Prema’s Dennis Hauger took his second FIA Formula 2 victory after Juri Vips crashed out of the lead in a dramatic feature race in Baku.
Hauger came home ahead of Carlin’s Logan Sargeant and championship leader Felipe Drugovich, with the race finishing behind the safety car after Vips hit the wall in the castle section in the closing stages.
Vips led away from pole at the start for Hitech GP from Carlin’s Liam Lawson, with Vips’ team-mate Marcus Armstrong in third. Saturday’s sprint race winner Frederick Vesti (ART) stalled from ninth on the grid, while an opening-lap collision between Amaury Cordeel (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Oli Caldwell (Campos) caused the first of three safety car periods.
Lawson and Armstrong battled for second following the restart, with Hauger following close behind, as Vips pulled out an early advantage at the front.
A slow pitstop on lap nine dented Lawson’s chances, with Vips pitting from the lead on lap 10. Armstrong emerged from his stop on the next lap in front of Vips with the effective race lead, but his team-mate soon moved back ahead.
The safety car was deployed again after Cem Bolukbasi and Roy Nissany both ended up in the wall following contact.
Running in second behind Trident’s Calan Williams, who had yet to make his mandatory stop, Vips was rear-ended by his team-mate Armstrong when race resumed. Vips avoided damage and held his position, but flat-spotted tyres resulted in Armstrong pitting and dropping out of contention.
There was further chaos behind at the restart too, with Ayuma Iwasa clipping the back of Jake Hughes as the cars accelerated and damaging his front wing. ART’s Theo Pourchaire also broke his front wing taking avoiding action, while Lawson suffered a puncture.
Williams maintained the lead during a virtual safety car period, but made a mistake shortly after the green flags were shown, ending up down an escape road. Vips resumed his place at the front, but he started to come under increasing pressure from Hauger over the next few laps.
With five minutes remaining on the clock, Vips inexplicably crashed, with the remainder of the race run behind the safety car.
Behind the front three was Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, with Trident’s Richard Verschoor fifth and Charouz’s Enzo Fittipaldi sixth. Vesti recovered from his stall at the start to take seventh, ahead of Virtuosi’s Marino Sato. Ralph Boschung was ninth for Campos, with Hughes taking the final point in tenth. MP’s Clement Novalak was another not to see the chequered flag due to a technical problem.
Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter