Formula 2

Daruvala Claims Opening Sprint Race Win in Abu Dhabi as Piastri Claims Formula 2 Title

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Credit: Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Jehan Daruvala took his second victory of the season in the opening sprint race in Abu Dhabi, but third place was more than enough for Oscar Piastri to claim the FIA Formula 2 title in his rookie season.

Piastri drove a champions drive to climb from tenth on the grid to finish on the podium to ensure he won a third title in as many years, with the Formula 2 crown adding to his FIA Formula 3 title from 2020 and Formula Renault Eurocup championship in 2019.

Polesitter Daruvala kept his advantage into turn one, but his Carlin team-mate Dan Ticktum dropped from second to fourth as UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Felipe Drugovich moved into second and Liam Lawson (Hitech Grand Prix) into third, while Piastri made up four places on lap one to run sixth.

Robert Shwartzman made a move on Ticktum for fourth on lap three, with Piastri quickly following his Prema Racing team-mate through into fifth, while Drugovich pressurised Daruvala for the lead.

Shwartzman continued to show that Prema had the pace as he caught and passed Lawson to run third, with Piastri again quick to follow him through for fourth, and the Prema pair then looked at closing the gap to the leading two up front.

Drugovich had one major attack on Daruvala for the lead, with the pair going side-by-side until the Indian driver came out on top, and after then, the Brazilian was never in a position to mount another serious attack.

Shwartzman, however, was to be denied the podium as he found himself under attack from Piastri with four laps remaining, the Russian losing out to the champion-elect through the chicane at the end of the back straight.  However, that would be as far as Piastri would get as the chequered flag came too soon for him to get to Drugovich in second.

Ultimately, Daruvala took the flag first ahead of Drugovich, with Piastri clinching the title in third ahead of Shwartzman, Lawson and Ticktum.  Théo Pourchaire took seventh for ART Grand Prix, while Guanyu Zhou was eighth for UNI-Virtuosi Racing.

Ralph Boschung (Campos Racing) and Marcus Armstrong (DAMS) missed out on points in ninth and tenth but will share the front row for the second sprint race on Saturday evening, with the latter taking up pole position.

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