Baku F2: Vips leads practice from Boschung

Hitech Grand Prix’s Juri Vips led FIA Formula 2’s free practice in Baku by seven tenths of a second during a session featuring multiple yellow flags.

Baku F2: Vips leads practice from Boschung
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The Red Bull junior, who is 10th in the standings, set a 1m55.210s to top the timesheets at Baku City Circuit, leading from Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung and ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire.

Highest placed returning driver Robert Schwartzman, driving for Prema Racing, came fourth, 1.1s behind the leader with a 1m56.375s, with his teammate Oscar Piastri in fifth.

Cars headed out on a dusty and dirty track early on Friday morning for the third round of the championship, racing on the medium compound for the first time this season.

The yellow flags were out 10 minutes into the session after Trident’s Marino Sato crashed at the exit of Turn 15, hitting the barrier and picking up heavy damage, leaving him limping back to the pits with three wheels. The incident will be investigated after the end of the session.

Minutes later, a virtual safety car was introduced after MP Motorsport’s Lirim Zendeli ran wide at Turn 16 and became stuck in the runoff area, eventually having to abandon his attempts to restart the car.

At the halfway mark, DAMS driver and Ferrari Driver Academy Marcus Armstrong led the timesheets with a 2m00.851s, seven-tenths clear of Prema Racing’s Oscar Piastri, with Pourchaire in third.

Armstrong was quickly beaten by HWA Racelab’s Jack Aitken, who was the first driver to set a sub two-minute time with a 1m57.840s, before the times began to tumble, with the following five cars all breaking that barrier.

Aitken also had a close call with the barrier, clipping the wall at Turn 15 but remarkably escaping with no damage.

The session was ended with just over a minute to go after DAMS’ Roy Nissany spun and ended up in the wall.

Championship leader Guanyu Zhou, driving for UNI-Virtuosi, only managed 12th place, with a 1m57.019s.

Friday afternoon’s qualifying session will set the grid for Sunday’s feature race, while the starting grid of the first Saturday Sprint Race will be set by reversing the top 10 finishers in qualifying.

The second Sprint Race grid will be determined by reversing the top 10 finishers of the first Sprint Race.

Baku F2 - Practice results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 8 Estonia Jüri Vips United Kingdom HitechGP 1'55.210  
2 21 Switzerland Ralph Boschung Spain Campos Racing 1'55.976 0.766
3 10 France Theo Pourchaire France ART Grand Prix 1'56.323 1.113
4 1 Russian Federation Robert Shwartzman Italy Prema Powerteam 1'56.375 1.165
5 2 Australia Oscar Piastri Italy Prema Powerteam 1'56.394 1.184
6 17 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong France DAMS 1'56.515 1.305
7 24 Netherlands Bent Viscaal Italy Trident 1'56.594 1.384
8 14 Germany David Beckmann Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'56.778 1.568
9 5 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom Carlin 1'56.795 1.585
10 9 Denmark Christian Lundgaard France ART Grand Prix 1'56.821 1.611
11 7 New Zealand Liam Lawson United Kingdom HitechGP 1'56.860 1.650
12 3 China Guanyu Zhou United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 1'57.019 1.809
13 22 United Kingdom Jack Aitken HWA Racelab 1'57.260 2.050
14 11 Netherlands Richard Verschoor Netherlands MP Motorsport 1'57.504 2.294
15 4 Brazil Felipe Drugovich United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi 1'57.561 2.351
16 6 India Jehan Daruvala United Kingdom Carlin 1'57.691 2.481
17 16 Israel Roy Nissany France DAMS 1'58.221 3.011
18 15 Brazil Guilherme Samaia Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 1'59.553 4.343
19 20 Italy Matteo Nannini Spain Campos Racing 1'59.747 4.537
20 23 Italy Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 2'01.486 6.276
21 12 Germany Lirim Zendeli Netherlands MP Motorsport 2'03.262 8.052
22 25 Japan Marino Sato Italy Trident 2'20.421 25.211
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