Weekend round-up (April 27-29): Force India's podium, Maini's F3 win
Force India’s scored its first Formula 1 podium in nearly two years, while Kush Maini notched up his maiden British F3 victory. Here’s a round-up of all the action from the past weekend.
Formula 1 / Force India (Azerbaijan Grand Prix)
Photo by: Sutton Images
Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in a thrilling Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a late race safety car - deployed after the two Red Bulls infamously crashed into each other - compromised polesitter Sebastian Vettel’s strategy.
Bottas had taken the lead after SC ended but soon retired with a puncture, gifting Mercedes teammate Hamilton an unlikely win.
Kimi Raikkonen finished second while Force India’s Sergio Perez passed Vettel, who had incurred a flat spot after locking up at turn 1, to finish on the podium.
Perez had dropped to the back of the pack after suffering damage in a lap 1 incident with Sergey Sirotkin, but managed to recover to secure his and Force India’s first podium since the same race two years ago.
Kush Maini (British F3, Rockingham)
Photo by: BRDC British F3
Kush Maini scored his maiden British F3 win in the second round of the championship at Rockingham.
The younger of the Maini brothers passed Jusuf Owega and Jamie Chadwick with a quick getaway from fifth on the grid and then reeled in Sasakorn Chaimongkol and Chia Wing Hoong to score an emphatic win in Race 2.
He also started Race 3 from pole, but a poor start dropped him to third position.
After two rounds, Maini stands fourth in the drivers championship, 43 points off standings leader Linus Lundqvist.
Arjun Maini (Formula 2, Azerbaijan)
Photo by: FIA Formula 2
Arjun Maini qualified seventh for Saturday’s Feature event and made a quick getaway to run fourth in the initial stages of the race.
However, a throttle issue on Lap 13 put paid to his efforts and he was eventually forced to retire after bringing his Trident car into the pits.
The DNF also left him on the ninth row of the grid for the Sprint race on Sunday, but another blistering start allowed him to catapult to 12th on the opening lap.
He continued to move up the order with yet more clinical moves and eventually finished sixth on the road to score his first points of the 2018 F2 season.
The Trident driver was later promoted to fifth after Sergio Sette Camara was disqualified for running out of fuel.
Formula E / Mahindra (Paris ePrix)
Photo by: Malcolm Griffiths / Motorsport Images
Mahindra was surprisingly off the pace in Formula E’s Paris round, with Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld qualifying no higher than 11th and 12th respectively.
Rosenqvist managed to make up ground in the race to finish eighth, while Heidfeld also gained one place to end 11th.
The Indian manufacturer, which led the championship in the early part of the season with two wins, has now slipped to fourth in the standings, having lost a place to Audi.
Up front, championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne comfortably won from pole, with season 3 title winner Lucas di Grassi finishing second.
Sam Bird crossed the chequered flag on three wheels in third position after a bizarre incident with Andre Lotterer.
WRC (Rally Argentina)
Photo by: Toyota Racing
Ott Tanak scored his first WRC win since switching from M-Sport to Toyota over the winter.
Tanak took the rally lead on Friday and extended his advantage further the next day, before taking it easy on Sunday. He eventually finished 37.7s clear of Thierry Neuville, whose Hyundai teammate Dani Sordo completed the podium spots.
Championship leader Sebastien Ogier, who has won three of the five rallies held so far, struggled because of being first on the road in a gravel rally.
He wound up fourth ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen, who dropped down the order with a puncture on Friday.
Krishnaraaj Mahadik (British F3, Rockingham)
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Krishnaraaj Mahadik moved up to sixth in the British F3 drivers’ standings with a pair of fourth place finishes in the Rockingham round.
His ‘worst’ result was sixth, showing how remarkably consistent he was all through the weekend.
Indian National Rally Championship (Chennai)
Photo by: Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Adventure’s Gaurav Gill won the opening round of 2018 INRC season, leading teammate Amittrajit Ghosh and third-place finisher Karna Kudur.
The five-time INRC champion won nine out of the 10 stages, only losing out in SSS1 to rally returnee Vicky Chandhok.
Chandhok was classified eighth overall and third in class in his first professional outing since 2000. The 61-year-old was driving a Volkswagen Polo R2.
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