F2: Baku Preview

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FIA Formula 2 returns to the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan for the third round of the season in 2021. Championship leader Guanyu Zhou takes a 16 point lead into this weekend, having won in spectacular fashion round the streets of Monaco.

There is a raft of drivers in contention, thus making this one of the most anticipated rounds of 2021. Here’s our list of things to look out for on the streets of Baku.

Liam Lawson’s revenge

Photo Credit: Red Bull Media Centre

Liam Lawson comes into Baku having been cruelly denied victory in Monaco for an illegal throttle map. His tyre management in addition to his blistering pace should see the Kiwi be a contender in Azerbaijan. The Red Bull junior has never raced round these streets before, but the maturity he’s shown this season should stand him in good stead.

Can Prema bounce back?

Image: Prema Racing Twitter

It’s not very often in F2 that Prema fails to make an impression like last time out, so Baku presents the Italian outfit with a perfect opportunity to bounce back. The team have had mixed fortunes on the Caspian Sea but did pick up the spoils in F2’s first visit in 2017 with Charles Leclerc.

Oscar Piastri has shone so far, but Robert Shwartzman is looking to get his title charge back on track with a victory in Baku. The team are confident about their chances as they feel the layout best suits the capabilities of their car. Team principal, Rene Rosin, had this to say:

“Running at Baku presents us with some unique situations. The mix of different types of corners, and the typical challenges of street course racing make it incredibly tricky. However, we had decent results there in the past and we have two really adaptable drivers. They showed so much potential in the first two rounds of the season that we feel they have what we need to be contenders. We are working to maximize everything so we can stay at the front and fight.”

With Uni-Virtuosi stealing a march in the championship, don’t be surprised to see either of the Prema boys on the podium throughout the course of the weekend.

Petecof out, Nannini in

Image: Gianluca Petecof Twitter

F2’s merry go round of talent is in full swing as Gianluca Petecof’s short stint at Campos comes to an end due to an all too predictable budgetary constraint.

He is replaced by Matteo Nannini who was also shown the F2 exit door by HWA not quite two weeks ago to focus on Formula 3. The Italian had been running a dual campaign in order to gain more experience before making way for F2 stalwart Jack Aitken to fill the vacancy at the Spanish outfit.

Rumours suggest that the 17-year old will once again look to commit to a two-pronged approach, made possible by the format changes and further sponsorship deals.

It’s a shame for Petecof, who didn’t get the opportunity to show his full worth with the Brazilian scoring a season-high of 13th. No one is sure of Petecof’s future but he is another victim of the ruthless financial playground that is F2.

Be sure to keep across our social media feeds and website to keep right up to date on what should be an enthralling weekend of support series action.

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