Sette Camara wins Abu Dhabi Formula 2 opener, DAMS takes teams' title

Jack Benyon
Sette Camara win helps DAMS to F2 teams' title
Sette Camara win helps DAMS to F2 teams' title

McLaren Formula 1 junior Sergio Sette Camara delivered one of the comeback drives of the year in a dramatic final feature race of the Formula 2 season at Abu Dhabi.

The top three started on the rapidly degrading supersoft tyres, with Louis Deletraz and Callum Ilott jumping polesitter Sette Camara to run line astern until the pit stops at the end of lap six.

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Because of how quickly the tyre dropped off, as the lap count ticked past six the drivers who started on the soft tyre - much more durable than the supersoft - moved ahead, with Deletraz's Carlin team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita heading Guanyu Zhou of Virtuosi Racing for most of the race as the top two cleared off into the distance.

Renault junior Zhou hauled in a gap of over five seconds to catch Matsushita with five laps to go, but Matsushita pitted and got the undercut on his rival to emerge in fourth.

The supersoft tyres proved as much as seven seconds a lap quicker than those who had took the softs at lap six, and Matsushita and Zhou hauled in Deletraz to take second and third.

But Sette Camara made the most of the dicing team-mates and disappeared up the road, the Brazilian taking a first F2 feature race win.

He had looked adrift of Deletraz in the middle of the race, but at the end of the stint the Brazilian began to close in and he made the decisive move at Turn 8 on lap 28/31.

The win that appeared to be Deletraz's to lose was soon Sette Camara's to take in comfortably his best F2 performance for DAMS.

Sette Camara win helps DAMS to F2 teams' title
Sette Camara win helps DAMS to F2 teams' title

His victory sealed the teams title for DAMS, and boosts his championship as he moved past Luca Ghiotto into third in the standings, and is only six points off team-mate Nicholas Latifi in second with Sunday's race remaining.

Top rookie Zhou scored his fifth podium of his rookie year, fighting the much more experienced Matsushita all the way.

Deletraz just held on for fourth ahead of Ferrari junior and Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott, who couldn't live with Sette Camara and Deletraz's pace on the soft tyre in the middle of the race.

Ghiotto - Zhou's Virtuosi Racing team-mate - took sixth from 10th on the grid and crucially finished ahead of title rival Latifi.

Latifi lost time as DAMS double-stacked its drivers in the pitstops - arguably still a good decision as the alternative was to leave him out on old supesoft tyres - but he made up the places lost again on track in an excellent second stint to take seventh and second on thr grid for Sunday's race.

A storming effort from Trident's Ferrari junior Giuliano Alesi means the Frenchman will start on pole for the reversed-grid race on Sunday, beating fellow Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher and ART Grand Prix's Nikita Mazepin.

Mazepin's team-mate and 2019 F2 champion Nyck de Vries had a nightmare race where he took 13th from sixth on the grid as he struggled with his tyres.

The new Mercedes Formula E driver finished three spots behind team-mate Mazepin, despite the latter starting at the back of the grid.

Result - 31 laps

Pos

Driver

Team

Gap

1

Sergio Sette Camara

DAMS

1h02m17.011s

2

Nobuharu Matsushita

Carlin

5.149s

3

Guanyu Zhou

UNI-Virtuosi

7.765s

4

Louis Deletraz

Carlin

10.919s

5

Callum Ilott

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

15.981s

6

Luca Ghiotto

UNI-Virtuosi

20.385s

7

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

25.785s

8

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

32.249s

9

Mick Schumacher

Prema Racing

41.902s

10

Nikita Mazepin

ART Grand Prix

48.680s

11

Jack Aitken

Campos Racing

49.560s

12

Jordan King

MP Motorsport

50.479s

13

Nyck de Vries

ART Grand Prix

53.455s

14

Christian Lundgaard

Trident

53.963s

15

Matevos Isaakyan

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz

56.593s

16

Tatiana Calderon

BWT Arden

58.602s

17

Sean Gelael

Prema Racing

1m02.900s

18

Marino Sato

Campos Racing

1m37.470s

-

Artem Markelov

BWT Arden

Retirement

-

Mahaveer Raghunathan

MP Motorsport

Retirement


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