

Schreiner and Pulling were involved in an epic scrap for the final podium place, as the fight for the lead up front got tight. Bühler was passed by Bustamante, but the PREMA Racing driver went off the track to make the move, which saw Bühler re-take the lead. 

The Swiss driver eventually managed to hold off Bustamante for the win, while Pulling got Schreiner for the final podium place. Schreiner was fourth ahead of the Rodin Carlin of Jessica Edgar, with Marta García in sixth. Behind them were Amna, Cáceres, Chong and Hamda, in that order. 

Race 3

Pole-sitter Abbi Pulling led off the line and kept her lead going into Turn 1. While she led, Amna Al Qubaisi and Marta García behind her kept going at each other for fourth place. Amna took fourth from García, while Pulling led from Bianca Bustamante, with Hamda Al Qubaisi in third. 

Bustamante eventually took the lead from Pulling as she went past she coming out of Curva Grande. Just behind them, Hamda’s race came to an end as she tried to get into the fight for the lead and went off at Turn 1. Further down, Megan Gilkes went off at Turn 7, bringing out the Safety Car.

Racing resumed on Lap 12, with Bustamante in the lead from Pulling and Nerea Martí, who was being pressured by Amna for the final podium place throughout the final two laps; Amna finally made the move stick on the penultimate lap.

Further down, Chloe Chong spun off, which deployed the Safety Car again. The race ultimately ended under the Safety Car conditions, with Bustamante taking the win from Pulling.

Bustamante took the win from Pulling, with Amna rounding out the podium places. Martí finished fourth, ahead of García. Behind the top five were Carrie Schreiner, Lola Lovinfosse, Jessica Edgar, Emely de Heus and Lena Bühler, in that order. Martí was promoted to P3 after Amna received a post-race 0.3-second time penalty.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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