Formula 2 celebrated its 100th race over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend and, almost predictably, the F2 drivers delivered three races worthy of the occasion.
Two new race winners for 2021 emerged in the form of Robert Shwartzman and Jüri Vips. Both drivers now catapult themselves into the championship race, while Guanyu Zhou faltered.
Here’s how the GP Grandstand team reflect on Formula 2’s trip to Baku in 2021.
Thiemo Albers-Daly – “A beast of a track”
Jim Kimberley – “A punishing weekend for several drivers”
Jacob Phillips – “Few clues where the championship will end up”
Not many had considered Juri Vips a contender arriving into Baku, but he leaves in a very healthy position. Having been kept honest by teammate Liam Lawson on Friday, the weekend held contrasting emotions for each side of the Hitech garage.
Vips managed a win in both the feature and final sprint race whilst the Kiwi failed to make his mark. With Helmet Marko in attendance, the Estonian has launched himself into F1 contention.
From a Prema persuasion, Robert Shwartzman had his best weekend of the season to reignite his championship charge. A win in Race 1 was followed up by a podium to leapfrog the Russian up the third. His teammate, Oscar Piastri, also kept his championship hopes alive with a strong podium in race two.
Despite its heavy social media coverage, many may have missed that F2 celebrated its 100th race in Baku. The race was typically chaotic, packed full of crashes and overtakes.
With it still tight at the top, current leader Zhou failed to make any inroads as very few clues were given to where the championship will end up come December. Baku didn’t disappoint in what I thought was an enjoyable weekend of action.