DAMS‘ Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi both reflect on a “positive” weekend at the Baku Street Circuit, venue for round two of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 championship.
Both Albon and Nicholas secured valuable results for the team with both drivers capturing podiums in both feature and sprint races, pushing DAMS to second in the team’s championship.
The Anglo-Thai driver of Albon grabbed both pole and the win in the feature race, but suffered a clutch issue at the beginning of the sprint race and dropped down the field. Albon missed out on racing in Baku last year due to an injury and said gaining track time was important whilst on his way to victory.
“It was my first time in Baku, so track time was important and I didn’t get that in practice” said Albon.
“I was really happy with the car, we had a good baseline and I was confident ahead of qualifying. Despite a few small mistakes, I was really happy to achieve pole.
“We played it safe at the start in race one, losing out initially but I fought back, our pace was great and to be able to take my first win was an excellent result. Race two was more difficult, we struggled with the start, so we’ll work on that for Barcelona, but overall it was a positive weekend, and we’re in the title hunt.”
Latifi’s weekend started badly after a bad qualifying saw him start down in twentieth but recovered to finish fifth in the feature race thanks to an impressive drive.
His efforts continued in the sprint race when he led the beginning stages of the race was on course for a podium finish. The Canadian ended the race down in fourth but was promoted to third after Carlin Motorsport‘s Sergio Sette Câmara was disqualified.
Reflecting on his weekend, Latifi said the results in Baku got his season going as the series heads to Barcelona.
“In practice the track conditions were tricky, but we maximised what we had ahead of qualifying” commented Latifi.
“We got unlucky with yellow flags on the first set of tyres, and on the second set I pushed a little too hard and spun, which was not representative of where we should have been.
“I had nothing to lose in race one, so to recover to fifth was great, staying out of trouble and keeping calm. In the Sprint Race, I managed the pace to finish third, which really gets my season on track.”