F2: Iwasa beats Drugovich in final lap battle for victory at Yas Island as Sargeant ensures F1 promotion
Ayumu Iwasa held off Felipe Drugovich in a late-race fight for the Feature Race win at Yas Marina. The duo fought within a second of each other for the final five laps, with Iwasa fending off a last-lap attempt from the Aston Martin reserve driver to take the win. Liam Lawson capped off a strong weekend with P3 after winning the Sprint Race on Saturday.
Logan Sargeant also guaranteed his Williams F1 drive for 2023, finishing fifth in the Feature Race and fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, earning him the required amount of Super Licence points.
Iwasa led from pole in the first stint while Drugovich made progress from fourth on the grid. He overtook Theo Pourchaire into Turn 1 and cleared Roy Nissany with DRS within the first five laps to set up the fight for victory.
Lawson made the undercut work to devastating effect. The Red Bull junior had started ninth but opted to be the first of those on the soft tyres to make their mandatory pitstop on Lap 8. His early stop and subsequent speed on the medium compound moved him ahead of Nissany, Dennis Hauger and Pourchaire after their respective stops.
Jack Doohan was the highest-placed driver on the grid to opt for the alternate strategy, starting on the mediums and aiming for a late switch to the softs. He led from Lap 10, running longer into the race but the Alpine Academy driver’s afternoon came undone after his stop. Rejoining the circuit, his front left tyre detached itself. Having looked set to filter out into fifth on the road, he instead was forced to pull off and retire from the race on Lap 28.
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A Virtual Safety Car with three laps to go gave Drugovich the chance to close in on Iwasa with better tyre life. Having attempted a pass around the outside of the sweeping Turn 9 hairpin on the penultimate lap, the MP driver tried the same move on the final tour. Hard but fair defensive driving from Iwasa left Drugovich on the outside and with no room to steal the victory just a handful of corners from the chequered flag.
After his Sprint Race victory on Saturday, Lawson made it two podiums in two races at Yas Marina with third on the podium. Sargeant’s fight for a position good enough to guarantee him an F1 Super Licence was tense, but the American ended up fifth by the chequered flag to secure his Williams seat for 2023.
The result gave MP Motorsport its first Formula 2 Teams’ Championship, with Carlin leapfrogging ART Grand Prix for second on the final day of the season.
For the full report, head to the official F2 website.