Fuoco Rounds Off F2 Season With Sprint Race Victory in Yas Marina

by Aaron Gillard
Antonio Fuoco - Charouz - F2 - Abu Dhabi

Charouz Racing System‘s Antonio Fuoco rounds off the FIA Formula 2 season with victory in the Sprint race at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The Italian controlled the race with ease from the start, passing pole sitter Roberto Merhi down the run towards Turn 1 and remained in the lead of the race throughout.

Lando Norris ends his association with Carlin Motorsport as he makes his step up to Formula 1 next year with second place, passing Merhi on the final lap. The Spaniard in the Campos Vexatec Racing rounds off the podium places in third place.

F2’s newest champion George Russell ended the race in fourth place ahead of Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing‘s Nyck de Vries and Louis Delétraz. Russian Time‘s Artem Markelov ends his final race in F2 with seventh place ahead of Alexander Albon, who rounds off the final points paying positions by passing Luca Ghiotto on the penultimate lap.

Prior to the race, Trident‘s Arjun Maini failed to start the race after the team found troubles with his car. The start was aborted after Sean Gelael failed to park his car on his grid slot properly. Carlin’s Sérgio Sette Câmara also stalled his car on the grid, with the marshals pushing him to the pits.

The sprint race finally got underway with pole sitter Merhi losing out to Fuoco down the run towards Turn 1. Nicholas Latifi once again stalled his car, repeating the issue he had in the Feature race. Norris and de Vries engaged in a duel for third place but the Dutch driver locked up and had to cut the double chicane, allowing Norris to take third.

Gelael made an ambitious move after the chicanes in the Marina area, making contact with Tadasuke Makino and Niko Kari. Both Gelael and Makino retired from the race as a result, with Kari returning to the pits to eventually end his race as the Virtual Safety Car was brought out.

Midway through lap 3, the VSC ended with Fuoco leading ahead of Merhi, Norris, de Vries. Delétraz managed to make his way pass through the restart. Dan Ticktum reported in gearbox issues, which caused him to retire from his first F2 weekend.

Russell was able to make his way back through to fifth place by passing Delétraz whilst Markelov made his way up into the points by passing Dorian Boccalacci at the double chicanes. Boccalacci’s exposure allowed Albon to make an attack and pass the MP Motorsport car, demoting him to tenth.

Markelov continued his charge through the field by passing his former team-mate Ghiotto for seventh place down the long straight. Russell made his way pass de Vries for fourth place and started a pursuit for the podium position with Norris in third.

Russell and Markelov reported over the radio about an DRS failure that occurred for everyone during the race, meant the drivers had to resort to old school methods of racing. The Russian started to create pressure on Delétraz, but went off track multiple times and using the run off. He rejoins on track but remains behind the Charouz driver. Markelov went off track once again by the Yas Viceroy hotel as he still struggled to find a way pass Delétraz for sixth place.

On lap 18, Norris started to gain onto second place Merhi by setting times near a second quicker than the Spaniard. He was able to reduce the gap to half a second but couldn’t find a way pass the Campos with two laps to go.

Albon and Ghiotto engaged in a duel at the double chicane for the final points paying position. The DAMS driver squeezed the Campos driver out of the corner, forcing the Italian driver to take the grass to avoid contact.

Norris finally made his way pass Merhi for second down the long straight after the Spaniard locked up heavily at the chicane, forcing him to take the run off. Fuoco was able to take the last win of the season for Charouz ahead of Norris, who ended his association with Carlin with a spin down the pit straight in front of his pit crew. Merhi in the Campos rounds off the podium positions ahead of the new F2 champion Russell.

121Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System42:48.729
219Lando NorrisGBRCarlin Motorsport+1.713
315Roberto MerhiESPCampos Vexatec Racing+3.672
48George RussellGBRART Grand Prix+8.548
54Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore Racing+9.458
620Louis DeletrazSUICharouz Racing System+11.050
71Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time+12.960
85Alexander AlbonTHADAMS+15.047
914Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec Racing+19.646
1018Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin Motorsport+23.052
119Dorian BoccalacciFRAMP Motorsport+24.429
1212Nirei FukuzumiJPNBWT Arden+27.843
137Jack AitkenGBRART Grand Prix+30.535
1417Alessio LorandiITATrident+33.205
156Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS+1:36.014
DNF11Dan TicktumGBRBWT ArdenLap 3/Gearbox
DNF10Niko KariFINMP MotorsportLap 1/Damage
DNF2Tadasuke MakinoJPNRussian TimeLap 0/Crash
DNF3Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore RacingLap 0/Crash
DNS16Arjun MainiINDTridentN/A

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