Formula 2 Yas Marina: Ghiotto takes convincing win in season finale

Jack Benyon
Ghiotto takes convincing win in final F2 race
Ghiotto takes convincing win in final F2 race

Luca Ghiotto took a convincing win for Virtuosi Racing in his final Formula 2 race in Abu Dhabi, after five years in the Formula 1 support paddock.

Polesitter Giuliano Alesi - son of ex-F1 driver Jean - got a great start and his lead was 1.7 seconds at the end of the first lap.

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But over the course of lap seven and eight of 22 tours, Ghiotto eradicated Ferrari junior Alesi's lead and swept through at Turn 11 on lap eight.

Given Alesi had a good run onto the straight leading to Turn 11, his defence was poor as he left the inside for Ghiotto to breeze past, and did the same thing with other drivers later in the race.

Ghiotto's lead was 2.3s after the following lap and the Italian breezed off into the distance in what was an important move for the championship as his lead eventually ballooned to 3.7s.

It secured him third in the standings after he had previously lost the spot one day earlier to Sergio Sette Camara.

DAMS' Nicholas Latifi was under pressure for second in the championship from Ghiotto, but did what was needed as he took second in the race and set the fastest lap to add two bonus points to his total in his last race before he steps up to drive for Williams in Formula 1 next year.

Latifi's team-mate Sette Camara started eighth and dropped briefly back to ninth, but was one of the few cars on the track able to make genuine, multiple overtakes as he raced through the top 10 in impressive fashion, Turn 11 his favourite chosen passing spot.

He stalked Ferrari junior Callum Ilott for third in the closing five laps, and Ilott's Sauber Junior Team stablemate Matevos Isaakyan looked to have given Ilott a reprieve as his car stopped on track and a virtual safety car was called.

However the race went green with two laps to go and Sette Camara sealed the move at Turn 8 as Ilott got sideways under brakes, his tyres clearly gone.

Sette Camara therefore secured a double podium after Saturday's win.

Ilott - ending an impressive rookie year and will replace Ghiotto next year at Virtuosi - headed fellow Ferrari junior Alesi home.

It was Alesi's best result in his rookie year for Trident Racing, before he moves to HWA next year.

Carlin's Louis Deletraz and Nobuharu Matsushita battled all race, perhaps impeding their ability to move forward, and diced right up until the flag as Deletraz's move at Turn 8 just made the difference as he headed the pair.

Renault junior Jack Aitken of Campos Racing passed Ferrari's Prema Racing driver Mick Schumacher at Turn 11 on the last lap to take eighth, but both drivers were penalised.

Aitken received a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage and finished 10th, while Schumacher received the same time penalty for a VSC infringement.

That promoted Guanyu Zhou to eighth in the order, taking an extra point to end a year where he was the top rookie in the championship in seventh in the standings.

MP Motorsport's Jordan King concluded the season with ninth as he jumped ahead of the penalised Schumacher and Aitken.

Nyck de Vries's nightmare weekend continued as ART Grand Prix's set-up appeared to be way off, de Vries failing to score a top 10 in the last weekend of a year where he won the championship. Isaakyan's retirement boosted him one spot, to 13th.

Result - 22 laps

Pos

Driver

Team

Gap

1

Luca Ghiotto

UNI-Virtuosi

44m22.552s

2

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

7.274s

3

Sergio Sette Camara

DAMS

10.235s

4

Callum Ilott

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

16.106s

5

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

17.273s

6

Louis Deletraz

Carlin

19.451s

7

Nobuharu Matsushita

Carlin

28.230s

8

Guanyu Zhou

UNI-Virtuosi

29.112s

9

Jordan King

MP Motorsport

31.532s

10

Jack Aitken

Campos Racing

32.075s

11

Mick Schumacher

Prema Racing

33.578s

12

Christian Lundgaard

Trident

37.018s

13

Nyck de Vries

ART Grand Prix

40.436s

14

Tatiana Calderon

BWT Arden

43.149s

15

Mahaveer Raghunathan

MP Motorsport

52.593s

16

Marino Sato

Campos Racing

59.719s

17

Nikita Mazepin

ART Grand Prix

3 Laps

-

Matevos Isaakyan

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

Retirement

-

Sean Gelael

Prema Racing

Retirement

-

Artem Markelov

BWT Arden

Retirement

Final drivers' standings

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Nyck de Vries

266

2

Nicholas Latifi

214

3

Luca Ghiotto

207

4

Sergio Sette Camara

204

5

Jack Aitken

159

6

Nobuharu Matsushita

144

7

Guanyu Zhou

140

8

Louis Deletraz

92

9

Jordan King

79

10

Anthoine Hubert

77

11

Callum Ilott

74

12

Mick Schumacher

53

13

Juan Manuel Correa

36

14

Dorian Boccolacci

30

15

Giuliano Alesi

20

16

Artem Markelov

16

17

Sean Gelael

15

18

Nikita Mazepin

11

19

Ralph Boschung

3

20

Mahaveer Raghunathan

1

21

Marino Sato

0

22

Tatiana Calderon

0

23

Christian Lundgaard

0

24

Arjun Maini

0

25

Matevos Isaakyan

0

26

Patricio O'Ward

0

27

Ryan Tveter

0


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