GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK

By The1nsider 2 weeks ago

GOOD WEEK

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GEORGE RUSSELL

Glorious George indeed! The new Williams F1 driver was rather busy on Thursday in Abu Dhabi with PR commitments in F2 and in Formula 1, which meant he had to commute between the two (rather distant) paddocks. On Friday, he was back in the car and he meant business, leaving no crumbs for his challengers: quickest in free practice, he went on to clinch a fifth pole position while Alexander Albon took P8. The F2 crown was so close, he could smell it!

In the Feature Race, he chose to go on the Supersoft/Soft tyre strategy, but at the start saw Nyck de Vries jump him for the lead. Further back Albon stalled, making it almost certain that George was going to be champion that day, save some divine intervention. Still, Russell wanted to seal the title with a win; he was able to pass the Dutchman with a gamble, stopping one lap earlier than the PREMA driver and blasting past as de Vries rejoined the track following his pitstop. Russell claimed the lead for the final four laps of the race after Luca Ghiotto (on the alternate strategy) made his mandatory pitstop in the late stages of the event. At the chequered flag, George claimed a seventh victory in 2018 and with it the F2 crown, following in the footsteps of Charles Leclerc.

His impressive 2018 campaign was concluded with fourth place and fastest lap in the Sprint Race. We will be proudly looking on next year, as he will debut in Formula One. Bravo!

CARLIN & LANDO NORRIS

The British squad had one hand on the Teams’ trophy before going to Sochi, but they could not quite seal the title in Russia. They also lost hope on the Drivers’ title there. They came to the final round of the season highly determined to not let their closest rivals ART Grand Prix spoil their campaign. They also had another mission: to try and get Lando Norris back into second in the Drivers’ Championship.

It took a bit of math, but with the Briton’s fifth place finish on Saturday, the Teams’ title were theirs! In the Sprint Race, Norris made his way up from P5 on the grid to P2 at the flag, which was enough to pass Alexander Albon in the Drivers’ Championship. From all of us at The Insider magazine, we’d like to congratulate everyone at Carlin on a superb first F2 season!

CHAROUZ RACING SYSTEM

The Czech team concluded a pretty strong debut F2 season with victory in the Sprint Race, courtesy of Antonio Fuoco. This was their second win of the year together with Monaco Sprint Race – also Fuoco’s. The Italian, who had qualified a disappointing P12, worked his way up to seventh at the chequered flag on Saturday. He made a perfect start to get into the lead from P2 on the grid on Sunday, and remained unchallenged until the finish line. His teammate Louis Delétraz also finished in the points in both races. With 33 points added to their tally, Charouz Racing System ended the season on 215 points. We believe they will be a force to reckon with next season.

NYCK DE VRIES

The Dutchman was so close to the top 3 that he could taste it… He looked mighty quick in the qualifying session, enough for a fifth front row start this season. At the start of the Feature Race, he made the perfect getaway to pass George Russell and take the lead into Turn 1. He maintained his advantage over the Briton until the later elected to pit one lap earlier and was able to overtake Nyck on track straight after the PREMA racer switched from Supersoft to Soft tyres. On the harder compound, Nyck’s pace was no match to Russell’s and then to Artem Markelov’s, who overtook him for second place. De Vries lost third place to a charging Luca Ghiotto who was on the alternate strategy.

He grabbed more points with fifth place in the Sprint Race, but that was not enough to beat Alexander Albon in the Drivers’ Championship. Nyck ended his 2018 season in fourth place with 2 pole positions, 3 wins and 6 podium finishes.

ALEXANDER ALBON

The loveable Thai from DAMS knew the task at hand was a hard one: he came to Abu Dhabi as sole title challenger to George Russell, with a 37 point deficit ahead of the season finale. His one mission was to grab pole position and win in the Feature Race. Unfortunately, it never looked like Alex had the pace last weekend: 9th and 8th in free practice and qualifying respectively, he failed to launch on Saturday. Starting from the pitlane, he desperately tried to make up for lost positions, but had to settle for P14 at the flag whilst his rival converted pole position into a seventh victory which meant the title was his to enjoy.

To add salt to Alex’s wound, Lando Norris scored enough points over the weekend to overtake him in the Drivers’ Championship. Albon finishes third in his second F2 campaign. He may be disappointed right now, but once the dust settles, he will be able to reflect on a very solid season that saw him claim three pole positions, four wins and eight podiums.

BAD WEEK

Category:
  Issue 24 F2 Feature
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