CEO Bruno Michel looks back at an eventful final round of the season and picks out his key topics from Yas Marina.
Michel discussed each of the top three, praising champion Oscar Piastri as well as Robert Shwartzman and Guanyu Zhou. The CEO also thanked everyone involved and all of the fans for the part they have played this season, wishing them well ahead of the new year.
OSCAR PIASTRI WINS
What a season Oscar Piastri has had… Race winner in his second ever F2 race in Bahrain, he built his success with a cool head and a mature drive. He just needed a few points to seal the title in Abu Dhabi, and he did it in style, taking a fifth pole position in a row and a podium finish in the first Sprint Race. That was enough to be crowned our fifth Formula 2 Champion. He capped off his winning debut season with one final Feature Race victory. It’s never easy to win F2. It’s even harder for a rookie. It always takes a very special talent to do so… Congratulation Oscar!
FINISHING ON A HIGH
Both Robert Shwartzman and Guanyu Zhou arrived at Yas Marina knowing that it was near impossible to challenge Oscar Piastri for the title. Admittedly, their goal was to fully enjoy their final F2 round and fight for race wins.
Zhou also kept in mind the Teams’ Championship as he wanted to help UNI-Virtuosi - his home for the past three years - take second place in the Standings. His victory in Sprint Race 2 was a big relief to him and the team, having not won since Silverstone. Another podium finish in the final race of 2021 helped secure second place for Virtuosi. Zhou has been in our paddock for three years, always friendly to everyone. We wish him the best for his Formula 1 career.
As for Shwartzman, the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Champion was back on top form in the second part of the season, which took him to second in the Drivers’ Championship. We don’t know yet what 2022 will be like for him, but we hope it will take him one step closer to his dream.
A TIGHT FIGHT
The Teams’ title had already been claimed by PREMA Racing in Jeddah, a week prior to the final round of the season. This left UNI-Virtuosi, Carlin, and Hitech Grand Prix to fight for second best. There was a lot of (friendly) tension between them, and a challenging weekend for Hitech meant that second place would be decided between the other two teams in the final race of the year. Virtuosi were able to finish P2 and P3 in the Feature Race, thus securing second in the Standings for the third time in a row. Carlin took third place, just like they did in 2020, ahead of Hitech.
ANOTHER INTENSE SEASON
2021 was different because we had less rounds, but more races per weekend. It provided us with great racing, and it was quite demanding on the teams. They took on the challenge and all worked very hard. They should be praised for their level of professionalism and their passion.
As for the drivers, this year we’ve had 10 different Race Winners, including four rookies, and 16 podium finishers, six of them being rookies. The level of racing has been quite impressive. I cannot wait to see what 2022 will look like!
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
The post-season tests will take place this week at the Yas Marina Circuit, with all 11 teams running both of their cars for three days. We will see returning and new faces in the paddock. A handful of drivers have already been confirmed for next season, with more announcements coming in the next few weeks.
In 2022, there will be a new challenge for teams and drivers alike as the Sporting Regulations will change. There will be two races per event, but the Feature Race will still take place on Sunday, meaning that the Top 10 of the Qualifying results will be reversed to form the starting grid of the Saturday Sprint Race. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out!
Again, this season, the number of F2 followers has grown significantly. We wish all our new fans a warm welcome, but we also would like to thank the people who have supported our Championship for years. We hope that we have kept you entertained in 2021, and we are looking forward to providing you with a fantastic show next year!
Until then, we wish you nice holidays with your families and your friends. Stay safe!