Baku F2: Shwartzman leads every lap to take first win of 2021

Prema Racing’s Robert Shwartzman took a convincing victory in the first FIA Formula 2 race of the weekend in Baku, leading every lap to take his first win of the season.

Baku F2: Shwartzman leads every lap to take first win of 2021

The highest placed returning driver this season finished over five seconds clear and took the bonus points for the fastest lap at the Baku City Circuit, in a race which saw four retirements by the second lap.

Second-placed Dan Ticktum, driving for Carlin, started sixth but charged through the field to take his third podium of the year.

UNI-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou finished in third, giving him his fourth podium of the year, with Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala in fourth and ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire making up places on the last lap to finish fifth.

At the start, the yellow flag was out by the second turn as Jack Aitken’s HWA was squeezed into the wall at Turn 1, spinning and ending his race, while the other HWA of Alessio Deledda was out at Turn 2 after running wide into the escape road.

UNI-Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich was handed a ten-second penalty for causing a collision after nudging Prema Racing’s Oscar Piastri into Hitech Grand Prix’s Liam Lawson, who ended up in the wall at Turn 2.

The incident, which brought out the safety car, ended Lawson’s race immediately and caused Piastri front wing damage which forced him to retire a lap later.

The safety car came in on lap 4, leaving Shwartzman in control of the field, and allowing DAMS’ Marcus Armstrong to take fourth from Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung, while Hitech’s Juri Vips snatched P7 from ART’s Theo Pourchaire.

By lap 10, Zhou had passed Daruvala and was up into second, putting pressure onto Schwartzman, before being passed by Ticktum, who had charged through the field from sixth.

Shwartzman had built up a four-second lead by lap 14, before the field settled into a rhythm for the last few laps.

Armstrong had been sitting in fifth, but was passed by Boschung and Pourchaire in the last two laps, leaving him to finish seventh.

The new format means Trident’s Bent Viscaal will start on pole, with Charouz Racing System’s David Beckmann in second, Vips in third and Armstrong in fourth.

Race results:

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