Charouz Racing System: Adu Dhabi Sprint Race review


25 November 2018
I knew the start was going to be key because if you can get to Turn One first you have clean air and a clear track.

“I knew the start was going to be key because if you can get to Turn One first you have clean air and a clear track.”


Antonio Fuoco  

Charouz Racing System ended its debut FIA Formula 2 Championship season in perfect style today as Antonio Fuoco dominated the Abu Dhabi Sprint Race and took an impressive lights-to-flag victory.

It was the Italian’s second win of the year – following his success on the streets of Monaco in May – and the perfect way to back up his and the Czech team’s solid P7 finish during Saturday’s F2 Feature Race.

Team-mate Louis Delétraz also enjoyed a strong race in his ADSS-supported car as he recorded his second P6 finish of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

Starting from P2 on the Sprint Race grid, Antonio made a perfect getaway as he rocketed past pole man Roberto Merhi into Turn One at the Yas Marina circuit.

An early Virtual Safety Car (VSC) put the 21-lap race on hold for a handful of laps but once the 5.55km track went green again, Antonio showed his class at the head of the field.

The Ferrari Driver Academy pilot delivered a near-perfect performance as track temperatures nudged 40°C and blustery winds swept across the circuit.

He expertly secured and managed a safe gap over the chasing pack and the result was a confident lights-to-flag victory and a maximum haul of championship points.

Louis wasn’t blessed with such a strong start from P3 on the grid as a high engine temperature and excessive wheel spin hampered his getaway. That dropped him to P6.

As the race started to unfold, the Swiss driver’s pace was strong. But a problem with the Drag Reduction System (DRS) on all of the F2 cars meant he couldn’t activate the device that aids overtaking.

Despite his best efforts, Louis had little chance of making any further progress up the order during the second half of the race and had to settle for P6 at the flag.

Charouz Racing System’s impressive results in Abu Dhabi earned a quartet of points finishes across both races and ensured it completed its maiden F2 Teams’ Championship campaign in P6 (out of 10 teams).

Antonio is classified P7 in the final Drivers’ Championship, while Louis is P10 after 12 rounds and 24 F2 races.

Team owner, Antonin Charouz, said: “Taking victory today is the perfect way to end our debut season in F2. It was a big project that we undertook this year but I’m proud of the whole team for everything we’ve achieved, especially our two wins and five more podiums. We were only a handful of points away from P4 in the Teams’ Championship at the end of 24 races and that’s something we are very pleased with.”

Team principal, Bob Vavrik, said: “Both Antonio and Louis drove great races today as they found some excellent pace on a hot track. It was always our target to push hard for a win at the final round of the season and we did it. I think we showed some fantastic progress this year and that we are super professional with a very fast car. That gives us a lot of confidence as we head towards a new and exciting racing project in 2019.”

Louis Delétraz said: “Unfortunately, I had a high engine temperature and wheel spin at the start. Once the race developed, I was pleased with my pace and tyre management. But the DRS being broken made things difficult and there was no way I could get past the cars I was catching. I wanted a lot more than P6 today but it’s still positive to end with points in both races and it’s great for the team to get a win with Antonio. Congratulations to him and everyone that’s worked so hard this season.”

Antonio Fuoco said: “I’m really happy to take the win today. I knew the start was going to be key because if you can get to Turn One first you have clean air and a clear track. That was my primary focus and once I managed to jump in front of Roberto [Merhi] I concentrated on driving cleanly and maintaining a safe gap. I’m pleased for everyone in the team that we could get a second win together during the first F2 season. It’s the perfect way to finish 2018.”

I knew the start was going to be key because if you can get to Turn One first you have clean air and a clear track.

“I knew the start was going to be key because if you can get to Turn One first you have clean air and a clear track.”


Antonio Fuoco  
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