George Russell comes from 12th to win the F2 Sprint Race in Azerbaijan
Support series serves up another thrilling race in Baku
By William Esler
Last Updated: 29/04/18 4:15pm
George Russell charged from 12th on the grid to win the F2 Sprint Race at the Azerbaijan GP in another thrilling race.
The Mercedes reserve driver was left heartbroken on Saturday when he was forced off the track by Nyck De Vries while leading, leaving Russell out of the points and with a lowly grid slot for Sunday.
But a lightning start saw Russell go from 12th to fifth in the opening corners, the 19-year-old demonstrating incredible reactions to dart between the cars that made slow starts.
Amongst those were the two MP Motorsport cars on the front row, with Roberto Merhi and Ralph Boschung both slow to get away and that allowed Nicholas Latifi to go from fourth to the lead at Turn One.
He wouldn't hold onto that position for long though, being passed by Sergio Sette Camara and the Canadian would eventually finish fourth.
Carlin's Lando Norris recovered to fifth at the flag after being forced off at Turn One while fighting Russell and Latifi for second place. Had the British driver turned in, there would have been an accident as they went three wide and he showed maturity to stay in the race and leave Baku still in the lead of the championship.
At the front, Russell and Camara went wheel to wheel in the closing stages, with the lead changing by the corner, but the British driver eventually made the move stick to take his first F2 victory.
Camara finished second, but stopped on track on his in lap due to a lack of fuel. That meant he was unable to provide the minimum required 0.8kg sample of fuel after the race and he was disqualified.
Prema's Nyck De Vries was thus promoted to second, with Latifi promoted to third.
It means Norris' championship lead increases from one point over Camara to 14 over Albon.
Elsewhere, it was a disastrous weekend for Artem Markelov. One of the title favourites in pre-season, he suffered a double DNF in Baku with engine problems on both occasions.