Jehan Daruvala Wins 2021 Abu Dhabi Sprint Race One As Oscar Piastri Crowned 2021 F2 Champion

Jehan Daruvala emerged victorious in the opening 2021 Abu Dhabi Sprint Race from Felipe Drugovich as Oscar Piastri finished third to officially become 2021 F2 champion. 

Daruvala made a clean start from reverse-pole as Drugovich improved off the line to third and the pair battled each other throughout, with Daruvala eventually emerging victorious for his second win of the season.

Oscar Piastri got a great start to improve to sixth and swiftly cleared Dan Ticktum, Liam Lawson and Robert Shwartzman, which saw the Aussie finish third and wrap up the title with two races to spare.

Shwartzman finished fourth ahead of Lawson, Ticktum, Theo Pourchaire and Guanyu Zhou who rounded out the top eight.

In the drivers’ standings, Piastri now hold an unassailable 57.5 points lead over Shwartzman who could wrap up a PREMA one-two and the vice-champion title ahead of Zhou in the Second Sprint Race later today.

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At lights out, Daruvala made a clean start to lead from Drugovich as Ticktum slipped to fourth after getting a poor getaway.

Shwartzman and Piastri meanwhile made excellent starts from seventh and tenth respectively to sit fifth and sixth at the end of the opening lap, before the PREMA duo swiftly cleared Ticktum on Lap Three into Turns Six and Nine respectively.

Up front, Daruvala and Drugovich battled hard as the Red Bull junior dug deep to fend off the Brazilian throughout.

Shwartzman and Piastri cleared Lawson for third and fourth on Laps Six and Seven with both moves coming at Turn Six, with both drivers swiftly reeling in Daruvala and Drugovich but were unable to find their way through.

Piastri though made sure of the title on Lap 20 by diving up the inside of Shwartzman into Turn Six to secure third ahead of his last title rival, which proved enough to provide the Australian with a third consecutive title after winning Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019 and F3 last season.

Speaking post-race about his third consecutive title, Piastri said: “I’m very happy to become Formula 2 champion today and get it done in the first race. It was one of my better races of the year after going from tenth on the grid to third place.

“I’m certainly pleased with that, but I’m sure this feeling of being champion will take a while to sink in! There are two more races to go this weekend, which we need to focus on, but right now it feels incredibly special to be champion.

“Thanks to all the team at PREMA for their work throughout the season and to Alpine for their support, let’s finish the season in style!”

Lawson settled for fifth ahead of Ticktum who survived immense pressure from Pourchaire and Zhou to finish sixth, with Zhou having cleared Ralph Boschung on Lap Ten with a move into Turn Six.

Boschung though will line up second for the second Sprint Race with Marcus Armstrong on reverse-pole.

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 23 38m 33.605
2 Felipe Drugovich UNI-Virtuosi 23 + 2.079
3 Oscar Piastri PREMA 23 + 2.915
4 Robert Shwartzman PREMA 23 + 3.581
5 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 23 + 11.243
6 Dan Ticktum Carlin 23 + 12.978
7 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 23 + 14.120
8 Guanyu Zhou UNI-Virtuosi 23 + 15.595
9 Ralph Boschung Campos 23 + 17.081
10 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 23 + 17.539
11 Jack Doohan MP Motorsport 23 + 18.530
12 Juri Vips Hitech GP 23 + 19.270
13 Bent Viscaal Trident 23 + 22.226
14 Roy Nissany DAMS 23 + 29.927
15 Christian Lundgaard ART GP 23 + 32.099
16 Guilherme Samaia Charouz 23 + 32.636
17 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 23 + 37.036
18 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 23 + 48.948
19 Marino Sato Trident 23 + 54.333
20 Olli Caldwell Campos 23 + 1m 43.561
RET Jake Hughes HWA Racelab Damage
RET Richard Verschoor Charouz 12 Mechanical

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