Juri Vips believes his Baku sprint race win was his first “proper good” race this season after large points hauls went amiss with frontrunning pace at Bahrain and Monaco.
The Hitech GP driver claimed his maiden Formula 2 victory with commanding drive on the Azerbaijani streets, beating Charouz Racing System’s David Beckmann in a chaotic race littered with safety car interruptions.
Vips had been a victory contender in a sprint race at the Bahrain season opener before mechanical woes curtailed his weekend and left him with zero points. He felt that his Baku win is redemption for the lost points earlier in the season.
“I feel it’s a bit of redemption from Bahrain because we were going to win the second race there and the gearbox failed,” said Vips. “It was kind of a relief crossing the line, with everything having gone well.”
The relief of victory following his Bahrain misforture extended to knowing his team-mate and fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson has also had bad luck this year, with a victory in Monaco being taken away.
“Liam has also lost quite a bit of points so far, but I think I’ve lost quite a lot more actually with this Bahrain weekend especially,” he said.
“Because we had a very strong pace there and I think we could have walked away with 40 points, but we walked away with zero. I think things could be much better, but to be honest I’m very happy to on sort of like an upward trajectory, and it seems like we’re really figuring things out and my season is gaining momentum.”
When asked by Formula Scout on the topic of momentum, Vips highlighted that this is the first race where he feels everything worked out in his way.
“It’s not the first time this season I would say, but it’s the [first] race where everything sort of has gone my way.
“We’ve had some boring races in Monaco, races one and two where everything went right but I couldn’t do much, but this was a proper good race. Pretty much I would say the first one this year. So yeah, I think definitely gives me a lot of confidence and a big boost in the championship as well.”
The Estonian made a quick exit from the podium, avoiding the traditional champagne showers, and explained to Formula Scout the reasoning behind it.
“Well, why waste the good stuff, huh? The actual reason is we kind of got my suit measurements wrong. But not by 2-3 centimetres wrong, but 30cm wrong on everywhere. So I just looked like the Michelin Man.
“And I just kind of refused to wear this suit. So now I’ve got one more suit, this one, to see if the measurements were okay, and they were, and they’re making the second one now. It just hasn’t arrived yet, so I’m saving it for tomorrow.”