By The1nsider 3 weeks ago




Round 2 was a roller-coaster ride of emotions for DAMS: Alexander Albon grabbed a maiden pole position on Friday while teammate Nicholas Latifi was unable to set a laptime within 107% of the fastest. At the start of the Feature Race, Albon kept the lead and defended well from George Russell, but he lost it after having elected to pit a lap later than Russell, also conceding another position to Nyck de Vries in the pits. All seemed lost until the battling pair of Russell and de Vries went too deep into Turn 1 after a safety car period. Fuoco, who was behind Albon, jumped the DAMS driver to take the lead, but four laps later the Thai ace was able to reclaim P1 and then drove flawlessly to the chequered flag. Meanwhile, Latifi powered his way through the field to take fifth place from last on the grid. The next day, Albon stalled on the grid so it was up to his Canadian teammate to bring some silverware home. He took the lead from third at the start, but later relinquished it to Sergio Sette Camara. He was then unable to stop Russell and de Vries, finishing fourth, but Sette Camara was disqualified after the race to promote Latifi to P3. Both DAMS and Albon are now second in the Championship.


ART Grand Prix’s race weekend was just as eventful as DAMS’; it all started quite well with George Russell qualifying P3, three places higher than teammate Jack Aitken. The reigning GP3 Series champion went on to claim the lead of the Feature Race, passing Alexander Albon thanks to his pit stop strategy. He built a 5s gap to his closest rival Nyck de Vries, but it was reduced to nothing after a late safety car period and, at the re-start, both Russell and de Vries ran too deep at Turn 1, leaving the Briton to cross the finish line in P12. Aitken’s race story was the opposite; he started from the pitlane after he stalled on the grid. Keeping a cool head, he carved his way through the field and made one last overtaking manoeuvre on Antonio Fuoco in the final stages to claim a maiden podium finish with P2. On Sunday, Russell was determined to take back what he felt was his: a first win in F2. He was unstoppable, from start to finish, to pass all his rivals and was relieved at the flag as he claimed victory.


MP Motorsport deserve some well-earned spotlight in this week’s issue: at Baku, the Dutch team is the only squad to have scored with both cars in both races. Sure, they might be disappointed to have missed on at least one podium finish having started the Sprint Race in P1 and P2, but at the end of the day, it is nowhere short of a great accomplishment to have brought into the points both cars in both races on a track where thirteen cars took the flag on Saturday and fifteen machines crossed the finish line on Sunday!


It was the story of “What could have been…” for Campos at Baku: hopes were high after Luca Ghiotto qualified P4, but the Italian made a mistake on Lap 1 on Saturday and ended his day in the wall. Meanwhile, his teammate Roy Nissany looked set to score his first points in F2, running in fifth and even leading for one lap before his mandatory pitstop. On Lap 15, he came under pressure from a charging Artem Markelov. Two laps later, the Israeli braked a millisecond too late on an unforgiving track, finding the barrier to ruin his efforts and compound the Spanish team’s misery. The Sprint race produced another DNF for Nissany while Ghiotto took a lowly P14 at the flag.


There is not much to say about the Russian’s nightmare of a race weekend; following mechanical gremlins, he stopped on track after two laps in free practice. He was then unable to qualify higher than P17 in a red-flagged session. The rest of the event went from bad to worse with a DNF on Saturday following an engine failure, and another DNF on Sunday. It’s unusual for Markelov to leave a track pointless so expect him to come back with a vengeance in Spain in two weeks!


  Issue 14 F2 Feature
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