Liam Lawson takes his fourth win of the season at the Yas Marina circuit, holding off Richard Verschoor in second.
Reverse grid pole sitter, Verschoor kept his lead on the first lap ahead of Lawson in second. Behind them, fourth place Dennis Hauger locked his brakes quite heavily going into Turn 1 but managed to avoid contact with Amaury Cordeel ahead of him.
Jack Doohan expressed his frustrations over the radio with Théo Pourchaire’s driving. The French driver tapped the rear of Doohan’s car into Turn 1 and did a ‘crazy dive’ to take eighth place from him. The stewards didn’t investigate either incident and although Doohan wasn’t best pleased, many would argue it was a great move. However, this didn’t count for much as the order was reverted when the race was restarted.
The race was red flagged on the second lap following an incident with Enzo Fittipaldi and Jehan Daruvala. Daruvala lost control of the rear of his car in the middle of the corner and crashed into the back of Fittipaldi’s Charouz. Both drivers got out of their cars unharmed but there was significant damage to the barriers which led to the temporary stopping of the race.
Verschoor built a decent gap between himself and Lawson after a rolling start. Lawson responded in sectors two and three and start Lap 4 extremely close to the race leader. Verschoor maintained P1 and was the fastest driver on Lap 6. This was then beaten on Lap 8 by Lawson, the two remained nose to tail throughout the opening stages.
Lawson eventually made a move for the lead on Lap 10 with a fairly straightforward move. Verschoor tried to fight back into Turn 9 but instead became under pressure from Cordeel in third.
Logan Sargeant became under pressure by championship standing rival, Doohan. Sargeant needs to finish fifth or above in the standings to progress to Formula 1 with Williams. His campaign during the Sprint Race wasn’t helped by a flat-spot which he picked up while defending sixth position. It proved not to be too costly for him as he kept Doohan behind and started his charge toward the top five.
This year’s F2 champion, Felipe Drugovich overtook last year’s F3 champion, Hauger on Lap 17. The pair battled throughout the second sector but Hauger had to concede fourth place as Drugovich made a bold move to the inside, This put Sargeant into play for fifth position as Hauger was seemingly beginning to struggle with tyre wear.
One driver that wasn’t struggling with tyre wear was Drugovich (as has been the story of the season). He caught up to Cordeel for the final place on the podium and passed him after a lock up from the young Belgian going on to the main straight.
This opened up a battle for fourth position as Hauger attempted to overtake Cordeel into the chicane. Hauger went off the track meaning he had to give the position back to avoid a five second penalty. He eventually retook the position as the pair went wheel-to-wheel for the majority of the final lap. Hauger took fourth and Cordeel held off Sargeant to take fifth.
Lawson and Carlin will be happy with their day’s work, they secured both the win and points with Sargeant. We look forward now to tomorrow’s results as the teams championship and position of the American driver are finalised.
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