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Hauger takes F2 feature race win after Vips crashes out of lead

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Prema’s Dennis Hauger took victory in the Formula 2 feature race in Baku after Juri Vips crashed out of the lead in the closing stages.

The race finished one lap early and behind the safety car after Vips’ error, with Hauger taking his second win of the season ahead of Carlin’s Logan Sargeant and MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich, who extended his points lead.

Hitech GP driver Vips led away from pole at the start, while sprint race winner Frederick Vesti (ART Grand Prix) was left stranded from ninth on the grid.

Trident’s Richard Verschoor moved up the inside of Drugovich for fifth into turn two, with Sargeant then capitalising to power past the pair of them on the exit, and Prema’s Jehan Daruvala demoting Drugovich to eighth.

Amaury Cordeel (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Oli Caldwell (Campos Racing) collided before the opening lap was complete, triggering an early safety car period.

Vips started to edge clear once racing resumed on lap five, while Lawson fended off Vips’ team-mate Marcus Armstrong for second, with Hauger following close behind.

Lawson made his mandatory pitstop on lap nine, but he was delayed by a slow rear-left tyre change, costing him a place to Hauger, with the Kiwi then passed by Daruvala shortly after returning to track.

Armstrong stopped one lap later than Vips on lap 11, and briefly emerged from the pits with the net race lead before his team-mate swept back past on the pit straight.

The safety car was deployed for a second time when Cem Bolukbasi and Roy Nissany made contact and ended up in the wall.

Still to pit, Calan Williams led from Vips, but there was plenty of drama at the restart. Ayuma Iwasa ran into the back of Jake Hughes as the cars accelerated to the line, while ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire damaged his front wing and Lawson suffered a puncture in the melee.

Armstrong locked up into Turn 1, running into the back of Vips, who managed to avoid damage and retain second. But Armstrong lost several places before pitting to get rid of his flat-spotted tyres.

Williams continued to lead after a virtual safety car period, but then locked up and ran down an escape road, enabling Vips to resume his place at the front, but he was chased hard by Hauger over the next few laps.

In the closing stages Vips hit the wall in the narrow castle section, ending his race with suspension damage, with the remainder of the race run behind the safety car.

Daruvala came home fourth ahead Verschoor and Charouz’s Enzo Fittipaldi. Vesti recovered to take seventh, with Virtuosi’s Marino Sato eighth.

Ralph Boschung was ninth for Campos, ahead of Hughes. MP’s Clement Novalak was another retiree after suffering a technical problem.

Race result (26 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Dennis Hauger Prema 1h03m29.334s
2 Logan Sargeant Carlin +0.492s
3 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport +0.946s
4 Jehan Daruvala Prema +1.664s
5 Richard Verschoor Trident +2.776s
6 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System +2.970s
7 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix +3.149s
8 Marino Sato Virtuosi +4.791s
9 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing +4.911s
10 Jake Hughes Van Amersfoort Racing +5.263s
11 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +5.307s
12 Marcus Armstrong Hitech GP +6.015s
13 Jack Doohan Virtuosi +6.902s
14 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS +7.279s
15 Liam Lawson Carlin +11.575s
16 Calan Williams Trident +12.198s
Ret Juri Vips Hitech GP
Ret Roy Nissany DAMS
Ret Cem Bolukbasi Charouz Racing System
Ret Clement Novalak MP Motorsport
Ret Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Olli Caldwell Campos Racing
Fastest lap: Vips, 1m56.429s

Championship standings
Drugovich 132   2 Pourchaire 83   3 Daruvala 73   4 Sargeant 59   5 Hauger 55   6 Armstrong 55   7 Vips 51   8 Fittipaldi 50   9 Doohan 45   10 Lawson 44