ART Grand Prix‘s George Russell claimed his first FIA Formula 2 in the sprint race around the Baku City Circuit.
The reigning GP3 Series champion won from starting twelfth on the grid and fought his way through the field, passing Sérgio Sette Câmara with a five laps to go.
The Brazilian finished ahead of Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing‘s Nyck de Vries, holding on to the final podium spot ahead of Nicholas Latifi. But following a disqualification after the race for failing to supply the minimum fuel required for post-race checks, the Carlin Motorsport driver lost his podium place. De Vries took his place with Latifi in third. Lando Norris ended the sprint race in fourth place and retains the championship lead.
The Trident pair of Arjun Maini and Santino Ferrucci ended the race in fifth and sixth in the race with Roberto Merhi in seventh, following by his MP Motorsport team-mate Ralph Boschung in eighth, collecting the final point.
Prior to the race, during the formation lap, Antonio Fouco suffered an electrical issue and came to a stand still by turn eight. The Italian was pushed out of the track and missed out on the race.
With lights out, five cars stalled on the grid and cars getting away slowly from the line, including the MP Motorsport’s who locked out the front row. Roberto Merhi and Ralph Boschung were slow off the line and allowed the likes of Nicholas Latifi, Lando Norris and Sérgio Sette Câmara to pass and take the lead of the race.
Artem Markelov, Jack Aitken ,Maximilian Günther, Luca Ghiotto and Feature race winner Alexander Albon all stalled on the grid and were later pushed into the pits. All cars got going again but Markelov soon retired after reporting a loss of power.
Latifi led the race in the opening laps but was soon passed by Sette Câmara for the lead at turn one. Following closely behind were Boschung, Norris and Russell who were competing for the final podium spot. Both British drivers passed the MP driver with ease as they close up on Latifi for second.
Both Russell and Norris caught up with the DAMS of Latifi and an ambitious Norris attempted to pass the pair around the outside of turn, only to find himself carrying too much speed and missing turn 1. Norris dropped down the field to seventh but soon claw his way back through the field to within near the top four.
The battle for the lead between Sette Câmara and Russell emerge as the pair swapped positions throughout the first few corners, but the Carlin held off Russell before the British driver passed him down the long straight before turn one to take the lead of the race.
Prema’s Sean Gelael crashed heavily into the wall at turn one which brought out the yellow flags, whilst his team-mate de Vries battled passed Latifi for the final podium spot with the race drawing to a close.
George Russell his way to victory with Sette Câmara in the Carlin followed behind in second, but stopped on his way to the podium due to a lack of fuel. Nyck de Vries secured third place ahead of Latifi, who followed closely to the Dutch driver in the final stages.
In the aftermath of the race, Sette Câmara was disqualified from the race for failing to provide at least 0.8KG of fuel for technical checks after the race. His podium position was given to de Vries and Latifi took the final podium spot.
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