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||Carlin Motorsport||21||+ 1.713||12|
|3.||Roberto Merhi||Campos Vexatec Racing||21||+ 3.672||10|
|4.||George Russell||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||Campos Vexatec Racing||21||+ 19.646|
|10.||Sergio Sette Câmara||Carlin Motorsport||21||+ 23.052|
|11.||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||21||+ 24.429|
|12.||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden International||21||+ 27.843|
|13.||Jack Aitken||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||BWT Arden International||3||Gearbox|
|DNF.||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||1||Collision|
|DNF.||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||0||Spin|
|DNF.||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||0||Collision|
|DNS.||Arjun Maini||Trident Racing|
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.
Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship