Formula 2

Stoneman Clinches Title As De Marco Wins Race One

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Dean Stoneman has won the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship after finishing ninth in the first race at Valencia, which was won by Nicola De Marco.

De Marco led the race from pole position until the checkered flag, with Will Bratt finishing second after making a good start from fourth on the grid. Bratt began closing the gap to De Marco, but the Italian later maintained his lead to take his second victory of the season.

Contact at the first corner between Kazim Vasiliauskas and Kelvin Snoeks send the Lithuanian's car barrel-rolling through the gravel, but he was able to get out unharmed.

Armaan Ebrahim maintained his third place off the start, and held on to claim his first F2 podium. He was briefly under pressure from front-row starter Benjamin Lariche, but the Frenchman was passed by Philipp Eng and Sergey Afanasiev in the final few laps, dropping to sixth.

Jolyon Palmer finished seventh, having held-off pressure from Benjamin Bailly at both the start and end of the race. However, this was not enough to take the championship fight to the last race, as Stoneman finished just behind Bailly in ninth. The Briton had made up two positions on the opening lap, from his grid position of 11th. Ivan Samarin rounded out the top ten.

Jack Clarke was handed a drive-through penalty for not respecting the track limits, which dropped him to the back of the field. Other than Vasiliauskas, the only retirement was Natalia Kowalska, who pulled off with mechanical issues.

With the championship now decided, the focus for Sunday's final race of the season switches to the tight battle for third place in the standings, for which the prize is eligibility for an FIA Superlicence. Bratt has moved ahead of Vasiliauskas and Eng into third, just three points behind Afanasiev, with Eng just two points further back.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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