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Mihai Marinescu converted his Race 1 pole position into victory during an exciting race at Monza this afternoon, leading home championship leader Mirko Bortolotti by 5.411 seconds. Alex Brundle secured his third podium finish of the season so far, having briefly led at the start before ultimately being demoted to third.
"I'm really happy and most of all I'm happier because it happened here in Monza," said Marinescu. "I had a tricky get away from the start, Alex got past at the first chicane but on the next lap I made my move and overtook him and then I drove it safely home. I've done a lot of things differently since Austria and it looks like it paid off."
Brundle made the best of starts when the lights went out, jumping into the lead at Turn 1 with Marinescu back in second. However, the Briton lost the place just one lap later, with Marinescu finding a way through at the same corner before pulling away.
The podium was settled on the final lap when Bortolotti slipped past Brundle at the second chicane, with the pair separated by less than a second when the action concluded. Ramón Piñeiro was next up ahead of Christopher Zanella, with Tobias Hegewald and Thiemo Storz heading a train that were some 20 seconds off the lead.
Jack Clarke, Mikkel Mac and Luciano Bacheta were the last of the top ten runners, while the overall result means that Bortolotti can only lose the title to Zanella if he retires from the remaining three races and the latter takes the top step in them all.
Sunday's Qualifying 2 begins at 9am local time (BST +1)
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|2 Oct '11||Bortolotti crowned F2 Champion at Monza|
|2 Oct '11||Latest F2 photos: Sunday at Monza|
|2 Oct '11||Bortolotti takes pole for Race 2|
|2 Apr||Zeta Corse completes Monza FR3.5 field|
|5 Nov '11||Rapax to run Clos and Marinescu in Abu Dhabi|
|1 Oct '11||Marinescu wins first ever F2 race|
|1 Oct '11||Marinescu grabs maiden pole at Monza|
|15 Apr '11||Marinescu leads second practice at Silverstone|
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|6 Dec '12||Formula 2 axed by organisers for 2013|
|23 Oct '12||Video of the Day: Luciano Bacheta’s Williams test|
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|More Mihai Marinescu photos|