Red Bull junior in terrifying Monaco tunnel moment during F2 qualifying: Millimetres away from a huge crash

Formula 2 Qualifying in Monaco also saw a horror crash in the Monte Carlo tunnel section

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Monaco is the race where the tightest margins make the biggest difference, and that was certainly true for Red Bull Junior Isack Hadjar in Formula 2 qualifying his impossible quick reactions saved him from a catastrophic tunnel crash with Ritomo Miyata.

The Japanese driver had slowed with a problem and pulled to the inside as he trundled along unable to get to a safe location, but Hadjar was unaware of the issue blocking the track until the very last moment as he pushed on a flying lap.

With just a few milliseconds to react, Hadjar incredibly managed to flick left and avoid the stricken Rodin, saving both drivers from what would’ve been a sickening airplane crash in the tight confines of the Monte Carlo tunnel.

Hadjar recovers from near-miss to clinch second

F2 qualifying is uniquely split into two groups in Monte Carlo to mitigate congestion on the shortest track on the calendar, and the incident occurred in the first session featuring 11 drivers.

“I nearly had a massive crash in the tunnel”

Isack Hadjar’s team radio after his near-miss with Ritomo Miyata

Richard Verschoor topped timesheets but Hadjar put it all behind him extremely quickly to finish second in the session that didn’t feature any stoppages thanks in part to the Campos driver.

Isack Hadjar with AlphaTauri during practice ahead of the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Isack Hadjar with AlphaTauri during practice ahead of the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

That luck didn’t last though in group two though, as Rafael Villagomez hit the wall at turn one to bring out the red flags with 10 minutes left – much to the chagrin of the other drivers on track.

It was the worst possible moment for the second set of drivers given the delay required to warm up the supersoft tyres, meaning Verschoor took his maiden F2 pole position.

However, Hadjar was pushed out by group two’s Victor Martins meaning he lines up third alongside championship runner-up Paul Aron with leader Zane Maloney down in 14th.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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