Sergio Sette Câmara says the safety car restart incident in Baku with UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto has caused ‘big’ damage towards his championship aspirations.
During the feature race of the second round of the FIA Formula 2 championship, the two drivers made contact with each other whilst preparing to go back racing.
Just as the race was about to restart, the drivers were weaving and warming up their tyres – until Ghiotto then crashed into the back of Sette Câmara, causing the McLaren F1 junior driver to spin and retire from the race.
The stewards investigated the restart and the incident between the two drivers and felt Ghiotto was at fault, who was given a time penalty and demoted down to ninth place in the final classifications.
Prior to round two in the streets of Baku, Ghiotto hold the championship lead ahead of both DAMS drivers of Nicholas Latifi and Sette Câmara. All three drivers appeared on the podium in both races at the season opener in Bahrain.
After the race on Saturday, Ghiotto posted on his Instagram account that he was an ‘idiot’ for causing the accident with the Brazilian. Sette Câmara felt disappointed over clash with Ghiotto, saying that it has caused big damage towards his race for the F2 title, but the Brazilian states that he knows that the Virtuosi driver didn’t mean to cause the accident on track.
“There is nothing to be said. I’m very disappointed with what happened,” said Sette Câmara on his website. “The very driver who hit me wrote on his Instagram that he was an idiot.
“He was penalized by the organization, but the damage he caused me in the Championship was big. I know he did not mean it, he’s a good guy, but it happened. Today I did what I could.
“There were a lot of accidents, several laps with a safety car, and with that, I had few “useful” laps to climb up the group. I certainly expect a better result in Barcelona, my home race (Camara is based in Spain).”
Despite the fight back to finish the points in the sprint race with sixth place, Sette Câmara felt bitter sweet to be leaving Azerbaijan, reflecting on what could of been if it wasn’t for the incident.
“It was a tough weekend. Looking back at it I can see a few key moments that completely changed the way it developed,” commented Sette Câmara.
“In the Feature Race I had good pace and could have finished third easily, but in the end got zero points and started at the back on Sunday. It’s tough to see how one small, silly moment that is not even your fault can change everything.
“Now we need to focus on Barcelona, keep our heads high and remember the championship is long.”
DAMS still holds the lead of the teams’ championship after Latifi captured the sprint race win and taking over the lead of the drivers’ table ahead of Campos‘ Jack Aitken and previous championship leader Ghiotto.
Despite the incident under the safety car, DAMS’ Managing Director François Sicard praised Sette Câmara for his comeback drive in the following race as the Brazilian rescued his weekend.
“For Sergio to be in the podium fight and being put in the wall was hugely disappointing as it also meant starting from the back in race two,” said Sicard.
“However, he managed to avoid the chaos and pull some great overtakes to clinch sixth. It wasn’t the result we aimed for, but he rescued the weekend.”