The FIA Formula 2 Championship visits the capital of the United Arab Emirates, as the twelfth and final round of 2019 takes place at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
It’s been almost two full months since Nyck de Vries lifted the Drivers’ title in Sochi, capping off a superb season that’s seen the Dutchman take five pole positions and 12 podiums, including four victories. DAMS’ Nicholas Latifi was fastest in Friday’s practice session, but the ART ace clinched pole position and followed it up with a measured Feature Race win in the Black Sea resort, and the Canadian was forced to settle for second on both occasions. UNI-Virtuosi’s Luca Ghiotto, who finished every Sochi session inside the top four places, earned his third victory of the campaign in the Sprint Race.
A fine weekend for de Vries (266 points) means his championship lead is unassailable, but the battle to be vice-champion is fierce as Latifi (194), Ghiotto (184), Sérgio Sette Câmara (165) and Jack Aitken (159) are all in the hunt in the final round. Having missed out on the Drivers’ title after an intense battle, Latifi will not want to suffer the same fate in the fight for second place. In the Teams’ Championship DAMS currently lead the UNI-Virtuosi by 53 points, but with 78 points available in Abu Dhabi, the title fight could go to the wire.
F2’s class of 2019 visits the Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates for the season’s final round. If the on-track action wasn’t hot enough already, the average high temperatures are 30°C. Teams will have to balance their set-up to make the most of Pirelli’s soft and supersoft tires, on a smooth track which mixes fast and slow sections. It all makes for yet another exciting F2 weekend!
Mario Isola, Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing
“Abu Dhabi traditionally marks the end of the Formula 2 season, even though this year we’re looking forward to the prize-giving being in Monaco later in December rather than Abu Dhabi on Sunday night! The Yas Marina circuit is a well-known challenge for the F2 drivers that contains a bit of everything but isn’t especially demanding on the tires. This means that quite a wide variety of different strategies are possible, with teams potentially able to try out some different approaches in the hope of gaining an advantage. The two races will be run in very different conditions, which also presents another challenge.”
- The F2 race lap record at the Yas Marina Circuit is 1:50.314, set by Alexander Albon with ART Grand Prix in 2017.
- Denmark’s Christian Lundgaard will make his F2 debut when he drives Trident’s #21 car this weekend. The Renault Sport Academy driver joins after a successful first season in Formula 3, which included a race victory in Budapest.
- Nobuharu Matsushita is the only driver on the grid to have grabbed pole position at this circuit before (2017).
- Nikita Mazepin will start from 15 places back on the grid after being given a penalty after Sochi’s Sprint Race.
- Nyck De Vries and Artem Markelov have eight wins in the modern era of Formula 2. Both drivers have the chance to set the record for the highest number of wins with victories this weekend. If Nicholas Latifi wins both races, he would match De Vries and Markelov’s record.
- De Vries clinched the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship last time out in Sochi, but the battle for second place could go down to the wire as Latifi and Luca Ghiotto are separated by just 10 points.
- ART’s De Vries has taken points from 10 consecutive races, the longest current streak in the championship. The Dutchman also has the longest current streak of podium finishes with four.
- Only UNI-Virtuosi (306 points) can catch DAMS (359) in the Teams’ Championship. The French team has a 53-point lead, with a maximum of 78 points available. If DAMS leads by more than 29 points after Saturday’s Feature Race, they will win the title.
- Arden is due to start their final round in Formula 2 this weekend. The team dates back to the 1997 International Formula 3000 season, sticking with the series through the re-branding of F3000 to GP2, and then all the way through the GP2 era into the first three years of Formula 2.
53 The points gap at the top of the standings between Teams’ Championship leaders DAMS (359 points) and second-placed UNI-Virtuosi Racing (306).
5 DAMS have more wins than any other team this season with five. ART Grand Prix have four, with both UNI-Virtuosi and Campos Racing on three.
10 In the Drivers’ Championship, ten points separate second-placed Nicholas Latifi and Luca Ghiotto in third.
103 2019 F2 Champion Nyck de Vries has led 103 of the 562 laps so far this season.