Campos Racing secure their first win of the season after a tumultuous Feature Race in Baku.
Lights went green in Baku with Nobuharu Matsushita leading the way, only for Nyck de Vries to get the jump on him at Turn 1. Immediately drama ensued at Turn 1 as Mick Schumacher barged through Sérgio Sette Câmara to go wide. Jack Aitken won out from the chaos, as he went from P8 to secure P3 from Sette Câmara. Giuliano Alesi took out team mate Ralph Boschung at the first turn, retiring both cars. The Safety Car was then deployed.
De Vries secured his place out front at the race restart. Nicholas Latifi stole P3 from Aitken, but it didn’t last long as the Campos driver regained the position just before Turn 2. Matsushita’s Carlin car lost power due to an electrical issue on Lap 5, which meant the pole sitter had to retire.
Pit stops began on Lap 7, with multiple cars coming in. Tatiana Calderón opted to stay out going for an alternate strategy which saw her take the lead. De Vries suffered a loss of time due to a loose wheel nut. He managed to get out of the pits, but Aitken close behind overtook de Vries, as he lost his 6.4 second lead. Latifi would send de Vries one place further down.
Mick Schumacher clipped the kerb at Turn 16 which sent his car to a halt on track, ending his race. Aitken caught P1 from Calderón as the Colombian couldn’t keep up on older tyres. De Vries regained P2 from Latifi, having finally getting used to the medium tyres. Jordan King took P8 from Anthoine Hubert, who was consistently fighting throughout the top ten. King took a another place up as Dorian Boccolacci went wide at Turn 1.
Guanyu Zhou brought out another Safety Car, as he lost his front wing while trying not to hit into the back of Juan Manuel Correa. Zhou hit the kerb before Turn 1, losing the front wing on impact with the barrier. Calderón’s BWT Arden car came to a halt during the yellow flag, as she became the latest to retire from the race. Callum Ilott also came to a halt, parking his Sauber in the pit lane.
Sette Câmara spun into the wall after contact with Luca Ghiotto, which delayed the race restart. Louis Delétraz also hit into the back of Dorian Boccolacci as the pack bunched up.
With less than four minutes left on the clock, Aitken got the jump on the race restart. Hubert locked up at Turn 1 as he drops down from P5. King took his place on the podium as we went around the outside of Latifi.
It was Jack Aikten who secured his first Feature Race win and second overall victory, followed by Nyck de Vries and Jordan King.
Luca Ghiotto received a time penalty for hitting Sérgio Sette Câmara just before the race restart. Ghiotto failed to maintain his position during the safety car. FThis added 5 seconds to his time, demoting him from P6 to P9. This promoted Sean Gelael to P6, Juan Manuel Correa to P7 and Nikita Mazepin to P8, who now takes reverse pole for tomorrow’s Sprint Race.
Dorian Boccolacci was also given a 2 place grid drop. This was due to failing to come into the pitlane after the end of the Feature Race. This means the rookie will start P6 on the grid for Sunday’s race.