Oscar Piastri, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, 2021

Piastri propels himself to another F2 feature race win in final outing

Formula 2

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Oscar Piastri rounded out his title-winning Formula 2 season with victory in the Abu Dhabi feature race ahead of fellow Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou.

There was drama for Piastri before the start as he required a front wing change after being hit by Guilherme Samaia in the pit lane on the way to the grid. He had it far easier once the race began, leaping out into the lead from pole while Zhou fought with Jack Doohan for second place.

MP’s Red Bull junior Doohan deflected several attacks from Zhou until they reached the new turn nine left-hander, where the positions did change but Doohan then ran off at the exit. He rejoined the track at the entry of turn ten, but as he was on the medium compound tyre – while those around him were on supersofts – and he had picked up dirt by going off circuit, he then found he had no grip as he attempted to make the next corner.

His car hurtled out of control and into the barriers, while Hitech’s Liam Lawson had a similar excursion behind and also spun around but managed to return to the track. The safety car was summoned as Doohan’s car had ended up resting in the barriers, leaving a top three of Piastri, Zhou and Robert Shwartzman.

The safety car period enabled those who started on the supersofts to keep their tyres on for longer, but once those drivers all pitted within the first 10 laps it left ART’s Theo Pourchaire leading Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich at the front of the field on their medium tyres.

The split-strategy meant their battle for the lead was with Piastri, who was outside of the points places once he pitted, and they managed to maintain a gap of 24 seconds to the Prema driver until they pitted with just a few laps to go of the 33-lap race.

A slow pit stop for Pourchaire and then a diving pass by Drugovich, who stayed out one lap longer, meant those two didn’t make the most of their tyre life advantage once they returned to track nine seconds behind Piastri.

They were able to track down and pass Shwartzman for third place, but a brief Virtual Safety Car period after Lawson stopped off-track gave less time for the late stoppers to make further progress.

Third place for Drugovich, behind Virtuosi team mate Zhou, meant their team secured the runner-up spot in the teams’ standings while Shwartzman was confirmed as second place in the championship ahead of Zhou.

Carlin’s Dan Ticktum pipped DAMS’ Marcus Armstrong to sixth in the race, while Hitech’s Juri Vips served a five-second penalty during his pit stop for a collision with ART’s Christian Lundgaard early on but still managed to finish just a few seconds behind Armstrong in eighth.

Ralph Boschung initially was in contention for a third podium from the last two rounds of the season, but he lost positions while running the supersoft tyre in his first stint and ended up down in 10th place until Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala was penalised ahead for speeding in the pit lane, allowing Boschung to move up a spot ahead of him.

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Formula 2 Abu Dhabi race three results

12Oscar Piastri
23Guanyu Zhou
34Felipe Drugovich
410Theo Pourchaire
51Robert Shwartzman
65Dan Ticktum
717Marcus Armstrong
88Juri Vips
921Ralph Boschung
1014Richard Verschoor
116Jehan Daruvala
1224Bent Viscaal
1316Roy Nissany
1412Clement Novalak
159Christian Lundgaard
1615Guilherme Samaia
1725Marino Sato
1820Olli Caldwell
1923Alessio Deledda
DNF7Liam Lawson
2122Jake Hughes
DNF11Jack Doohan

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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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16 comments on “Piastri propels himself to another F2 feature race win in final outing”

  1. Propels himself???

    I had visions of a flintstones based F2 car.

  2. Its a shame he didnt get F1 seat.

  3. It really is a bit silly that he isn’t being promoted to F1. I mean, what is the point of a feeder series if the champion doesn’t get promoted but a fellow competitor does…? He’s got as close to dominating the series as one could get with the current format.

    1. F1 has become more corrupt when half of the grid is made up of pay drivers paid for by billionaire dads, brings massive state funding or has mega rich backers with connections in the sport so people like Oscar have no chance to get into F1.

      Pay drivers was not much of an an issue in the past with 22-24 driver grids but with 20 there isn’t many seats left for actual talents like Oscar to go racing. It would also help if alonso a man in his 40s with no future in F1 only racing to fuel his ego stepped aside and let Oscar take his seat.

