Carlin’s Liam Lawson won the final FIA Formula 2 sprint race of the season at Yas Marina after an opening lap crash caused an early red flag period.
Trident’s Richard Verschoor led away from pole at the original start from Lawson and Amaury Cordeel, while Prema’s Dennis Hauger locked up into turn one but held onto fourth from Lawson’s team-mate Sargeant, who soon lost ground and slipped to ninth.
Meanwhile there was a huge crash behind when Prema’s Jehan Daruvala got sideways through turn two and collected Charouz driver Enzo Fittipaldi, sending both drivers into the barriers at high speed. Fittipaldi jumped out of his car straight away, while a shaken Daruvala was helped out of his heavily damaged machine by the medical crew.
There was a lengthy red flag period while the two stricken cars were retrieved and repairs were made to the barriers.
The race eventually resumed behind the safety car, with the order based on positions at the time of the red flags being shown. Sargeant was the biggest beneficiary, the American promoted three places to sixth.
Verschoor continued to lead at the rolling restart, but started to come under pressure in the next few laps from Lawson.
Lawson made his move on lap ten, using DRS to snatch the lead into turn six before resisting a challenge from Verschoor into turn nine to remain in front.
The Kiwi eventually edged clear to take his fourth victory of the year by 7.9 seconds, while Verschoor resisted mid-race pressure from Cordeel before pulling clear to finish second.
Cordeel was reeled in by reigning champion Felipe Drugovich, who had made his way past Hauger four fourth. The Brazilian had taken the position with seven laps to go, Hauger defending into turn six but then losing out on the following straight to the MP Motorsports driver.
Drugovich then caught Cordeel with four laps remaining, and was gifted third and the final podium spot when Cordeel locked up and ran wide at turn five.
Cordeel continued to slip into the clutches of the cars behind, with Hauger diving up the inside at turn nine to snatch fifth on the final lap. Sargeant finished close behind Cordeel in sixth, having flatspotted his front-left tyre early in the race.
Following them home were Doohan, Roy Nissany (DAMS), Theo Pourchaire (DAMS) and Marcus Armstrong (Hitech GP).
Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter