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George Russell seals F2 championship with win in Abu Dhabi!

24-11-2018 16:30
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
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George Russell seals F2 championship with win in Abu Dhabi!

ART Grand Prix driver George Russell has sealed the Formula 2 championship in Abu Dhabi with his seventh win of the season, as the soon-to-be Williams driver fended off Alexander Albon in the championship as he won the penultimate race of the season.

The race started with a bang, and not in a good way. Force India test driver Nicholas Latifi stalled in the opening seconds and was nailed from behind by the charging Arjun Maini, who had nowhere to go. It immediately ended both of their races with a huge crash.

Russell hadn't yet mathematically sealed the championship as his lead was 41 points heading into the race (44 points are available), with Albon in second place in the championship. However, the latter qualified in eighth and Russell started from pole position, making it an almost impossible task for the Thai-British driver.

The fact that he also stalled on the grid, much like his teammate Latifi, didn't help proceedings. He restarted but was lapped as the Safety Car came out with the debris having to be cleared from both the grid and from the pitlane.

Nyck de Vries took the lead at the start from Russell, and the Dutchman held that lead when the race restarted after seven laps. Russell went for the undercut and it kind of worked, as de Vries did come out in front of Russell when exiting the pit, but the Brit made quick work of overtaking the 23-year-old.

Russell then re-took the lead after race-leader Luca Ghiotto was issued a five-second penalty. He had a lead that was well over 20 seconds, but he emerged from the pitlane in fifth place. This meant Russell could drive his ART Grand Prix car to his seventh victory of the season, equalling Stoffel Vandoorne's record of most wins by a rookie in F2.

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