F2: Piastri crowned champion with P3 in Abu Dhabi Sprint Race as Daruvala wins
Alpine junior Oscar Piastri completed a historic hat-trick of titles in the first Formula 2 Sprint Race in Abu Dhabi, charging from 10th to third to seal the F2 crown with a podium and add it to a collection that also includes the 2020 Formula 3 Championship and the 2019 Formula Renault trophy.
Red Bull junior Jehan Daruvala beat Felipe Drugovich to take victory on track, but all eyes were locked on Piastri to see if he could wrap up the championship. And the PREMA driver’s stylish performance was a fitting end to a phenomenal campaign, which includes five wins, 10 podiums and five poles.
Finishing fourth, Ferrari prodigy Robert Shwartzman led Piastri for the majority of the 23 laps and put up a strong fight, but was unable to delay his team mate's coronation, as Piastri joined Charles Leclerc and George Russell as rookie champions. Already announced as Alpine’s official F1 reserve driver for 2022, the Mark Webber-managed driver is aiming to join the duo on the F1 grid in 2023.
Daruvala led Drugovich from lights to flag around the revamped Yas Marina Circuit as Oscar Piastri followed his team mate Shwartzman through the field from the back of the top 10.
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The pair looked to have settled into third and fourth, but Piastri spotted a late opportunity and opted to take it, lunging down the inside of the Russian at Turn 9. Shwartzman attempted to fight back as Piastri locked up, but the Ferrari Driver Academy racer was unable to reclaim the position as the champion-in-waiting began to pull away.
There was little action going on behind them, with the majority of the field in a fight with their heavily wearing Pirellis, as Liam Lawson led Dan Ticktum, Theo Pourchaire and Guanyu Zhou across the line for the final points places.
After finishing 10th, Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong will be bidding to take his second victory in as many rounds when he lines up from reverse grid pole in Sprint Race 2. Ralph Boschung will join the DAMS driver on the front row of the reverse grid at 1845 local time.
The Feature Race takes place at 1300 local time, the grid set by Friday’s Qualifying session.
For more on F2, visit the official series website.