Jüri Vips looked like he would come out unscathed in race 2 this Sunday (12), in Baku, after keeping his first position firmly at the start and escaping the confusion throughout the race. But behold, five minutes from the end, the Hitech driver crashed alone on the part of the Castle and let the victory fall in the lap of Dennis Hauger, from Prema.
Still in the car, Vips accused a problem with the brakes to justify the straight step. With the crash, race 2 ended under the safety car.
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Better for Logan Sargeant, who also managed to get through the problems unscathed and finished second. And Felipe Drugovich, leader of the championship, who had a difficult start, dropping to eighth place, but recovered at the pit stop and, thanks to the problems of the cars in front of him at the end, finished third, opening even more the advantage in the classification.
Jehan Daruvala finished fourth, followed by Richard Verschoor. Enzo Fittipaldi once again benefited from the strategy and appeared in a great sixth position with Charouz after starting in just 16th.
Frederik Vesti was in seventh place, with Marino Sato completing next. Ralph Boschung and Jake Hughes closed out the top ten in the race.
As expected, Baku had a classic race with safety car interventions and a final within the one hour time limit. But Vips asserted the privilege of starting first and held the lead well, followed by the other opponents.
The one who didn’t have a very good start was Drugovich. The Brazilian even kept fifth place in the first corners, but soon lost positions after Verschoor’s aggressive attack and completed the first lap only in eighth. Meanwhile, in the back pack, Théo Pourchaire, the MP’s main rival in the fight for the title, jumped from 12th to ninth, and Fittipaldi appeared in 14th, moving up two positions.
But it didn’t take long for the safety car to appear in Baku, and those responsible were Amaury Cordeel and Olli Caldwell. At the restart, Vips was still firmly in the lead, but he made a questionable defensive move, putting the car fully on the line inside the pit entrance and then returning. However, he passed by the race direction, despite some complaints.
The pit stops started on lap 8, already showing that the soft tires wouldn’t hold much in the Baku heat. First the leaders, and with that, Drugovich appeared in fourth. Then, on the tenth lap, the MP driver made his mandatory pit-stop and counted on the team’s great work to regain lost ground. With the cars realigned after the pit stops, he came in fifth.
On lap 12, the safety car came into action again, this time due to a collision between Cem Bolukbasi and Roy Nissani. Those who hadn’t stopped yet took the opportunity to enter the pits, except for Calam Williams, who was in first, but still had a mandatory stop to complete.
The restart had several small incidents involving Marcus Armstrong and Vips, Pourchaire and Ayumu Iwasa. With that, it was the turn of the virtual safety-car to be activated, preventing overtaking and forcing the drivers to slow down.
A fresh start at turn 18, and Williams’ worn tires couldn’t resist, with the driver going straight into turn 3. The lead was back in Vips’ hands, and everything looked like it would end the way it started for the Hitech driver.
But Baku doesn’t forgive mistakes, and Vips ended up committing one that cost him the victory. Outside the car, the Estonian couldn’t hide his frustration. Best for Hauger, who climbed to the top of the podium for the first time in the 2022 F2 season.
Formula 2 2022, Azerbaijan GP, Baku, Special Race, Final Result:
|1||D HAUGER||price||26 laps|
|10||J HUGHES||Van Amersfoort||+5,263|
|21||THE CORDEEL||Van Amersfoort||NC|
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