Alpine Academy driver Oscar Piastri clinched the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race victory at Monza in an action-packed event.
The Australian qualified on pole position but was able to fend off his rivals behind to ultimately lead his title-rival Guanyu Zhou over the line to extend his championship lead.
At the start, Piastri remained in the lead, while Zhou got a good launch from third to move in front of Jehan Daruvala by Turn 1.
The Safety Car came out onto the track early on due to Guilherme Samaia spinning into the barrier on the exit of Lesmo.
The top ten after the first two laps of the race were Piastri leading, then it’s Zhou, Liam Lawson, Daruvala, Felipe Drugovich, Theo Pourchaire, Juri Vips, Ralph Boschung, Dan Ticktum and Robert Shwartzman.
On the restart, Lawson got into the slipstream of Zhou through the Curva Grande to go around the outside into the Della Roggia chicane to move up to second place.
Three laps later, Vips slowed to a halt due to mechanical problem on the exit of Della Roggia and that brought out the Safety Car again.
The majority of the field pitted under the Safety Car including Piastri, who only re-joined behind those that had not pitted including Ticktum and Christian Lundgaard.
Zhou managed to get back ahead of Lawson in the pits but with drivers still needing to stop, he was now seventh behind Piastri on the road.
That became sixth when Marino Sato crawled to a halt at the Rettifilo chicane with electrical issues.
The top ten by the time the restart was on again were Ticktum, Lundgaard, Marcus Armstrong, Alessio Deledda, Piastri, Zhou, Daruvala, Lawson, Pourchaire and Drugovich.
Piastri sooner rather than later was able to dispose of Deledda, Armstrong and Lundgaard lap by lap but was held by Ticktum for more than half a dozen tours.
Another twist in the race occurred with nine laps to go when Lawson’s fire extinguisher in the Hitech had gone off, forcing the Red Bull Junior driver to stop on the pit straight.
The Safety Car made a third appearance on track, which presented the golden opportunity for Ticktum to make his mandatory pit stop and re-join in 11th to go after the leaders on fresher tyres.
The top ten under the Safety Car period were Piastri, Zhou, Pourchaire, Daruvala, Shwartzman, Roy Nissany, Bent Viscaal, Richard Verschoor, Jake Hughes and Ralph Boschung.
Racing resumed with six laps remaining and Ticktum’s charge commenced. Despite running off the road at the Della Roggia chicane following contact with Boschung, he was able to pull alongside Nissany’s DAMS for seventh.
Lap 27 was the Brit’s opportunity to complete a manoeuvre on Shwartzman into Turn 1 and then his Carlin team-mate Daruvala into the Alboreto Curve to go up to fourth place.
Ticktum quickly closed in on Pourchaire for third on the penultimate lap at the Rettifilo and made his way through and up into the podium places.
Further behind, Viscaal and Beckmann came together whilst fighting over a points position at the same corner but terminal damage for both meant a fourth Safety Car period that would bring the Feature Race to a close.
Piastri led the field over the line for his second F2 victory ahead of Zhou and Ticktum.
Pourchaire held onto fourth in front of Daruvala and Shwartzman, with Verschoor, Lirim Zendeli, Nissany and Armstrong rounding out the top ten point-scorers.
Piastri’s win sees his championship lead increase to 15 points over Zhou with three rounds remaining.
The first of those will be in Sochi on 24-26 September, supporting the Russian Grand Prix weekend.