Roundup of the final round of 2022 F2 season as the battle for second went to the wire in Abu Dhabi.
Despite the title having been decided in Italy over two months ago, there was still a lot to settle as Theo Pourchaire chased the Vice-Champion honour, whilst Logan Sargeant looked to secure a top-six championship finish to seal a promotion to F1 and earn his FIA Super License.
MP Motorsport, ART GP and Carlin meanwhile all entered this round scrapping for the teams’ title which meant that there was a lot still left to be sorted in the desert.
Now, here is a full roundup of all the action of the 2022 F2 season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Campos’ Ralph Boschung and Olli Caldwell were first out on track with the former setting the initial benchmark time of 1m 59.435, which was quickly beaten by several drivers as Marcus Armstrong posted 1m 53.130 to go fastest.
Times soon began to tumble as Armstrong lowered his benchmark time in the 10th minute to 1m 38.987 ahead of Theo Pourchaire, who responded four minutes later but Armstrong posted 1m 38.469 in response to stay top.
DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa meanwhile slotted into second in the 15th minute but found further time on his next lap to go top with 1m 38.168, albeit 0.301 seconds quicker than Armstrong who sat second behind the Japanese driver at the halfway mark of the session.
Nobody eventually could better Iwasa’s effort as Pourchaire, Jack Doohan, Logan Sargeant and Liam Lawson bettered Armstrong’s lap time, before Boschung spun in the 34th minute at Turn 13 to cause a red flag for nine minutes.
The session resumed with little improvements in lap time as Sargeant spun at Turn 9 on his final flying lap and stalled the car.
|1||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||1m 38.168|
|2||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+ 0.055|
|3||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||+ 0.068|
|4||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||+ 0.129|
|5||Liam Lawson||Carlin||+ 0.204|
|6||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+ 0.249|
|7||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+ 0.301|
|8||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+ 0.322|
|9||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 0.441|
|10||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.444|
|11||Roy Nissany||DAMS||+ 0.597|
|12||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||+ 0.598|
|13||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||+ 0.605|
|14||Juan Manuel Correa||VAR||+ 0.627|
|15||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.727|
|16||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||+ 0.887|
|17||Richard Verschoor||Trident||+ 0.968|
|18||Ralph Boschung||Campos||+ 1.181|
|19||Olli Caldwell||Campos||+ 1.186|
|20||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||+ 1.225|
|21||Zane Maloney||Trident||+ 1.767|
|22||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||+ 2.108|
After his spin in Practice, Boschung was first out on track for Qualifying but it was Doohan with 1m 36.677 who set the initial pace from Pourchaire and Juri Vips, as the red flag came out in the seventh minute after Virtuosi’s Marino Sato spun into the barriers at Turn 13.
The session resumed six minutes later with Boschung again straight out onto the circuit but nobody could better Doohan’s initial lap as Pourchaire and Jehan Daruvala found themselves rounding out the top three at the halfway mark of the session after second part of opening runs were completed.
Boschung then was the first to trigger the start of the final runs which saw Felipe Drugovich go top with 1m 36.546 with five minutes left, only for Pourchaire to go fastest by 0.174s as Sargeant improved to second.
Iwasa though left it to the checkered flag as he unexpectedly delivered 1m 36.290 to snatch his second pole position in his rookie F2 season, with Roy Nissany joining him on the front row in a DAMS lock-out albeit 0.036s slower than his teammate.
Pourchaire and Drugovich qualified third and fourth respectively ahead of; Doohan, Sargeant, Dennis Hauger, Amaury Cordeel, Liam Lawson and Richard Verschoor, who inherited reverse-pole for the Sprint Race.
|1||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||1m 36.290|
|2||Roy Nissany||DAMS||+ 0.036|
|3||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||+ 0.082|
|4||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||+ 0.192|
|5||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||+ 0.220|
|6||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||+ 0.224|
|7||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||+ 0.260|
|8||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||+ 0.288|
|9||Liam Lawson||Carlin||+ 0.298|
|10||Richard Verschoor||Trident||+ 0.298|
|11||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||+ 0.329|
|12||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||+ 0.340|
|13||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||+ 0.390|
|14||Ralph Boschung||Campos||+ 0.395|
|15||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+ 0.504|
|16||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||+ 0.733|
|17||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||+ 0.755|
|18||Juan Manuel Correa||VAR||+ 0.794|
|19||Zane Maloney||Trident||+ 0.810|
|20||Olli Caldwell||Campos||+ 0.918|
|21||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||+ 1.538|
|22||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||+ 23.459|
At lights out, Verschoor comfortably led from Lawson, Cordeel and Hauger but Daruvala and Enzo Fittipaldi collided through Turns 2 and 3, with both cars heavily hitting the barriers which triggered a red flag later that lap.
Following a post-race investigation, neither driver was found to be at total fault for the collision, which was ultimately declared a racing incident.
Sargeant meanwhile had lost four positions on the opening lap to fall from fifth to ninth behind Drugovich, Pourchaire, Nissany and Doohan but stewards rearranged the order based on timing of red flag and switched Sargeant around with Pourchaire who held sixth.
Following a 33 minute delay, the race resumed behind the Safety Car with Verschoor comfortably leading the restart from Lawson, who relentlessly maintained the pressure up front until he made a late-braking inside move at Turn 6 to snatch the lead and ultimately victory.
Verschoor settled for second as everyone managed their tyres but Cordeel and Hauger soon began to struggle, whereas Drugovich had managed his tyres and passed Hauger on Lap 17 before clearing Cordeel three laps later for third.
