Frustration for Armstrong & Lawson as Vips wins F2 Feature race in Baku

After a difficult start to the FIA Formula 2 season, Jüri Vips has ensured his title challenge is well and truly in motion, with the Hitech Grand Prix driver winning for the second time in a row in the Baku Feature Race. It was a frustrating race for Kiwi drivers Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lawson with Armstrong being knocked into a wall and Lawson, having started on pole, receiving a ten-second penalty, ruining his podium chances.

“It’s not at all what we wanted, I came into the weekend looking for a clean one and it started great with pole from Qualifying,” explained the 19-year-old New Zealander.

“I felt really really good about the track and the car.

“Today in Race 3 I got a good start but Jüri was just a bit quicker, he squeezed at the first corner so I backed out and then defended from Pourchaire. I was in front as I moved over but I guess we went into the pit lane and that is why I got penalised.

“It is what it is, I can feel it was harsh but that doesn’t change anything. I served the 10 second penalty at the pit stop and then pushed to get back, killing the tyres again to get up to 6th.

“It’s very disappointing to be one of the fastest on track all weekend and not come away with more,” concluded the Hitech driver.

After an aborted start and a second formation lap, Lawson and Vips gave their team a heart-in-mouth moment, the duo going side-by-side off the line and into the first corner. Eventually, Vips scooched ahead, but not before a touch of contact between the pair. Thankfully for Hitech, they both got away unscathed.

Piastri had gotten a great jump off the line from third and made the most of the duo’s brawl to clamber ahead of Lawson and into second.

As was the case in both of the Sprint Races, the field wouldn’t make it through the first lap without a Safety Car, as Marcus Armstrong got caught up in a scuffle with Dan Ticktum and Pourchaire.

None of the trio came off well, as Armstrong ended up in the wall and out of the race before Pourchaire retired from the pits.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get the results we all deserved,” commented Armstrong. “Today was especially tough with someone trying to win a 28 lap race at turn 3.”

When racing resumed, Lawson regained P2 from Piastri and started to stare down his teammate in first, but was then handed a 10s-time penalty as well, for forcing Pourchaire off-track at the start of the race.

Beating out PREMA Racing duo Oscar Piastri and Robert Shwartzman, Vips becomes just the second double-winner of 2021, and is the first driver in Formula 2 to take two wins in a single weekend.

Piastri slices Guanyu Zhou’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship down to just five points.

Championship standings
1/ Zhou 78
2/ Piastri 73
3/ Shwartzman 66
4/ Vips 63
5/ Ticktum 60
6/ Pourchaire 55
7/ Daruvala 53
8/ Lawson 50
9/ Drugovich 41
10/ Boschung 36

Feature Race Results

1Juri VipsHitech GP57m08.634s
2Oscar PiastriPrema+6.152s
3Robert ShwartzmanPrema+12.623s
4Felipe DrugovichVirtuosi+22.400s
5Ralph BoschungCampos Racing+24.418s
6Liam LawsonHitech GP+26.207s
7Jehan DaruvalaCarlin+28.081s
8Dan TicktumCarlin+29.801s
9Christian LundgaardART Grand Prix+34.058s
10Lirim ZendeliMP Motorsport+36.167s
11Jack AitkenHWA Racelab+36.993s
12David BeckmannCharouz Racing System+39.973s
13Guanyu ZhouVirtuosi+47.934s
14Richard VerschoorMP Motorsport+48.794s
15Marino SatoTrident+55.485s
16Roy NissanyDAMS+55.825s
17Bent ViscaalTrident+56.970s
18Guilherme SamaiaCharouz Racing System+1 lap
19Alessio DeleddaHWA Racelab+1 lap
RetTheo PourchaireART Grand Prix
RetMarcus ArmstrongDAMS
RetMatteo NanniniCampos Racing

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