Luca Ghiotto won on his final Formula 2 start in the season-ending sprint race in Abu Dhabi, though he couldn’t stop Formula 1-bound Nicholas Latifi securing second in the championship.
Eight points separated Latifi, feature race winner Sergio Sette Camara and Ghiotto coming into the race, and Latifi made a poor start from second on the grid to let Ghiotto through.
Giuliano Alesi led from reversed-grid pole and opened up an advantage of 1.5 seconds over Ghiotto in the early laps, but Ghiotto closed up on lap eight of 22 and immediately took the lead into Turn 11.
Latifi also got past Alesi two laps later but couldn’t do anything about Ghiotto, who took the win by seven second after two late virtual safety car periods.
Sette Camara completed a fine weekend by charging through to third place from eighth on the grid, overtaking Callum Ilott on the penultimate lap.
Ghiotto’s win still allowed him to edge Sette Camara for third in the championship by three points, with a fastest lap for Latifi giving him second by seven points.
Alesi had held off Sette Camara until lap 16 when he locked up and ran wide at Turn 1, allowing the DAMS driver to get a run into Turn 8.
Fifth was still Alesi’s best F2 result to-date, as he beat the Carlin duo of Louis Deletraz and Nobuharu Matsushita. After a strong start from seventh, Matsushita was ahead of his team-mate until one lap from the end.
Jack Aitken snatched the final point from Mick Schumacher on the last lap but both were penalised for leaving the track to gain an advantage and a VSC infringement respectively, promoting Guanyu Zhou and Jordan King to eighth and ninth.
Christian Lundgaard finished his debut F2 weekend with a 12th place ahead of champion Nyck de Vries, whose anonymous farewell event continued.
While Artem Markelov retired with a gearbox problem in Arden’s final race following 23 years at this level, Sean Gelael’s last race for Prema ended when he pulled over to trigger the first VSC.
The second came shortly afterwards when Matevos Isaakyan was spun around racing side-by-side with fellow Russian Nikita Mazepin, who retired with damage but earned a 10-second time penalty regardless.
Race results (22 laps)
|1||Luca Ghiotto||Virtuosi Racing||44m22.552s|
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||DAMS||+10.235s|
|4||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+16.106s|
|8||Guanyu Zhou||Virtuosi Racing||+29.112s|
|9||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||+31.532s|
|10||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||+32.075s|
|13||Nyck de Vries||ART Grand Prix||+40.436s|
|14||Tatiana Calderon||Arden International||+43.149s|
|15||Mahaveer Raghunathan||MP Motorsport||+52.593s|
|16||Marino Sato||Campos Racing||+59.719s|
|17||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix|
|Ret||Matevos Isaakyan||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|Ret||Artem Markelov||Arden International|
|Fastest lap: Latifi, 1m55.526s