Ferrari junior driver Antonio Fuoco closed out the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship season by claiming victory in the Abui Dhabi Sprint Race. It was the Italian driver’s second Sprint Race win of the season following his triumph in Monaco in May.

Completing the podium was McLaren-bound Lando Norris; the Carlin driver stole second place from pole-sitter Roberto Merhi (Campos Racing) on the final lap.

After the first start was aborted due to a number of drivers not lining up properly in their grid box – Norris’ teammate Sergio Sette Câmara stalled on the second formation lap and was forced to start from the pit lane – Fuoco got the jump on Merhi at the second start to lead the field off the line.

The race was neutralised by a Virtual Safety Car when Sean Gelael ended his poor season in the Turn 14 barriers after a ridiculous divebomb move that saw him T-bone Niko Kari’s MP Motorsport car. Tadasuke Makino spun off in avoidance and also retired.

Fuoco maintained his lead at the restart, which built to over a second when Merhi ran wide at Turn 17 on cold tyres, however, the Spaniard was able to hold onto second place for the time being.

The former F1 driver came under increasing pressure from Norris over the final few laps, and on the final lap he succumbed to Norris by locking up on the approach to the Turn 8/9 chicane.

Newly crowned F2 champion George Russell finished fourth in his final race before becoming a Williams F1 driver, overtaking Nyck de Vries and Louis Delétraz shortly after the VSC restart.

Artem Markelov finished seventh, while Alexander Albon claimed the final point in eighth place – the Thai driver slipped to third in the Drivers’ Championship standings behind Norris after claiming a solitary point all weekend.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Abu Dhabi – Sprint Race Results (21 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result Pts
1. Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 21 42:48.729 15
2. Lando Norris uk Carlin Motorsport 21 + 1.713 12
3. Roberto Merhi es Campos Vexatec Racing 21 + 3.672 10
4. George Russell uk ART Grand Prix 21 + 8.548 10
5. Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 21 + 9.458 6
6. Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 21 + 11.050 4
7. Artem Markelov Russian Time 21 + 12.960 2
8. Alexander Albon DAMS 21 + 15.047 1
9. Luca Ghiotto it Campos Vexatec Racing 21 + 19.646
10. Sergio Sette Câmara Carlin Motorsport 21 + 23.052
11. Dorian Boccolacci es MP Motorsport 21 + 24.429
12. Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden International 21 + 27.843
13. Jack Aitken uk ART Grand Prix 21 + 30.535
14. Alessio Lorandi Trident Racing 21 + 33.205
15. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 21 + 1:36.014
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Dan Ticktum uk BWT Arden International 3 Gearbox
DNF. Niko Kari fi MP Motorsport 1 Collision
DNF. Tadasuke Makino Russian Time 0 Spin
DNF. Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 0 Collision
DNS. Arjun Maini in Trident Racing

Championship Points:

  • Points are awarded to the top 8 classified finishers in the Sprint Race on a 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 scale.
  • George Russell is awarded an additional 2 championship points for posting the fastest lap of the race by a points’ finisher.

Post-Race Penalties:

  • None

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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