Juri Vips secured his first FIA Formula 2 victory in fine style in Azerbaijan as championship leader Guanyu Zhou crashed out on the opening lap.
That first lap saw Zhou joined by Lirim Zendeli and Ralph Boschung in the proverbial early bath as cars scattered all over the road in turn one causing an inevitable safety car.
Vips though worked his way past Bent Viscaal and then David Beckmann in methodical fashion to take the lead and he didn’t look back in his drive to the chequered flag.
Beckmann came home in second which equals his best result of the year after he had previously stood on the rostrum in Bahrain, his only previous points scoring finish.
Viscaal couldn’t hold onto his reverse grid pole for long but he will be happy to have come home in fourth behind a charging Jehan Daruvala who continues to go somewhat under the radar in the early 2021 title conversation.
Other than the three eliminated on the opening lap, Richard Verschoor also didn’t make it to the flag as he ended his race in the wall after contact with Roy Nissany.
Marcus Armstrong and Christian Lundgaard also failed to see the chequered flag as the Dane’s difficult second season continues with ART.
Sprint race one winner Robert Shwartzman did well to avoid the chaos at turn one and he will be pleased to claim fifth ahead of Dan Ticktum who recovered from a spin during that incident to sixth for Carlin.
Both Liam Lawson and Oscar Piastri were unfortunate to retire from the first race of the weekend but they battled hard from the back of the grid to finish seventh and eighth respectively and claim some points back on Zhou who was fortunate to see that none of his challengers scored big.
|1||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||21 Laps|
|7||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+6.751|
|12||Jack Aitken||HWA Racelab||+22.828|
|15||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||+52.037|
|17||Marcus Armstrong||DAMS||DNF (Crash)|
|18||Christian Lundgaard||ART||DNF (Crash)|
|19||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||DNF (Crash)|
|20||Ralph Boschung||Campos||DNF (Crash)|
|21||Guanyu Zhou||UNI-Virtuosi||DNF (Crash)|
|22||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||DNF (Crash)|