Juri Vips took a second consecutive Formula 2 victory in Baku in the feature race.
It was another chaotic race on the street circuit, as multiple drivers were caught up in incidents and handed penalties.
Hitech GP’s Vips managed to avoid the drama to take a dominant win ahead of Prema pair Oscar Piastri and Robert Shwartzman.
Right off the line there was a close battle at the front of the field. Vips swept past pole-sitting team-mate Liam Lawson, who was immediately under pressure from Piastri and ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire.
Lawson forced Pourchaire wide as he tried to defend position, dropping Pourchaire backwards and earning Lawson penalty.
Pourchaire then found himself in the middle of a battle with Dan Ticktum and Marcus Armstrong. The three ran side-by-side, Ticktum on the inside and Armstrong on the outside. They made contact, and Pourchaire and Armstrong both retired while Ticktum pitted for a new front wing as the incident brought out the safety car.
Vips managed to hold off Piastri and Lawson on the restart, but briefly fell behind Piastri during his pitstop. He soon reclaimed the net race lead on track and started to break away from the rest of the field, even overtaking HWA’s Jack Aitken, who pitted extremely late as the only driver on the alternate stategy.
Piastri closed the gap to Vips late on, but an unsafe pitstop release earned him a five-second penalty and guaranteed Vips victory. Piastri retained second place ahead of Shwartzman, who enjoyed a quiet race to climb up to third.
Despite finishing outside the points, Guanyu Zhou retains the points lead over Piastri. Zhou had a difficult race, being one of the first to pit and coming out beside Lawson and David Beckmann. He was forced wide as the three battled for position, dropping to the back of the top 10. He eventually finished 13th.
His Virtuosi Racing team-mate Felipe Drugovich, who had been held up by Piastri during the pitstops, took fourth ahead of Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung and Lawson.
Ticktum was one of the last drivers to take his mandatory pitstop, and after served a 10-second time penalty for the earlier collision came out in 11th. On fresh tyres, the Carlin driver soon swept past Lirim Zendeli and Christian Lundgaard to take eighth and the fastest lap. He finished just behind team-mate Jehan Daruvla.
Race results (28 laps)
|1||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||57m08.634s|
|5||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||+24.418s|
|6||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+26.207s|
|9||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||+34.058s|
|10||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||+36.167s|
|11||Jack Aitken||HWA Racelab||+36.993s|
|12||David Beckmann||Charouz Racing System||+39.973s|
|14||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+48.794s|
|18||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz Racing System||+1 lap|
|19||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||+1 lap|
|Ret||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix|
|Ret||Matteo Nannini||Campos Racing|
|Fastest lap: Ticktum, 1m55.199s
1 Zhou 78 2 Piastri 73 3 Shwartzman 66 4 Vips 63 5 Ticktum 60 6 Pourchaire 55 7 Daruvala 53 8 Lawson 50 9 Drugovich 41 10 Boschung 36