Theo Pourchaire won out in a thrilling FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race 1 at Monza that saw incidents aplenty and position changes up and down the field.
The Frenchman remained in top form in his rookie campaign to take the second victory of his career to go with his Feature Race victory in Monaco earlier this year.
Pourchaire began the race in fourth position and got by Dan Ticktum on the second lap at the Rettifilo chicane, which was when the drama all commenced.
Ticktum got spun round by Felipe Drugovich, who broke his front wing in the contact and Ticktum retired on the spot.
The Safety Car was deployed with Juri Vips leading David Beckmann, who started on the reverse-grid pole, then it’s Pourchaire in third ahead of Liam Lawson, Felipe Drugovich, Ralph Boschung, Lirim Zendeli, Guanyu Zhou, Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri in the top ten.
As the Safety Car pulled back in, Lawson made an attempt to pass Pourchaire for third but damaged his front wing in the process.
Drugovich, who pitted during the Safety Car period for a new front wing, spun into the barrier on the restart on the exit of Ascari, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car.
When the race resumed, Shwartzman initially got overtaken by his PREMA team-mate Piastri before retaliating through Lesmo, forcing the Australian wide and Nissany taking advantage to go up to seventh.
Lap 10 and Beckmann suffered a lock up into the Rettifilo chicane, handing second place to Pourchaire.
Further on in the tour, Zhou sent the German down the order even more by overtaking him at Ascari to move up into third position.
Seconds later, Nissany spun on the exit of Ascari and stalled, which the Safety Car was again brought out and the field bunched up back together.
The top ten by this point were Vips, Pourchaire, Zhou, Beckmann, Shwartzman, Lirim Zendeli, Christian Lundgaard, Piastri, Bent Viscaal and Alessio Deledda.
News from Race Control saw Shwartzman being handed a five-second time penalty for gaining an advantage at the start of the race.
Racing resumed with eight laps to go, as Shwartzman looked to make up for the penalty. He passed Beckmann for fourth into Turn 1, who of which would be overtaken once again by Zendeli.
Lap 15 and Pourchaire pulled alongside Vips into the Rettifilo chicane and became the new race leader in an incident-packed Sprint Race 1.
Three tours later and Vips locked up and lost even more positions to Zhou, Shwartzman and Lundgaard, falling to fifth.
Three laps to go and Zendeli slowed to a stop at the Della Roggia chicane and falling out of the points after a decent drive.
Despite pitting earlier for a new front wing, Lawson powered his way past his Hitech team-mate Vips for sixth on the penultimate lap.
Vips continued to struggle on his tyres following his lock up, as Viscaal breezed ahead with DRS into the Rettifilo chicane to send the Estonian down to eighth.
Pourchaire took the chequered flag first and collecting the points for the fastest lap ahead of Zhou and Lundgaard, who had made his way up from 19th on the grid to the podium.
Piastri was fourth in front of Lawson in fifth and Shwartzman sixth after the time penalty of his was applied.
Viscaal was seventh and Vips picked up the last point in eighth. Beckmann finished tenth, which means he will start on reverse-grid pole again for Sprint Race 2 ahead of Jehan Daruvala, who was ninth.
Zhou’s second position has closed the championship gap between himself and leader Piastri to five points.
Sprint Race 2 begins later today at 14:45 track time prior to the Formula 1 Qualifying Sprint.