Hauger then cleared Cordeel on the penultimate lap but ran wide at Turn 6 and re-joined just ahead of a tight chasing pack, yet managed to allow just Cordeel back through at Turn 12 before successfully making a crucial pass at Turn 9 on the final lap to snatch fourth.
Sargeant meanwhile fought off Doohan and Nissany as the trio rounded out the top eight finishers.
In the drivers’ standings, Drugovich is already champion but Pourchaire needed to finish tenth at minimum to secure the vice-champion honour, ahead of Sargeant who had to win and take the point for fastest lap plus hope Pourchaire was outside of top ten if he is to finish second.
Sargeant though also needed to finish in the top six in the driver standings in order to secure his FIA Super License, which would seal a promotion to F1 with Williams.
MP Motorsport meanwhile opened a six point lead over ART GP in the teams’ championship with Carlin a further 15 points behind in third, which meant a three-team title decider in the season finale.
|1||Liam Lawson||Carlin||23||1h 11m 53.868|
|2||Richard Verschoor||Trident||23||+ 7.943|
|3||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||23||+ 8.803|
|4||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||23||+ 14.937|
|5||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||23||+ 15.449|
|6||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||23||+ 15.938|
|7||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi||23||+ 16.501|
|8||Roy Nissany||DAMS||23||+ 17.313|
|9||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||23||+ 17.579|
|10||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||23||+ 17.968|
|11||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||23||+ 19.213|
|12||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||23||+ 22.031|
|13||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||23||+ 24.162|
|14||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||23||+ 27.095|
|15||Zane Maloney||Trident||23||+ 33.860|
|16||Olli Caldwell||Campos||23||+ 34.034|
|17||Ralph Boschung||Campos||23||+ 36.430|
|18||Juan Manuel Correa||VAR||23||+ 38.164|
|19||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||23||+ 58.710|
|20||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||23||+ 74.890|
At lights out, Iwasa was beaten off the line by Nissany but quickly swept round the outside of the opening three corners to reclaim his lead, as Drugovich improved to third ahead of Hauger who got a lightning start to rise from seventh to fourth.
Further behind in the pack, Boschung was spun out from behind by Juan Manuel Correa at Turn 9 on the Ecudorian-American’s return to F2, following his accident at Spa Francorchamps in 2019.
The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) consequently was deployed and upon its withdrawal on Lap 3, Pourchaire cleared Hauger into Turn 9 for fourth whilst Iwasa held up Nissany and Drugovich with tyre management.
Nissany’s soft tyres soon went off and Drugovich plus Pourchaire were soon able to pass the Israelian driver on Laps 7 & 8 respectively, whilst Iwasa pitted from the lead at the end of that latter lap with Pourchaire following suit and Drugovich made his stop one lap later.
Lawson meanwhile pitted at the end of Lap 7 alongside Hauger and jumped his Red Bull junior rival in the pit-stops, which left the Sprint Race winner sat a net third once everyone on the soft tyres made their stops.
Up front, Doohan led the medium-tyre race starters until he pitted on Lap 26 but upon exiting the pit-lane in fifth place, his front-left soft tyre flew off and across the track, which cost him a shot at victory and caused a VSC to remove his missing soft tyre from the circuit as it evaded several drivers.
Up front, Iwasa resumed the lead on Lap 26 but struggled to manage his tyres as Drugovich reeled him in, which led to a tense scrap which Iwasa was lucky to emerge from with his second win, having punted Drugovich wide over the kerbs on exit of Turn 9 on the final lap.
Stewards however deemed that an investigation wasn’t necessary which meant that Iwasa won from Drugovich and Lawson.
Pourchaire had looked set to finish fourth but hit mechanical issues on Lap 30 which prematurely ended his race, although he had done enough to secure the vice-champion honour in second place in the drivers’ standings.
Hauger therefore benefitted from Pourchaire’s misfortune to finish fourth ahead of Sargeant, Cordeel, Verschoor, Vips, Armstrong and Nissany who rounded out the top ten.
In the drivers standings, Drugovich finished the season as champion ahead of Pourchaire whilst Lawson snatched third from his Carlin teammate, Sargeant who finished fourth and will consequently graduate to F1 with Williams next season.
Iwasa’s victory meant that he rounds out the top five ahead of Doohan, Daruvala, Fittipaldi, Vesti and Hauger.
MP Motorsport meanwhile were confirmed as team champions ahead of Carlin by eight points, as the British team benefitted from a poor performance for Vesti and Pourchaire to snatch second ahead of the French outfit.
|1||Ayumu Iwasa||DAMS||33||57m 02.908|
|2||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||33||+ 0.830|
|3||Liam Lawson||Carlin||33||+ 1.348|
|4||Dennis Hauger||PREMA||33||+ 13.440|
|5||Logan Sargeant||Carlin||33||+ 14.064|
|6||Amaury Cordeel||VAR||33||+ 15.719|
|7||Richard Verschoor||Trident||33||+ 18.162|
|8||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||33||+ 20.279|
|9||Marcus Armstrong||Hitech GP||33||+ 20.684|
|10||Roy Nissany||DAMS||33||+ 22.181|
|11||Frederik Vesti||ART GP||33||+ 22.732|
|12||Clement Novalak||MP Motorsport||33||+ 23.489|
|13||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA||33||+ 24.298|
|14||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz||33||+ 27.616|
|15||Marino Sato||Virtuosi||33||+ 28.246|
|16||Zane Maloney||Trident||33||+ 31.754|
|17||Juan Manuel Correa||VAR||33||+ 32.446|
|18||Tatiana Calderon||Charouz||33||+ 45.116|
|19||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||31||+ 2 Laps|