Abu Dhabi F2: Sette Camara fights back to win Race 1
McLaren Formula 1 junior Sergio Sette Camara delivered one of the comeback drives of the year to win the last feature race of the 2019 F2 season in Abu Dhabi.
The top three started on the rapidly degrading supersoft tyres, with Louis Deletraz and Callum Ilott jumping polesitter Sette Camara to lead until their pitstops at the end of lap six.
Because of how quickly the tyre dropped off, as the lap count ticked past six the drivers who started on the soft tyre moved ahead, with Nobuharu Matsushita – Deletraz’s Carlin teammate – heading Guan Yu Zhou of UNI-Virtuosi for most of the race.
Renault junior Zhou hauled in a gap of over five seconds to catch Matsushita with five laps to go, but Matsushita pitted and got the undercut on his rival to emerge in fourth.
The supersoft tyres proved as much as seven seconds a lap quicker than the now-aging softs, and Matsushita and Zhou rapidly hauled in Deletraz to take second and third.
But Sette Camara made the most of the dicing teammates and disappeared up the road, the Brazilian taking his first F2 feature race win.
He had looked adrift of Deletraz in the middle of the race, but at the end of the stint the Brazilian began to close in and he made the decisive move at Turn 8 on lap 28 of 31.
Sette Camara's DAMS outfit has won the teams' championship with a race to spare.
Behind the Brazilian, top rookie Zhou scored his fifth podium of his debut year, fighting the much more experienced Matsushita all the way.
Deletraz just held on for fourth ahead of Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott, who couldn’t live with Sette Camara and Deletraz’s pace on the soft tyre in the middle of the race.
Luca Ghiotto (Virtuosi) took sixth from 10th on the grid and crucially finished ahead of DAMS man Nicholas Latifi. Ghiotto can still steal second in the championship from new Williams F1 driver Latifi, but also has to keep an eye on Sette Camara behind.
Latifi lost time as DAMS double-stacked its drivers in the pitstops but then made up places on track en route to seventh.
A storming race from Trident driver Giuliano Alesi means the Frenchman will start on pole for the reversed-grid race on Sunday, Alesi beating fellow Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher and ART Grand Prix’s Nikita Mazepin to the spot.
Mazepin’s teammate and 2019 F2 champion Nyck de Vries had a nightmare race as he struggled with his tyres and slipped to 13th from sixth on the grid.
The new Mercedes Formula E driver finished three spots behind teammate Mazepin, despite the latter starting at the back of the grid.
Sergio Sette Camara
||Charouz Racing System||31||15.981|
||ART Grand Prix||31||48.680|
Nyck de Vries
||ART Grand Prix||31||53.455|
||Charouz Racing System||31||56.593|
||Arden International||9||22 Laps|
||MP Motorsport||7||24 Laps|
|View full results|
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