With one title rival in the form of Nicholas Latifi shadowing him all the way and the other, Luca Ghiotto, threating to snatch a win on the alternate strategy, it wasn’t clear whether or not de Vries would have to wait until tomorrow’s sprint race (or maybe even later) to be crowned.
However, he’d kept his tyres is good enough shape to churn out the pace when it mattered and he took a comfortable win ahead of Latifi and Louis Deletraz as Ghiotto faded to fourth at the finish. The result gives the 24-year-old Dutchman the title with tomorrow’s sprint race and the Abu Dhabi season finale still to run.
However, unlike the previous two F2 champions (George Russell and Charles Leclerc), he’s off to be Stoffel Vandoorne’s teammate at Mercedes’ new Formula E team next season and not Formula 1. He was a McLaren junior driver up until the start of this year but it seems that for now his F1 opportunities have dried up, having perhaps taken a bit too long to taste success in the championships immediately below F1; this was his third season in F2.
Latifi, on the other hand, is widely tipped to take the departing Robert Kubica’s place at Williams next season. In the meantime, he’ll just have to fight to hold onto second in the F2 championship – Ghiotto, Lack Aitken and Sergio Sette Camara are all gunning for a place in the top three, and the vital super licence points that come with it.