Piastri crowned 2021 Formula 2 champion as Daruvala wins first Abu Dhabi sprint

Oscar Piastri has been crowned 2021 Formula 2 champion after finishing third in the first sprint race in Abu Dhabi.
Piastri crowned 2021 Formula 2 champion as Daruvala wins first Abu Dhabi sprint

After claiming a sensational fifth consecutive pole position on Friday at the Yas Marina Circuit, Piastri had a 55.5 points lead over Prema teammate Robert Shwartzman.

Piastri needed his teammate to finish outside of the podium to secure the title but he took matters into his own hands with fine race performance. 

Starting from 10th on the grid - as the top 10 is reversed from qualifying for the first sprint race - Piastri made a stunning start, gaining four places on the opening lap.

The two Premas were in a league of their own as Shwartzman - who was fifth after the opening lap - cut their way through the field. 

On Lap 6, Shwartzman was up to third as he overtook Liam Lawson, with Piastri getting through shortly after. 

Jehan Daruvala and Felipe Drugovich fought for the lead as the Indian driver held on with a robust defensive performance before pulling away in the closing laps to take the race victory.

Piastri turned his attention to his main title rival and teammate, who was nursing a small flat-spot on his front-right tyre. 

On Lap 20, Piastri overtook his teammate into the all-new Turn 9 corner to secure third behind Daruvala and Drugovich, where he remained until the end of the season. 

Piastri got within DRS range of Drugovich at the end of the race but it was enough to secure the title with two races to spare. 

The Australian has been a league of his own during his rookie year in the series with five victories and five pole positions during the season. 

Despite his incredible season, Piastri has missed out on an F1 drive and will be Alpine’s test and reserve driver for 2022. 

Shwartzman finished fourth to move further clear of Guanyu Zhou in the race for second in the drivers’ championship.

Completing the top 10 was: Lawson, Dan Ticktum, Theo Pourchaire, Zhou, Ralph Boschung and Marcus Armstrong.

Boschung and Armstrong will share the front row of the grid for the second sprint race in Abu Dhabi.

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