      The ONLY solution to tackle the sad state of F1 being full of pay drivers is for the FIA to change the super licence points to only allow top tier (like irl, superformula, F2 etc) champions to race in F1, its a joke that you can spend 3 years in F2 like zhou not winning the title and have enough points to be allowed to race in F1

      1. If champions are only eligible for F1 seats then two things happen.

        1. Costs of F2 etc… go through the roof, even more so than they ahve with the current licence system.
        2. Massive amount of season dropouts earlier than usual. If only champs get a chance to F1 seat then why do a whole season if you probably won’t win.

        F1 teams decide who drivers for them. That’s normal. The problem is a lack of new teams and new seats available.

  4. What a stellar rookie season from Piastri.

    He’s clearly on a higher level than Mazepin, Latiffi, Zhou, Tsunoda and Stroll. And likely a better long term prospect than Albon, Schumacher or Ocon.

    Vettel and Alonso have earned their place, but their best is behind them.

    If he’s not on the grid in ‘23 then half of the team managers should be sacked…

  5. I was surprised to see Piastri hadn’t got a grid penalty for his daft collision with Nissany yesterday. Perhaps the stewards thought him taking himself out was enough punishment, but he took Vips out as well…

    Yesterday’s second race was a bit of a mess from him, but the rest of the season has been impressive. I’m not quite as convinced as some seem to be, but I hope he gets on the grid for 2023.

    1. @tflb That incident was all Nissany’s fault. Even Vips lay the blame solely on Nissany. He said he shouldn’t have a drive, and I agree with him.

      1. @mashiat 100% Piastri’s fault. Nissany was under control and made the corner even after Piastri hit him… He was half a car length ahead when Piastri turned into him. Just a case of lack of awareness from Piastri. Where did Vips blame Nissany? It sounded on the radio like he was blaming Piastri.

        I mean, I agree Nissany shouldn’t have a drive, but this was a great move by him and a lack of awareness by Piastri.

  6. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    12th December 2021, 10:56

    It’s shocking that a rookie who wins F2 by a country mile can’t get an F1 seat when a 3 year veteran who comes 3rd can.

    F1 really needs to find a system to offer significant funding to the F2 winner in order to increase the chance of a seat the following year.

    1. @brightlampshade I think Zhou is a good driver who is going to do well, but yes, I agree that Piastri should be in F1 next year. Actually I think the problem is deeper than the difficulty of getting to F1 from F2 without huge funding – it’s hard even to get into F2 in the first place. The fact that Deledda is on the grid tells you all you need to know about that – money trumps talent. This is all a consequence of the FIA’s ridiculous moves to make F2 near-compulsory to get into F1; prices go up massively, few drivers can get there, and I’m sure many promising talents have been lost to motorsport over the last few years due to this. It’s always been an expensive game, but it’s so rigid now.

      1. Agreed fully. The super licence system, which was basically the anti-verstappen rule, has been stupendously damaging. Funny to think that Max with 1 year of racing cars before F1 is in with a chance of the WDC today.

        Dan Ticktum for example had a seat at Toro Rosso on the table when he was racing F3, but FIA didn’t give him an exception to super licence points which had just come in (the loss to Schumahcer that year was what lost him a seat in F1). How much extra has he had to spend to race 2 seasons of F2? It’s absolute insanity.

        1. Well, in my book if it kept Ticktum out of F1 then that’s a good thing, but that’s about the only bright side. I think it was all part of a commercial plan to enrich the FIA and those who run F3, F2 etc. Sad. I remember when it was introduced Formula Renault 3.5 was probably as strong talent-wise as then-GP2, but was very quickly killed by being assigned negligible super license points.

          1. @tflb is that what made Renault pull support from the World Series? I thought it was because they wanted to focus more on F1 as they were coming back as a full constructor after buying Lotus’s entry in 2015.

  7. Indycar does a much better job promoting junior talent. You dont have to be mega rich to succeed

    1. It’s also far less popular than F1. We are starting to see costs creep up for IndyCar seats too so in time the richer driers will push out everyone else.

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