F2: Ghiotto wins sprint race in Abu Dhabi to secure third place in standings
UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Luca Ghiotto won sprint race of FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship in Abu Dhabi ahead of the DAMS duo to secured third in championship.
The reverse-grid pole-sitter in the final F2 race of the 2019 season in Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina circuit had Trident's Giuliano Alesi in the lead from UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Luca Ghiotto, who passed DAMS' Nicholas Latifi at the start.
Sauber Junior Team by Charouz's Callum Ilott held fourth but Carlin's Nobuharu Matsushita had a supreme start to be fifth ahead of teammate Louis Deletraz and also UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Guyanu Zhou, who dropped outside the Top 10 all-together.
Prema's Mick Schumacher and DAMS' Sergio Sette Camara rounded out the points position. Things started to settle down at the front with Alesi leading Ghiotto and Latifi but it wasn't for long when the Frenchman started to face issues with his tyres.
Ghiotto eventually made the move on Alesi to take F2 race lead with Latifi and Ilott clearing him too as he dropped outside the podium position. Few laps later, he lost out to Camara as well, who had a supreme run to pass multiple cars to be fourth.
Matsushita dropped to sixth but kept teammate Deletraz at bay with Schumacher then in eighth. With five laps remaining, the race was neautralised due to a Virtual Safety Car period for the stricken Prema of Sean Gelael as BWT Arden's Artem Markelov retired too.
The race went green only to be neutralised again for another VSC period for Sauber Junior Team by Charouz's Matevos Isaakyan, who was spun around by ART Grand Prix's Nikita Mazepin. The incident was put under investigation, straightaway.
The Russian had to pit to change the front wing. He was also being shown a black and white flag earlier in the race. It was easy in the end for UNI-Virtuosi Racing's Ghiotto though, as he took the win in the last race of the 2019 F2 season.
The Italian also secured third in the drivers' championship after passing Camara. The Brazilian was third behind Latifi to make it a DAMS 2-3 finish. He passed Ilott on the re-start, who was fourth with Alesi rounding out the Top 5.
The Carlin fight saw Deletraz winning it from Matsushita to be sixth as Campos Racing's Jack Aitken made a late move on Schumacher to take the final point in eighth. The other UNI-Virtuosi Racing of Zhou rounded out the Top 10.
Aitken is under investigation for gaining an advantage along with MP Motorsport's Jordan King as Mazepin was handed a 10 second time penalty for causing a collision but the Russian anyways did not finish the race due to retirement.
Position 11-17: King, Christian Lundgaard, Nyck de Vries, Tatiana Calderon, Mahaveer Raghunathan, Marino Sato, Mazepin. DNF: Isaakyan, Gelael, Markelov.
[Image courtesy: FIA Formula 2 Championship] [Note: This report was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]