Formula 2

Liam Lawson Clinches Final Sprint Race Victory of 2022 Formula 2 Season in Abu Dhabi

3 Mins read
Credit: Dutch Photo Agency / Red Bull Content Pool

Liam Lawson secured victory in what is likely to be his final FIA Formula 2 championship sprint race at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday in a race delayed by an hour after a red flag caused by a first lap crash between Jehan Daruvala and Enzo Fittipaldi at turn two.

From pole position, Richard Verschoor held onto the lead at the initial start, but a collision at turn two between Prema Racing’s Daruvala and Charouz Racing System’s Fittipaldi saw the race neutralised by a red flag due to damage to the barriers.

Both drivers emerged seemingly unscathed from the incident, which will be reviewed by the stewards after the race.

Almost an hour later and with the light fading at the Yas Marina Circuit, the race resumed, this time with a rolling start, and Verschoor again got the jump ahead of Lawson and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Amaury Cordeel and Prema Racing’s Dennis Hauger.

The top three pulled a small gap on Hauger early on, with the Norwegian driver forced to look back at the challenge 2022 series champion Felipe Drugovich in fifth, while Carlin’s Logan Sargeant played a watchful role in sixth ahead of Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan.

On lap ten, the lead changed as Lawson made a late move on Verschoor heading into turn six, the New Zealander appearing to catch the Dutchman by surprise.  The Carlin driver then began edging away from the Trident driver as he was able to conserve his tyres much better than his rival.

Ultimately, the gap at the front extended to almost eight seconds at the chequered flag as Red Bull Junior Team racer Lawson clinched his fourth Sprint race victory of the season, although former Red Bull junior Verschoor was able to do enough to hold onto second place.

The final spot on the podium ultimately went the way of Drugovich, the MP Motorsport driver another of those to get his tyres to last longer, with Cordeel struggling to do so after pushing so much early on.

Cordeel also lost fourth place on the final lap to Hauger, although the Van Amersfoort Racing driver was still able to clinch his best finish of his rookie Formula 2 season in fifth.

Sargeant maintained sixth all the way to the line, the American driver edging closer to earning himself the points needed to receive a FIA Formula 1 World Championship Superlicence, which will enable him to secure a seat with Williams Racing in 2023.

Despite being on his tail throughout, Doohan was unable to find a way past Sargeant and was forced to settle for seventh, while Roy Nissany took the final point on offer for DAMS, the Israeli driving fending off the challenge of ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire and Hitech Grand Prix’s Marcus Armstrong.

Series returnee, Juan Manuel Correa, racing in the category for the first time since his horror crash in Spa-Francorchamps in 2019 that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert, survived a late wheel bash with Marino Sato to claim fifteenth place for Van Amersfoort Racing.

Series debutant Zane Maloney ended sixteenth for Trident in a race where he found himself embroiled in battles with Clement Novalak, Sato and Olli Caldwell. Novalak found his way ahead of the Barbados driver, as did Sato, although the clash with Correa saw the Japanese racer fall back to nineteenth.

The final Feature race of the season takes place on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi, with DAMS’ Ayuma Iwasa and Nissany set to share the front row after dominating Friday’s Qualifying session.  Iwasa lost ground early on in the Sprint race and could only finish thirteenth behind Frederik Vesti and Jüri Vips.

Yas Marina Circuit Sprint Race Result

15Liam LawsonNZLCarlin Racing1:11:53.868
220Richard VerschoorNEDTrident+7.943
311Felipe DrugovichBRZMP Motorsport+8.803
41Dennis HaugerNORPrema Racing+14.937
525Amaury CordeelBELVan Amersfoort Racing+15.449
66Logan SargeantUSACarlin Racing+15.938
73Jack DoohanAUSVirtuosi Racing+16.501
816Roy NissanyISADAMS+17.313
910Théo PourchaireFRAART Grand Prix+17.579
107Marcus ArmstrongNZLHitech Grand Prix+17.968
119Frederik VestiDENART Grand Prix+19.213
128Jüri VipsESTHitech Grand Prix+22.031
1317Ayuma IwasaJPNDAMS+24.162
1412Clément NovalakFRAMP Motorsport+27.095
1524Juan Manuel CorreaUSAVan Amersfoort Racing+33.164
1621Zane MaloneyBARTrident+33.860
1714Olii CaldwellGBRCampos Racing+34.034
1815Ralph BoschungCHECampos Racing+36.430
194Marino SatoJPNVirtuosi Racing+58.710
2023Tatiana CalderónCOLCharouz Racing System+1:14.890
RET2Jehan DaruvalaINDPrema RacingRetired
RET22Enzo FittipaldiBRZCharouz Racing SystemRetired
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Long time motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1 and the occassional other series. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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