|2018 Yas Marina Feature Race|
The Yas Marina circuit with DRS zones added in 2015.
|Date||24 November 2018|
|Event||2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix|
|Location|| Yas Marina Circuit|
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
|Lap length||5.554 km (3.451 mi)|
|Distance||31 laps / 172.174 km (106.984 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||George Russell|
|Team||ART Grand Prix|
|Time||1:53.194 on lap 27|
|George Russell||Artem Markelov||Luca Ghiotto|
|Winner Team||ART Grand Prix|
|2018 Sochi Sprint Race||2018 Yas Marina Sprint Race|
The 2018 Yas Marina Feature Race, otherwise officially known as the 2018 Yas Marina Race 1, was the twenty-third race of the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship, staged at the Yas Marina Circuit on the 24 November 2018. The race, held in support of the season ending 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, would see 2018 Championship for Drivers decided with one race to go, with George Russell and Alexander Albon having arrived in title contention.
It was Russell who had the upper-hand on the penultimate day of the season, grabbing pole position in qualifying as Albon only managed eighth, ensuring the Brit only had to finish eighth regardless of what the Anglo-Thai racer could achieve. Russell would share the front row with Nyck de Vries, while Nicholas Latifi secured third ahead of Artem Markelov.
Ultimately, however, the Championship was to be decided at the start, for Albon was one of three drivers to stall on the grid, creating chaos as Arjun Maini slammed into the back of an similarly stationary Latifi. That accident caused the safety car to be summoned so that the circuit could be cleared, allowing Albon to restart and unlap himself after the DAMS squad persuaded his car to start.
Out front, meanwhile, it was de Vries who led the chase for victory, the Dutchman having jumped a slow starting Russell off the line. Those two would duly blast clear at the restart, taking Markelov with them, while Albon was still a long way off the pack having only been allowed to unlap himself on the penultimate lap of the SC.
de Vries, Russell and Markelov engaged in a thrilling truel for the lead during the early stages, which would last until Russell dived into the pits on lap nine. de Vries would stop a lap later, although it proved too little too late as Russell completed a stunning out-lap to regain the de facto lead. Markelov pitted a lap after the Dutchman and duly slotted back in behind him.
Stops elsewhere would eventually elevate Luca Ghiotto to the lead, with the Italian ace holding a 24 second advantage, just enough to pit and rejoin. That gap would ebb and flow prior to the Italian's stop, only for Ghiotto to make a rare-mistake and cut the Marina chicane, resulting in a five-second time penalty to be served at his stop.
At the end of the following lap Ghiotto stopped, served his penalty, and rejoined down in fifth, albeit on fresh soft tyres with only five laps to go. He duly scythed past Lando Norris for fourth before launching a sustained attack for the podium, with de Vries the next man in his sights after he fell to Markelov shortly after their stops.
Out front, meanwhile, Russell was able to hold a three second advantage over the Russian to claim his seventh victory of the season, and hence claim the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship with a race to spare. Markelov duly cruise home a lonely second ahead of Ghiotto, who just managed to take de Vries with a lap to spare, recording fastest lap as he did so.
The familiar sights and sounds of the Yas Marina Circuit would host the season finale of the 2018 Formula Two campaign, two months after the F2 field last raced in Sochi. The circuit itself was unchanged ahead of the finale, which would serve as the final race for George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon as they moved to pastures new in Formula One and Formula E. The race would also see FIA European Formula 3 Championship runner-up Dan Ticktum make his F2 debut, replacing Maximilian Günther at Arden International.
Into the Championship and victory in Sochi, combined with fastest lap, had ensured that Russell would arrive in Abu Dhabi as the overwhelming favourite for the Championship, holding a 37 point lead with 48 left to fight for. Indeed, the only man who could now deny the Brit the title was Albon, for Norris' miserable weekend in Russia had left him 51 points shy of his compatriot. Norris was instead likely in a fight for third with Nyck de Vries, while Artem Markelov and Sérgio Sette Câmara were in a duel to complete the top five.
Elsewhere it was status quo in the Teams' Championship heading into the finale, with 51 points between leaders Carlin and rivals ART Grand Prix, with a further eight back to DAMS. That meant that all three still had a shot at the title, although with only 78 points left to fight for it seemed as if it was Carlin's title to lose. Behind, Pertamina Prema moved ahead of Russian Time, with Charouz Racing System still in the fight for fourth.
