The Ferrari Driver Academy students had something of an up and down weekend in Baku at the second round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship. As in the past, the street circuit in the Azerbaijan capital delivered some unpredictable racing with plenty of drama and a high number of retirements.
Qualifying. Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Giuliano Alesi were racing on the 6.003 km Baku track for the very first time and the outcome of qualifying pointed to the possibility of points for all of them, as they finished in 6th, 11th and 14th places respectively. Schumacher went well in the final moments of the session to secure a start from the third row of the grid, while Ilott missed out on the top ten by 62 thousandths of a second.
Race-1. The frantic moments following the start of Race-1 compromised the outcome for several drivers, including the FDA trio. Giuliano had to retire after a collision at the first corner, where Mick actually went down the escape road, losing two places. The German fought back and was chasing down the leaders, but on lap 8 he spun and that was his race over. Callum’s race was also spoilt early on when he was involved in a collision which meant he had to retire shortly afterwards.
Race-2. Schumacher redeemed himself in Sunday’s race, after starting from the tenth row in 19th place. He fought his way through the field to finish fifth, just 3 seconds down on the winner Nicholas Latifi. Mick managed the situation well during the long periods behind the Safety Car, ready to go at the restart, when he made up several places. This was Mick’s third points finish from four starts. He is currently ninth in the championship.
Callum. Ilott also did better in the second race, starting from 16th on the grid and taking the chequered flag in ninth place. Alesi was unlucky, hitting the barrier at Turn 2 on lap 9, with the car too badly damaged to continue.
On the road to Barcelona. With the second round over, Formula 2 will be back in action for its first European races of the season in two weeks time at the Barcelona circuit.