RACE DEBRIEF

    A hot favourite for the Formula 2 title ahead of the season, Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman has finally kickstarted his championship challenge in Round 3 at Baku, bouncing back from a difficult start to the season to secure a dominant first win of the year in Sprint Race 1.

    The PREMA driver crossed the line with a 5s advantage over Williams Academy driver Dan Ticktum in Sprint Race 1 in Azerbaijan, while Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou retained his place at the top of the standings with a fourth podium of the year.

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    Zero podiums and two retirements wasn’t the start to the year Shwartzman had envisaged ahead of his second season in the second tier, but he was always insistent that improvements were around the corner.

    F2 2021 Round 3: Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race 1 highlights

    Starting from reverse grid pole, Shwartzman began to deliver on that promise, with the Russian’s victory never once looking in doubt, despite a commanding charge through the field from street circuit expert Ticktum, fresh from a Sprint Race 2 victory in Monaco.

    Lining up in sixth, the two-time Macau Grand Prix winner picked off the first four in front of him with relative ease, but came unstuck against Shwartzman and was unable to bridge the gap to the leader.

    Dutchman Bent Viscaal will start from pole on the reversed grid in Sprint Race 2 at 1740 local time later today. The Feature Race takes place on Sunday at 1715 local time, the grid set by yesterday’s qualifying session.

    For more on F2, visit the official F2 website.