The full entry list for the 2018 Yas Marina Feature Race is displayed below:
The final qualifying result for the 2018 Yas Marina Feature Race are outlined below:
|2018 Yas Marina Feature Race Qualifying Result|
|1st||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1:49.251||—||1|
|2nd||4||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:49.541||+0.290s||2|
|4th||1||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||1:49.869||+0.618s||4|
|5th||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1:49.946||+0.695s||5|
|6th||20||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||1:50.038||+0.787s||6|
|9th||2||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||1:50.180||+0.929s||9|
|10th||18||Sérgio Sette Câmara||Carlin||1:50.187||+0.936s||10|
|11th||10||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||1:50.375||+1.124s||11|
|12th||15||Roberto Merhi||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:50.513||+1.262s||12|
|13th||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1:50.522||+1.271s||13|
|14th||11||Dan Ticktum||BWT Arden||1:50.580||+1.329s||14|
|15th||3||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||1:50.812||+1.561s||15|
|17th||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||1:50.892||+1.641s||17|
|18th||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||1:51.037||+1.786s||18|
|19th||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||1:51.048||+1.797s||19|
|Nyck de Vries||______________|
|Sérgio Sette Câmara||______________|
The final classification of the 2018 Yas Marina Feature Race is displayed below:
|2018 Yas Marina Feature Race Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||29||1:03:33.863||1:55.039||29|
|2nd||1||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||29||+3.301s||1:54.734||18|
|3rd||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Vexatec Racing||29||+8.283s||1:53.194||17|
|4th||4||Nyck de Vries||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||29||+12.046s||1:55.137||12|
|6th||20||Louis Delétraz||Charouz Racing System||29||+21.964s||1:55.946||8|
|7th||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||29||+23.633s||1:56.633||6|
|8th||15||Roberto Merhi||Campos Vexatec Racing||29||+27.375s||1:56.711||4|
|9th||2||Tadasuke Makino||Russian Time||29||+27.840s||1:56.471||2|
|10th||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||29||+32.786s||1:56.201||1|
|11th||11||Dan Ticktum||BWT Arden||29||+42.485s||1:57.026|
|12th||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||29||+46.303s||1:55.522|
|15th||10||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||29||+1:10.190||1:57.489|
|16th||18||Sérgio Sette Câmara||Carlin||29||+1:10.766||1:53.303|
|17th||3||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing||29||+1:29.971||1:54.391|
|Ret||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||BWT Arden||0||Accident||—|
- Bold indicates a driver started from pole.
- Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
- George Russell declared as the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship Champion.
- Carlin secured the 2018 FIA Formula Two Championship for Teams title.
- Debut race for Dan Ticktum.
- Fifth pole start for Russell.
- Seventh F2 victory for Russell.
- ART Grand Prix claimed their tenth win in F2.
- Second fastest lap recorded by Luca Ghiotto.
Victory and pole ensured that George Russell was declared as the 2018 Champion with a race to spare, leaving him 66 points clear with seventeen left to fight for. Alexander Albon hence faced a fight to hold onto second, with Lando Norris having closed the gap to just four points heading into the final day. Nyck de Vries was also in mathematical contention, albeit having to make up a fifteen point gap, while Artem Markelov was confirmed in fifth.
Likewise it was all over in the Teams' Championship with a race to spare, for Carlin had just kept out of reach of ART Grand Prix heading into the final day. Indeed, with just 29 points available in the final race the British squad found themselves 31 points clear, with ART officially registered in second. DAMS were similarly confirmed in third, leaving all eyes on the fight for fourth between Russian Time and Pertamina Prema.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'FIA Formula 2 Championship 2018 Season Calendar Unveiled', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 06/11/2017), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2017/11_November/FIA-Formula-2-Championship-2018-season-calendar-unveiled/, (Accessed 13/06/2018)
- 'RUSSELL SOARS TO RACE AND CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 24/11/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/11_November/Russell-soars-to-race-and-championship-victory/, (Accessed 24/11/2018)
- 'RUSSELL FLIES TO POLE IN DRAMATIC QUALIFYING', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula Two, 23/11/2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/News-Room/News/2018/11_November/Russell-flies-to-pole-in-dramatic-qualifying/, (Accessed 24/11/2018)
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Jack Benyon, 'Macau winner Ticktum to make F2 debut in Abu Dhabi finale', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 20/11/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/fia-f2/news/dan-ticktum-debut-abu-dhabi/4301003/, (Accessed 20/11/2018)
- 'Teams and Drivers', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.webcitation.org/6ySMzYNSv, (Accessed 14/06/2018)
- 'Formula 2 2018 Results: Yas Marina Circuit', fiaformula2.com, (FIA Formula 2, 2018), http://www.fiaformula2.com/Results/?raceid=994&seasonid=175, (Accessed 24/11/2018)