Baku Formula 2: Mercedes F1 junior George Russell gets first win

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell rebounded from heartbreak in the Baku Formula 2 feature race to take a remarkable victory from 12th on the grid in Sunday's sprint race

Baku Formula 2: Mercedes F1 junior George Russell gets first win

Russell jumped to seventh at the start, and was soon using Baku's long main straight and the additional DRS to work his way forward. He was fifth at the end of the first lap.

He then joined and conquered a three-way fight with Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi, and set about hunting down Sergio Sette Camara.

Carlin driver Sette Camara locked up at Turn 1 on lap 12 of the 21-lap race, and that, allied to purple sector after purple sector for Russell, meant the Briton was soon on his tail.

With a handful of laps remaining Russell attempted to take the lead at Turn 1 and failed.

But on the next lap, with three to go, he made the move stick and pulled away to a first F2 victory by 2.6 seconds over Camara, who has three podiums in four races for Carlin but couldn't live with reigning GP3 champion Russell in the closing stages.

Nyck de Vries took third with just a few laps to go from Latifi, taking Prema's first podium of the season after the Dutchman had lost second on Saturday with a lock up at Turn 1, which also forced then leader Russell off the road and cost him victory.

Latifi did hold on for fourth at the end of a tough weekend. He spun in qualifying and started on the back row after failing to get a representative lap in, which left him on the back foot.

Norris fought for fifth, after starting third. At the start he had to avoid the polesitting MP Motorsport-run car of Roberto Merhi, as he and team-mate Ralph Boschung stalled on the grid from first and second, with drivers continuing to struggle to get the new F2 2018 car off the line.

Then, in the battle with Russell and Latifi, Norris ran wide at Turn 1 dropping to seventh, which forced the Bahrain feature race winner into a recovery drive, but his top-five finish maintained his championship lead.

Haas F1 juniors Arjun Maini and Santino Ferrucci sealed sixth and seventh, with Maini impressing from a 17th-place start after engine trouble shortened his feature race.

Merhi and Boschung recovered from their poor starts to land eighth and ninth respectively, while Honda junior driver Tadasuke Makino rounded out the top 10 in the sole remaining Russian Time machine.

His team-mate, Bahrain sprint winner Artem Markelov, retired for the second day in a row with mechanical failure.

The previous day's feature race winner, Alexander Albon, stalled on the grid, as did the runner-up in that race Jack Aitken, Russell's ART Grand Prix team-mate. Aitken recovered to 12th and Albon 14th.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 George Russell ART Grand Prix 21 41m32.101s
2 Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 21 4.774s
3 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 21 5.016s
4 Lando Norris Carlin 21 5.842s
5 Arjun Maini Trident 21 13.606s
6 Santino Ferrucci Trident 21 19.108s
7 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 21 22.391s
8 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 21 24.379s
9 Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 21 25.130s
10 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 21 46.561s
11 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 21 1m20.531s
12 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 21 1m27.942s
13 Alexander Albon DAMS 21 1m33.104s
14 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 20 1 Lap
15 Maximilian Guenther BWT Arden 18 3 Laps
- Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 21 Disqualified
- Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 11 Retirement
- Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 2 Retirement
- Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1 Retirement
- Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 0 Not started

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Lando Norris 55
2 Alexander Albon 41
3 Sergio Sette Camara 40
4 Artem Markelov 30
5 Nyck de Vries 28
6 George Russell 27
7 Jack Aitken 20
8 Nicholas Latifi 20
9 Antonio Fuoco 17
10 Maximilian Guenther 16
11 Ralph Boschung 10
12 Sean Gelael 7
13 Arjun Maini 6
14 Roberto Merhi 6
15 Santino Ferrucci 4
16 Luca Ghiotto 4
17 Tadasuke Makino 2
18 Nirei Fukuzumi 1
19 Louis Deletraz 0
20 Roy Nissany 0


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Series FIA F2
Drivers George Russell
Author Jack Benyon
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