Home Featured Nicholas Latifi controls chaotic Baku Formula 2 sprint race

Nicholas Latifi controls chaotic Baku Formula 2 sprint race

by Cameron Paterson

Photo: FIA Formula 2

Williams Formula 1 reserve driver Nicholas Latifi extended his Fomrula 2 championship lead by winning the Baku sprint race, handling two safety car restarts.

Latifi first took the lead from Sean Gelael, who emerged from Turn 1 of the opening lap in first place after passing poleman Nikita Mazepin, who later said there was something “wrong” with his throttle at the start.

Mazepin had inherited pole after Luca Ghiotto received a five-second penalty for contact with Sergio Sette Camara in the feature race, which left him ninth on the grid for race two.

Gelael spent five laps in the lead before Latifi passed down the inside of Turn 1, and established a lead of around three seconds before the first safety car appearance on lap nine of 19.

Giuliano Alesi?s had ended his race in the barriers at Turn 3 after passing Guan Yu Zhou with the use of DRS, but then locking up his left-front tyre.

Latifi maintained the lead when racing restarted four laps later, switching back from the outside of the corner to the natural inside on Sauber junior Juan Manuel Correa after he locked up his left-rear tyre at Turn 1.

The safety car would return just moments later as Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken put his car to the right of a vulnerable Correa out of Turn 2, being unable to pass around the outside, but received a tap from Ghiotto. The Virtuosi Racing driver?also crashed into the barriers at Turn 3, with Nikita Mazepin and Jordan King stopping at the same spot.

Nearly 10 minutes was spent removing the cars before a two-lap shootout for the win. Latifi wasn’t threatened though, and after picking up the points lead in the feature race he extended it to 19 points over Aitken, who finished third.

Correa claimed his first F2 podium in second, with Aitken completing the podium after passing ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries on the penultimate lap.

Mick Schumacher passed Prema team-mate Gelael moments after Aitken?s move, with Sergio Sette Camara and Dorian Boccolacci making late moves past the Indonesian.

Gelael held off Callum Ilott for eighth in the last metres of the race, with the two crossing the line side-by-side.


Race results (19 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 48m43.284s
2 Juan Manuel Correa Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +0.961s
3 Jack Aitken Campos Racing +1.521s
4 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix +2.602s
5 Mick Schumacher Prema +3.247s
6 Sergio Sette Camara DAMS +4.060s
7 Dorian Boccolacci Campos Racing +6.503s
8 Sean Gelael Prema +7.724s
9 Callum Ilott Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +7.729s
10 Guan Yu Zhou Virtuosi Racing +9.293s
11 Anthoine Hubert Arden International +11.074s
12 Nobuharu Matsushita Carlin +11.235s
13 Mahaveer Raghunathan MP Motorsport +17.584s
Ret Luca Ghiotto Virtuosi Racing
Ret Jordan King MP Motorsport
Ret Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix
Ret Giuliano Alesi Trident
Ret Ralph Boschung Trident
Ret Louis Deletraz Carlin
Ret Tatiana Calderon Arden International
Fastest lap: Ghiotto

Championship Standings
?Latifi 62? ?2 Aitken 43? ?3?Ghiotto 39? ?4 de Vries 38? ?5 Sette Camara 31? ?6 Correa 18? ?7?King 16? ?8 Deletraz 16? ?9 Schumacher 14? ?10?Hubert 13