Round 8 of the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship gets underway this weekend at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.

WHEN TO WATCH All times local (GMT +4)

Friday Free Practice: 11:35 Qualifying: 18:30 Press Conference: 19:30 Saturday Sprint Race 1: 12:20 Press conference: 13:30 Sprint Race 2: 18:45 Press conference: 19:55 Sunday Feature Race: 13:00 Press conference: 14:50


After seven frenetic rounds of racing, it all comes down this. The 2021 FIA Formula 2 drivers’ Champion will be decided in the final round of racing at the Yas Marina Circuit. Current Championship leader Oscar Piastri extended his advantage in the penultimate round of the season at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit with a fourth successive pole, and a third successive Feature Race win, helping to seal the Teams’ Championship for PREMA Racing.

Oscar Piastri’s unshaken string of poles continued in Jeddah, with the Alpine protégé sealing pole at the brand-new track in Friday’s Qualifying session. The young Australian’s fourth consecutive pole makes him only the second driver, after Charles Leclerc, in the history of Formula 2 to achieve such a feat.

Saturday saw DAMS’ Marcus Armstrong clinch a long-awaited maiden victory in Sprint Race 1, with the Kiwi driver lunging ahead of reverse polesitter Liam Lawson at the start of the race. Lawson came home second, to take his third podium of the season ahead of his Hitech Grand Prix teammate Jüri Vips, who finished on the final step of the rostrum.

WATCH: Piastri walks us through Round 7

In Jeddah Piastri L became the second F2 driver to win twice in a single round
In Jeddah, Piastri (L) became the second F2 driver to win twice in a single round

Piastri edged ever closer to the title in Sprint Race 2, sealing his fourth victory of the season. Reverse pole sitter Jehan Daruvala dominated the early stages of the race but was found to have left the track and gained an advantage while defending P1 from Piastri, for which he was later handed a five second penalty. Meanwhile, Trident’s Bent Viscaal recovered from a slow launch off the line to claim his second podium ahead of Robert Shwartzman, who came home third and moved up into second in the Championship standings.

Sunday saw Piastri collect his second win of the weekend in a shortened Feature Race in Jeddah, which was red flagged and not restarted following a lengthy pre-race delay and two collisions. The first red flag came after an incident between Théo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi on the started grid, after the Frenchman stalled, with the Brazilian unable to avoid the stopped car.

Both drivers were immediately attended by the medical team and were safely extricated from their cars. Once the track was cleared, the race resumed, but after just five laps, another incident between Olli Caldwell and Guilherme Samaia brought out a second red flag.

Piastri, who had been leading before the red flag claimed the victory, ahead of teammate Shwartzman and Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung. The PREMA Racing duo’s podium sealed the Teams’ Championship for the Italian outfit, making them the first two-time Teams’ Champions in the history of Formula 2.

Unfortunately, Fittipaldi is unable to take part in this week’s race weekend, having been injured in Sunday’s starting grid incident. Charouz Racing Systems have called upon Richard Verschoor to step into car #14 in place of the Brazilian.

Jake Hughes will drive for HWA RACELAB again in the final round of the season at Yas Marina, with the British driver replacing American Logan Sargeant in car #22.

READ MORE: Boschung’s Guest Column: We were very quick from the get-go in Jeddah

Armstrong won his first F2 race last time out in Jeddah
Armstrong won his first F2 race last time out in Jeddah


Following his two wins in Jeddah, PREMA Racing’s Oscar Piastri (213.5) has extended his lead at the top of the Championship. Robert Shwartzman (162) moves up into second place, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou (149). Carlin’s Dan Ticktum remains in fourth ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire (124).

PREMA Racing (375.5) were crowned Teams’ Champions in Jeddah, meanwhile Carlin (235.5) extended their lead to third-placed UNI-Virtuosi (221). Hitech Grand Prix (209) are fourth ahead of ART Grand Prix (174) in fifth.


“We've prepared for Abu Dhabi like every other race, with sim prep mainly. Obviously, we're going straight from Jeddah to Abu Dhabi, so we had to do it all in one go so it's not quite as fresh as most of the tracks, but it’s still in the same amount of prep in the sim. It's a slightly different layout compared to previous years, so the sim is quite important to get used to those changes.

“I think the layout changes this year will be a bit better, in particular under the hotel section. I think previously it was quite stop start and not very flowing. Hopefully now with some of these changes it's a little bit better through there. I think the changes before the back straight, the new Turn 5, will allow a few different lines so we can escape the dirty air a bit onto that back straight which will be the main overtaking spot.

“Looking at previous years, tyre management seems to be key. We're on slightly harder compounds than previously so hopefully that makes it a little bit easier. Also, the layout changes are going to change the amount of demand a little bit. I think with the higher speed Turn 9, the new banked long corner, I think that will put quite a bit more stress on the front right tyre.

READ MORE: Bruno Michel’s Debrief: Piastri has a firm hand on the crown


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“I think the main overtaking zone will be Turn 6, at the end of the first straight. With the new changes for Turn 5 it should make following a little bit easier through that section now. There are also possibly some different lines into Turn 5, so you could overtake into the corner but considering you've got a massive straight with DRS afterwards probably not the smartest idea.

“My hopes and expectations for Abu Dhabi is that we leave with a big trophy from the Feature Race and a big trophy from the Championship. The goal is to win the Championship. That's the hope and the expectation really. We've come this far and led the Championship for a while, so the aim is to seal the Championship and leave Formula 2 on a high! “


“Yas Marina is well-known to the Formula 2 teams and many of the drivers, but they will all need to adapt to the new challenge posed by the changes that have been made to the circuit layout. Several of the corners are now faster than before and we would expect this to increase the lateral forces being put through the tyres. We will be once more bringing the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Purple supersoft tyres: the same as in the previous rounds in Sochi and Jeddah.

"Another consideration is that this will be the first time that teams have run the 18-inch tyres in Abu Dhabi, so there will be some learning to do all around the track. The other difference to past years is that the feature race will be held in the heat of Sunday lunchtime rather than on Saturday night, and so track temperatures will obviously be much higher. We’ve seen some great F2 races in Abu Dhabi in the past, and we’re looking forward to giving out the ‘Pirelli Driver of the Year’ trophy at the prize-giving ceremony that marks the end of the season.”

WATCH: The top 5 moments from Jeddah

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  • PREMA Racing became the first ever two-time Teams Champions in Jeddah.
  • At 5.281 KM, Yas Marina Circuit is the second shortest track on the 2021 Formula 2 calendar.
  • Oscar Piastri became the first driver in the history of Formula 2 to win three consecutive Feature Races, after taking victory on Sunday in Jeddah.
  • Piastri’s fourth successive pole in Jeddah also makes him only the second driver in the history of Formula 2 to score three or more successive poles. The other was Charles Leclerc, who had an unbroken run of six pole positions in 2017.
  • In Jeddah, Oscar Piastri became only the second driver to collect two wins in one race weekend. The first was Jüri Vips, who won Sprint Race 2 and the Feature Race in Baku.
  • Ralph Boschung’s maiden Formula 2 podium in Jeddah took Campos Racing to a total of 15 career podiums in the second tier.
  • The first seven rounds of the year have produced sixteen different podium sitters, and ten race winners.