Baku F2: Russell fights back to win sprint race

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Baku F2: Russell fights back to win sprint race
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Apr 29, 2018, 10:09 AM

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell recovered from his feature race misfortunes to win the F2 sprint race at Baku from 12th on the grid.

After four drivers stalled in Saturday's feature race, five - Jack Aitken, Alex Albon, Artem Markelov, Maximilian Gunther and Luca Ghiotto - all failed to get off the line this time around.

At the front, MP Motorsport duo Roberto Merhi and Ralph Boschung both had slow starts, the former dropping as low as ninth.

Nicholas Latifi from fourth on the grid took the lead from Boschung and Lando Norris, but Sergio Sette Camara carved his way through all three of them over the course of a single lap.

Sette Camara enjoyed superior pace to quickly pull away from Latifi, who came under pressure from Norris once the McLaren junior passed Boschung.

Norris passed Latifi on Lap 7 at Turn 1, but the Canadian came back a corner later.

Norris was then under pressure by Russell on the main straight next time around. Both drivers caught up with Latifi by Turn 1, Russell trying to pass on the inside and Norris on the outside.

However, Norris overshot the corner and had to run into the escape road, rejoining seventh.

Latifi held off Russell, but the ART driver found his way past next time around.

Sette Camara's lead was over four seconds at the time, but Russell rapidly closed the gap, helped by the Brazilian giving up over a second when he ran wide at Turn 1.

Russell closed to within a second by Lap 15 of 21 and made a move three laps later at the first corner.

Although Sette Camara fought back at Turn 2 and narrowly kept first place despite running wide in the next two corners, Russell slipstreamed past the Brazilian when they were on the main straight again.

Russell then instantly pulled away, leading by 1.4s in one lap, and cruising to the finish to win by 2.6s.

Sette Camara settled for second, his third podium finish in three races, while Nyck de Vries overtook Latifi on the penultimate lap to grab the final podium position from 14th on the grid.

Latifi was fourth with Norris passing MP duo Merhi and Boschung to recover to fifth after his earlier mistake.

Trident duo Arjun Maini and Santino Ferrucci also passed Merhi and Boschung, who had to settle for eighth and ninth respectively. Russian Time's Tadasuke Makino completed the top 10.

Makino's teammate Artem Markelov retired with an engine failure early on with Roy Nissany running off and Sean Gelael hitting the wall at Turn 1.

Antonio Fuoco's Charouz stopped on the formation lap and Gunther also failed to finish the race.

Race results:

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Sette Camara stripped of Baku F2 podium finish

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About this article

Series FIA F2
Event Baku
Sub-event Sunday race
Location Baku City Circuit
Drivers George Russell
Teams ART Grand Prix
Author David Gruz
Article type Race report