Formula 2

Sette Câmara converts pole to Feature Race win in Abu Dhabi, as DAMS clinch teams title

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Sérgio Sette Câmara - DAMS in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship - Yas Marina Circuit - Parc Ferme
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Sérgio Sette Câmara took his second victory of this year’s FIA Formula 2 Championship, as that win helped DAMS seal the Teams’ Championship.

The Brazilian got a poor start from pole position, losing out to Louis Delétraz and Callum Ilott. As his supersoft tyres were fading, Sette Câmara fell further back behind Nobuharu Matsushita, who was on the alternate strategy.

The supersoft compound was going away so quickly for the drivers who had started on them. All drivers apart from Matsushita, Guanyu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Nikita Mazepin, Luca Ghiotto, Marino Sato, Christian Lundgaard and Mahaveer Raghunathan, made the switch to the harder soft compound at the earliest lap possible on Lap Six.

After pitting a lap later, Raghunathan stopped his MP Motorsport car at Turn Seventeen, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car, which had no effect on the pecking order. Artem Markelov‘s race was also premature, as the Russian’s BWT Arden lost oil as he was circulating around the track.

Nyck de Vries also had a Feature Race to forget. The champion began sixth on the grid but suffered graining on his second set of tyres and fell behind Jack Aitken and Nicholas Latifi to eventually finish in a lowly thirteenth in what has been a tricky weekend so far for the Dutchman.

Four laps remained and Matsushita, who was leading out of all those on the alternate strategy, pitted for the supersofts, allowing Zhou to stay out for another lap before he changed tyres.

Matsushita re-joined in fifth behind Ilott but jumped ahead of him almost straight away on his out lap. Simultaneously, Sette Câmara with DRS moved his DAMS past Delétraz on the first back-straight to move into second, which would effectively see him win once Zhou pitted.

Matsushita jumped back ahead of Zhou who had completed his stop before closing right up on second place and Carlin team-mate Delétraz. The pair were side-by-side going into Turn Fourteen on the penultimate lap but with the extra grip, the Japanese had the upper hand.

The last lap saw Zhou sail his UNI-Virtuosi Racing car in front of the Swiss driver to make it onto the podium for the fifth time in his rookie F2 year.

Further ahead saw Sérgio Sette Câmara win out over Nobuharu Matsushita by five seconds and moves up to third in the Drivers’ Championship going into tomorrow’s Sprint Race.

Guanyu Zhou also took the two extra points for the fastest lap, while eighth place Giuliano Alesi will start on reverse-grid pole for Trident.

Nicholas Latifi who had finished seventh, remains the favourite to end 2019 runner-up to Nyck de Vries. His gap over Sette Câmara is now six points, with fourth-place Luca Ghiotto a further two points behind with only seventeen left on the table.

DAMS have also sealed their first Teams’ Championship in the second tier since 2014.

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