Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
42 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
19 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
26 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
34 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
40 days
23 Apr
Next event in
47 days

Abu Dhabi F2: Russell secures title with feature race win

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell secured the 2018 Formula 2 title by taking his seventh race victory of the year in the Abu Dhabi feature race.

Abu Dhabi F2: Russell secures title with feature race win

Future Williams F1 driver Russell went into the feature race only needing eighth to secure the title after scoring pole, but a poor start dropped him to second behind Prema's Nyck de Vries initially.

The only driver that could still deny Russell, Alexander Albon, stalled from eighth on the grid as his DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi also failed to get away and was hit from behind by Arjun Maini.

That caused a lengthy safety car period that allowed Albon to recover the lap he lost by stalling, but the Anglo-Thai was still half a lap adrift of the pack when action resumed.

Russell was aggressive on the restart and nearly collided with de Vries at Turn 9, but the Dutchman held on and subsequently built a small lead.

Russell on the other hand was soon under pressure from Artem Markelov (Russian Time), and was the first frontrunner to change his supersofts for softs on Lap 8.

De Vries followed suit a lap later and while he could just rejoin ahead of Russell, the ART driver made a successful move on warmer tyres at Turn 5.

Markelov pitted next time around and slotted in behind Russell and de Vries, and the trio were already up to second, third and fourth as the majority of the field except Luca Ghiotto completed their stops.

Ghiotto had a 23s gap on the field on older soft tyres compared to the likes of Russell, but the Italian still managed to extend his lead as the race progressed.

However, his victory charge ended when he received a five-second time penalty for cutting the track and when he pitted, serving the penalty before his stop, he rejoined only fifth.

Russell meanwhile kept a two-second gap over de Vries, and went on to win the race by 3.3s to seal the title with a race to spare.

De Vries started losing pace during the final stages and was overtaken by Markelov for second at Turn 11.

While Markelov couldn't close in on Russell, Ghiotto again emerged as a threat as he had massive advantage on fresh supersofts, but ran out of time to challenge for the victory, and settled for third ahead of de Vries.

Lando Norris (Carlin) temporarily passed Markelov after the pitstops but eventually couldn't keep up, taking fifth 19 seconds behind.

Charouz duo Louis Deletraz and Antonio Fuoco finished sixth and seventh respectively with Roberto Merhi (Campos) securing reverse-grid pole in eighth.

The Spaniard held off Tadasuke Makino (Russian Time) by just four tenths, while the top 10 was completed by Russell's ART teammate Jack Aitken.

Dan Ticktum (Arden) finished 11th on his F2 debut, missing out on points by one position - albeit by 9.6s.

Albon, who started on softs, was up into the top 10 by not pitting in the early stages but dropped down the order when he finally took his stop, eventually settling for 14th.

Besides Latifi and Maini, Nirei Fukuzumi also retired at the start despite narrowly missing the stalled DAMS car.

Race results:

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi F2: Russell edges towards title with pole

Previous article

Abu Dhabi F2: Russell edges towards title with pole

Next article

Russian Time sells Formula 2 team

Russian Time sells Formula 2 team
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Abu Dhabi
Drivers George Russell
Teams ART Grand Prix
Author David Gruz
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance Prime

How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2021
How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance Prime

How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance

As a consequence of George Russell's step up to Mercedes to cover for the COVID-positive Lewis Hamilton, Jack Aitken will make his Formula 1 debut for Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Long on F1's peripheries, Aitken finally has a chance to shine.

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2020
How F1's foundation has responded to the coronavirus threat Prime

How F1's foundation has responded to the coronavirus threat

While Formula 1 felt the public brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, the virus also put the Formula 2 and Formula 3 categories on hiatus. But their roles in feeding F1 with drivers meant their survival was crucial to their parent series' long-term future

FIA F2
Jun 11, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Prime

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

Formula 1
Dec 26, 2019
From Formula 1 exiles to part of the family Prime

From Formula 1 exiles to part of the family

It wasn't long ago F2 drivers couldn't even get passes to the F1 paddock. Now, as Ross Brawn and Bruno Michel explain, attitudes are totally different

Formula 1
Dec 13, 2019
How Schumacher is really doing in Formula 2 Prime

How Schumacher is really doing in Formula 2

Mick Schumacher's first victory in Formula 2 ignited a media frenzy, but how has Schumacher handled the pressure, and has he shown Formula 1 potential? Here's the story of his season to date

FIA F2
Aug 7, 2019
Can F2's underrated star 'do an Albon'? Prime

Can F2's underrated star 'do an Albon'?

There's a driver on the 2019 Formula 2 grid that has shown plenty of promise over the years, but is still a step away from making it to the top level. But one current F1 rookie's journey to grand prix racing has given this underrated driver hope.

FIA F2
Jul 19, 2019