Ghiotto signs off from F2 with Sprint Race win in Abu Dhabi

by Tom Cairns
Luca Ghiotto - UNI-Virtuosi Racing in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship - Yas Marina Circuit - Parc Fermé

Luca Ghiotto ended his FIA Formula 2 career in style with the Sprint Race win at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Italian began the race in third and moved ahead of Nicholas Latifi at the start before chasing down reverse-grid pole-sitter Giuliano Alesi in the Trident.

The top eight after the first five laps were Alesi, Ghiotto, Latifi, Callum Ilott, Nobuharu Matsushita, Louis Delétraz, Mick Schumacher and Sérgio Sette Câmara.

Yesterday’s Feature Race winner Sette Câmara started to make a charge through the field by passing Schumacher for seventh on Lap Six at Turn Eleven. A couple of laps later saw Alesi’s resistance finally broken when Ghiotto got by the Frenchman to take over ahead of the pack.

Lap Nine and Sette Câmara was continuing to show his fighting skills by moving in front of Delétraz’ Carlin for sixth at the end of the second back-straight going into Turn Eleven. The next tour would see Alesi’s pace continue to drop, falling behind Latifi and then Ilott on Lap Twelve.

Artem Markelov, who had run as high as twelfth after starting nineteenth, completed his dismal weekend by retiring in the pits with gearbox problems.

Lap Thirteen and Sette Câmara lined-up Matsushita for fifth on the first back-straight with DRS and the position went to the Brazilian. The DAMS driver would replicate the move on Alesi three laps later to move him into the top four.

Sean Gelael‘s miserable season with PREMA Racing came to an end with six laps to go, as he pulled to the side of the road before Turn Fourteen with mechanical trouble. That brought out the first Virtual Safety Car before the Indonesian’s car was pushed off the track by the marshals.

The race was back on again until a collision between Nikita Mazepin and Matevos Isaakyan at Turn Nine with four laps remaining left the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz car stranded on the side of the circuit and the ART Grand Prix driver crawling back to the pits with broken suspension. That meant a second deployment of the Virtual Safety Car.

On the penultimate lap, Sette Câmara overtook Ilott on the inside into Turn Eleven to put him up into the podium positions for the second time this weekend. At the same time, Louis Delétraz ultimately got past his team-mate Matsushita after being stuck behind him for the majority of the race.

Jack Aitken on the final lap got by Mick Schumacher for the final point in eighth. Seven places in front and Luca Ghiotto crossed the line to take his and UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s fourth win of the season, equalling the tally of Nyck de Vries and Nicholas Latifi, who had finished second to guarantee himself runner-up in the 2019 championship and getting the two points for the fastest lap.

De Vries had another low key drive to thirteenth after a disappointing Feature Race the day before but he will at least leave the series as this year’s champion and beginning his Formula E journey the weekend before.

2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship - Yas Marina Circuit - Sprint Race Classification

18Luca GhiottoITAUNI-Virtuosi Racing44:22.552
26Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS+7.274
35Sérgio Sette CâmaraBRADAMS+10.235
411Callum IlottGBRSauber Junior Team by Charouz+16.106
520Giuliano AlesiFRATrident+17.273
61Louis DelétrazSWICarlin+19.451
72Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPCarlin+23.230
815Jack AitkenGBRCampos Racing+27.075
99Mick SchumacherGERPREMA Racing+28.578
107Guanyu ZhouCHIUNI-Virtuosi Racing+29.112
1116Jordan KingGBRMP Motorsport+31.532
1221Christian LundgaardDENTrident+37.018
134Nyck de VriesNEDART Grand Prix+40.436
1418Tatiana CalderónCOLBWT Arden+43.149
1517Mahaveer RaghunathanINDMP Motorsport+52.593
1614Marino SatoJAPCampos Racing+59.719
173Nikita MazepinRUSART Grand PrixDNF
DNF12Matevos IsaakyanRUSSauber Junior Team by CharouzDNF
DNF10Sean GelaelIDOPREMA RacingDNF
DNF22Artem MarkelovRUSBWT ArdenDNF

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