Vips takes Formula 2 Baku pole as Iwasa crashes

Formula 2

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Jüri Vips claimed pole position in Formula 2’s Baku qualifying session, where drivers benefited greatly from the slipstream effect along the main straight.

Liam Lawson will start alongside Vips – who won two races in Baku last year – on the front row for Sunday’s feature race, with Dennis Hauger and Marcus Armstrong behind on the second row.

At the start of the qualifying session, conditions were slightly cooler than during Formula 1’s first practice, with air temperatures at 25C and track temperature at 44C.

Despite the multiple red flag stoppages in the morning’s practice session, the opening 15 minutes of qualifying were largely incident-free. Ralph Boschung overshot into one of the many runoff areas, but otherwise drivers managed to largely avoid the walls around Baku. Boschung was later placed under investigation for an impeding incident involving Vips at turn 16, after Boschung had rejoined the track.

Ayumu Iwasa was fastest at the halfway point with a 1’54.493. However, Iwasa crashed into the wall with six minutes to go – what had looked like a dominant run turning into disaster. Once out of the car, Iwasa was collected by the medical car, due to the G-forces of the incident, although he was able to get out of the car unaided.

The session restarted with 5’50 to go, with drivers hurrying out on track to attempt to get in the perfect spot where they were close enough to cars ahead to receive a tow, but not so close as to be stuck in traffic.

With one minute remaining, the times started seriously falling. Jake Hughes, Richard Verschoor, Marcus Armstrong, Liam Lawson, Felipe Drugovich and Dennis Hauger were all able to beat Iwasa’s time in quick succession, using the advantage of a tow as drivers circulated together.

Vips, however, was able to set a 1’53.762 to beat Hauger. Liam Lawson got close to Vips’ time, setting a 1’53.925 despite clonking the wall heavily halfway through his run. However, Vips’ time was otherwise unchallenged in the last laps set and he was able to take pole for Sunday’s feature race.

Hughes qualified tenth, putting him on pole position for the sprint race on Saturday. Iwasa’s initially good time was enough to remain 13th, outside of the partially-reversed-grid format.

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Formula 2 Azerbaijan qualifying results

PositionCarDriver
18Juri Vips
25Liam Lawson
31Dennis Hauger
47Marcus Armstrong
511Felipe Drugovich
620Richard Verschoor
76Logan Sargeant
82Jehan Daruvala
99Frederik Vesti
1024Jake Hughes
113Jack Doohan
1210Theo Pourchaire
1317Ayumu Iwasa
1416Roy Nissany
154Marino Sato
1622Enzo Fittipaldi
1721Calan Williams
1815Ralph Boschung
1925Amaury Cordeel
2012Clement Novalak
2123Cem Bolukbasi
2214Olli Caldwell

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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2 comments on “Vips takes Formula 2 Baku pole as Iwasa crashes”

  1. So what’s it gonna be this weekend, Jueri? A spin or a slow pitstop?

  2. I was an interesting session. You get a huge advantage down the final straight with a tow however you lose more time than the tow gains you by being in traffic through the middle sector (in F2 at least). Vips didn’t have a tow and was something like 3 tenths slower in the final sector but he ended up on pole anyway.

    It’s going to be a really interesting quali. There is absolutely no doubt that we’ll have a red flag at some point so I think they need to get rid of the idea of banker laps… They need to get out there early and put in a good lap straight away

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