Piastri crowned Formula 2 champion as Daruvala wins sprint race

Formula 2

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Prema’s Oscar Piastri was crowned the 2021 Formula 2 champion while polesitter Jehan Daruvala won the first sprint race of F2’s Abu Dhabi finale.

Red Bull junior Daruvala started from reversed grid pole alongside Carlin team mate Dan Ticktum, who made a slow start and immediately dropped to fourth. While those behind tried to avoid him, Piastri jinked through from tenth on the grid to get up to sixth by turn one.

Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich slotted into second place behind Daruvala, and spent the whole race chasing the Indian driver.

Midway through the race, he was able to mount an attack, attempting to go on the inside of the new lengthy turn nine left-hander. Daruvala tried defending but then slipped wide, although he then had enough traction on the outside to stay ahead for when the track then went right for turn ten.

Drugovich kept his nose around the sequence of turns that meander under the circuit hotel, but it was too dusty off-line to make use of his pace advantage and he stayed behind. Daruvala had enough life in his tyres after that to then pull away, setting a new fastest lap in the process, and eventually claimed his second win of 2021. His fastest lap was taken away by Campos’s Olli Caldwell, who pitted for new tyres following contact with Jake Hughes and set a new lap record on the penultimate tour.

Liam Lawson sat in fourth through the first third of the 23-lap race, but Prema’s title contenders Robert Shwartzman and Piastri were on a charge and they soon moved past the Hitech driver and set about chasing down the top two.

Shwartzman led that charge until the final few laps, with Piastri guaranteeing himself the title by passing his team mate down the inside of the turn six and seven chicane. In the little time he had left, he then chased Drugovich, but ran out of time and so celebrated his third successive junior single-seater title in third place.

Further back, Ticktum put on a race-long defence to secure sixth as he struggled for pace. ART’s Theo Pourchaire finished just behind him, along with future Alfa Romeo Formula 1 driver Guanyu Zhou.

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Formula 2 Abu Dhabi race one results

Position Car Driver
1 6 Jehan Daruvala
2 4 Felipe Drugovich
3 2 Oscar Piastri
4 1 Robert Shwartzman
5 7 Liam Lawson
6 5 Dan Ticktum
7 10 Theo Pourchaire
8 3 Guanyu Zhou
9 21 Ralph Boschung
10 17 Marcus Armstrong
11 11 Jack Doohan
12 8 Juri Vips
13 24 Bent Viscaal
14 16 Roy Nissany
15 9 Christian Lundgaard
16 15 Guilherme Samaia
17 12 Clement Novalak
18 23 Alessio Deledda
19 25 Marino Sato
20 20 Olli Caldwell
21 22 Jake Hughes
22 14 Richard Verschoor

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Piastri crowned Formula 2 champion as Daruvala wins sprint race”

  1. Well done to Piastri, absolutely sensational rookie season. Very, very fast and consistently so.

    Also, happy for Jehan. I think he has continued to improve this year and has had very good pace since Monza. Also seems a bit more feisty in wheel to wheel battles than before, which is great.

    1. Missed the race. Good to see Daruvala gaining confidence.

  2. Woo hoo. So proud of Oscar.

    At least we have one Aussie Champion this year.

    1. Both in Moto2 and F2 this year Aussies took the title.

      1. Yep. Can’t forget about Remy Gardner!

        Combined with Doohan and others there’s a good crop of young Aussies coming up.

  3. That was an epic drive from Piastri. An amazing start and some risk taking to work his way from 10th to 3rd. What a performance.

  4. Given the general dislike of the reverse grids, really nice for Piastri to clinch the title with a podium. Always better to see the celebrations on the podium.

  5. What about the next year for Piastri? This rule about F2 champion not being eligible for the following season is utterly ridiculous.

  6. What a year, so happy for him! I missed his Formula Renault campaign but he has been thrilling to watch in F3 then F2, crushing opposition while making it look easy.

    Like Alex Brundle rightly said today, in reality everyone is saddened not to see him in an F1 next year. But he’s young, and like Russel who waited patiently -in F1 but in a slow car- to then be offered the chance to shine in a good one, Piastri will certainly get a real opportunity at some point.

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