DAMS driver Ayuma Iwasa scored his second FIA Formula 2 feature race win after fending off reigning champion Felipe Drugovich in the final race of the season at Yas Marina.
Iwasa started from pole, but it was his team-mate Roy Nissany that edged ahead at the start before Iwasa wrestled back the lead. ART’s Theo Pourchaire lost third to MP Motorsport’s Drugovich, and was also passed by the fast-starting Dennis Hauger, who rose from seventh to fourth.
There was a brief virtual safety car period to retrieve Ralph Boschung’s stranded car, the Campos driver having pulled off track after contact. Pourchaire pounced at the restart to take fourth away from Hauger, as Iwasa pulled clear of Nissany at the front.
Drugovich used his DRS to pass Nissany on lap seven, with Pourchaire also making a move on the DAMS driver on the next lap but then ran wide at turn nine and dropped back to fourth.
Iwasa maintained the net lead from Drugovich after making his mandatory pitstop to switch from soft to medium compound tyres on lap nine, with Lawson moving ahead of Pourchaire and Nissany, having undercut his rivals by making his stop earlier.There was a brief scare for Drugovich, who outbraked himself and narrowly avoided collecting Iwasa.
Having also lost out to Hauger during the pitstops, Pourchaire was involved in a battle with the Prema driver, with the pair swapping places before a mistake from Hauger allowed the Frenchman to move into a net fourth.
Doohan took over the overall lead having started on the medium tyre, and rejoined in fifth ahead of Hauger after making his stop on lap 25 to switch to softs. But moments later his front-left tyre worked loose and came off, ending the Australian’s race and causing the second virtual safety car intervention of the race.
Iwasa regained the overall lead, but he immediately came under pressure from Drugovich once the green flags were shown. Lawson ran third while Pourchaire, who had lost out to Hauger once more, then retired from fifth after his car slowed with an issue.
There was a third virtual safety car period after Oli Caldwell stopped at the side of the circuit, and again Drugovich launched an attack for the lead when racing resumed on the penultimate lap. The Brazilian tried to pass Iwasa around the outside of turn nine on the final lap, but was ran wide on the exit by his rival. Despite officials noting the incident they decided to take no further action, with Iwasa holding to the win ahead of Drugovich, with Lawson following them home in third and Hauger finishing fourth.
Carlin’s Logan Sargeant was fifth, which was enough for the American to secure the superlicence points he needed to move into Formula 1 with Williams next season, despite losing out on third in the standings to Lawson by one point. Amaury Cordeel was sixth ahead of Richard Verschoor (Trident) and Hitech pair Juri Vips and Marcus Armstrong, while Nissany slipped back three places to tenth late on.
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