Juri Vips took a maiden FIA Formula 2 victory in an eventful second sprint race in Baku, as championship leader Guanyu Zhou retired after a first-corner collision.
David Beckmann scored his first F2 podium for Charouz after starting from the front row, while Jehan Daruvala finished third for Carlin in a race disrupted by three early caution periods.
Trident’s Bent Viscaal started on reversed-grid pole after finishing tenth in Saturday’s earlier race, and led into the first corner. But there was carnage behind as Virtuosi driver Zhou locked up and collected fellow race one podium finisher Dan Ticktum, who spun and rejoined at the rear of the field.
Zhou retired on the spot, as did Lirim Zendelli (MP Motorsport) and Ralph Boschung (Campos), the latter involved in a separate collision with Theo Pourchaire – the Prema driver forced to pit for a front-wing change.
The incidents led to the safety car being deployed but, moments before, Beckmann took the lead away from Viscaal – setting the move up around the outside of turn three before completing it into the next corner.
Racing resumed on lap three, with Vips passing fellow Red Bull junior Daruvala for third. The Hitech driver moved into second one lap later, driving around the outside of Viscaal through turn one.
A second safety car period followed when MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor crashed into the wall after being rear-ended by Roy Nissany. The DAMS driver rejoined after pitting for a new front-wing, and later served a drive-through penalty for the incident.
There was yet more drama when the green flag was shown. Viscaal went deep into turn one after trying to retake second from Vips, dropping to fifth. A collision further back between Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) and Christian Lundgaard (ART) resulted in the latter retiring on the spot.
Before the lap was completed, Marcus Armstrong’s race ended in the wall after the DAMS driver locked up while trying to pass Viscaal for fifth. This resulted in a third intervention, albeit a virtual safety car period this time.
The action got back underway on lap eight, with Beckmann leading for three laps before Vips used his DRS to sweep by into turn one. Once in front, the Estonian controlled the second half of the race to win by 1.3 seconds from Beckmann, with Daruvula taking his second podium finish of the season, just 0.4s further behind.
Viscaal finished in fourth, while race one winner Robert Shwartzman took fifth for Prema, having moved up four places from tenth on the opening lap, and then gained a further place due to Armstrong’s retirement.
Ticktum produced a stirring recovery drive after his earlier spin to finish sixth for Carlin, as did Hitech’s Liam Lawson and Prema’s Oscar Piastri, both coming from the back of the field after colliding in race one to take seventh and eighth respectively.
Drugovich was ninth for Virtuosi, with Matteo Nannini tenth after being called up by Campos this weekend.
Race result (21 laps)
|DNF||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport|
|DNF||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport|
Featured image credit: fiaformula2.com