Latifi Extends F2 Championship Lead With Victory In Chaotic Sprint Race

by Aaron Gillard
Nicholas Latifi - F2 Baku - Sprint Race

DAMSNicholas Latifi claimed victory in a chaotic-filled sprint race in the FIA Formula 2 championship around Baku, with rookie Juan Manuel Correa collecting his first ever podium.

The Canadian controlled the lead of the race from Lap 6 onwards and remained in the lead despite multiple safety cars closing up the field due to accidents throughout the race. The Canadian driver extends his championship after another strong weekend.

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz‘s Correa started the race in second place and remained in second after a strong drive in only his fourth race in the series. The American driver attempted a pass for the lead of the race after a safety car restart, but locked up heavily going into Turn 1 but was able to hold onto a spot on the podium.

Feature race winner Jack Aitken claimed the final podium spot after passing ART Grand Prix‘s Nyck de Vries in the final moments of the race, as the sprint race ended on time instead of laps. de Vries ended in fourth place.

Prema Racing‘s Mick Schumacher performed a strong recovery drive from nineteenth place to end the race in fifth place, his best result so in Formula 2. Sérgio Sette Câmara followed behind in sixth place, performing another recovery drive after crashing out behind the safety car in Saturday’s feature race.

Dorian Boccolacci completed another points scoring race around the Azerbaijan capital with seventh place. Sean Gelael rounded off the points scoring places with eighth, finishing ahead of Callum Ilott by 0.005 seconds

Gelael made the jump into the lead at the start of the race, passing front row starters Correa and Nikita Mazepin. The Indonesian driver led for the first lap as the cars squabbled for position in the opening sector. Tatiana Calderon, Louis Deletraz and Ralph Boschung all made contact with one another at Turn 2, with the Colombian female driver locking up and colliding with the two drivers.

Aitken made a strong start and made wonderful double overtake into Turn 3, going pass both Boccolacci and Jordan King at the inside of the corner. The feature race winner achieve the overtake before the safety car came out.

After a lap, the safety car pulled in and Gelael resumed the lead of the race at the start of Lap 3. Latifi made his way through pass Correa for second place whilst Aitken jumped up to fourth place.

Latifi managed to gain momentum in the final sector and use the slipstream down the back straight to pass Gelael for the lead of the race at the start of Lap 6 towards Turn 1. A lap later, Correa followed the same move as race leader Latifi to take second place away. Gelael soon dropped further ground as Aitken made a move in the run towards Turn 3 to enter in the podium positions.

But on Lap 9, Giuliano Alesi in the Trident crashed into the wall whilst battling with Guanyu Zhou, breaking his front left wheel as a result. The safety car made another appearance on track as the marshals cleared the Trident away.

After three laps behind the safety car, Latifi led the field away but Correa attempted a lung for the lead at Turn 1, but the American locked up and carried too much speed into the first corner. Latifi retained the lead whilst Aitken tried to pass the Sauber in the run towards Turn 2. He failed to do so, but the Campos suffered contact from Luca Ghiotto, who crashed into the wall at Turn 3. The UNI-Virtuosi Racing car collected Mazepin and King in the crash and the safety car once again made an appearance for the third time.

During the third safety car stint, the sprint race switched to time and with one minute remaining of the race left, the safety car came in. Latifi backed the pack up and got the race back underway, building a gap away from second place Correa. As time reached zero, Aitken passed third place de Vries down the main straight whilst the Prema’s of Schumacher and Gelael fought closely with each other for fifth place, with the German coming out on top.

Latifi was able to hold onto the lead of the race and take the chequered flag, capturing his second race win of the season and extending the championship lead going into the next round in Barcelona, Spain.

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
16DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN48:43.284
212Sauber Junior Team By CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA+0.931
315Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR+1.521
44ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED+2.602
59PREMA RacingMick SchumacherGER+3.247
65DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ+4.060
714Campos RacingDorian BoccolacciFRA+6.503
810PREMA RacingSean GelaelINO+7.724
911Sauber Junior Team By CharouzCallum IlottGBR+7.729
107UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHI+9.293
1119BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA+11.074
122Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN+11.235
1317MP MotorsportMahaveer RaghunathanNED+17.584
DNF3ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUSLap 12/Crash
DNF8UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITALap 12/Crash
DNF16MP MotorsportJordan KingGBRLap 12/Crash
DNF20TridentGiuliano AlesiFRALap 8/Crash
DNF18BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOLLap 0/Crash
DNF21TridentRalph BoschungCHELap 0/Crash
DNF1Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHELap 0/Crash

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