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F2: Vips triumphs over his Red Bull junior rivals to seize pole in Baku qualifying

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Juri Vips stormed to his second Formula 2 pole position of the season ahead of fellow Red Bull juniors Liam Lawson and Dennis Hauger in Azerbaijan.

A blistering first run from fellow Red Bull stablemate Ayumu Iwasa sent him to the top of the timing sheets, well over sixth-tenths clear of his nearest rival. The Japanese driver however carried too much speed into Turn 4 and collided with the barriers to end his running.

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Capitalising on Iwasa’s mistake, a last-gasp charge from Vips rocketed the Estonian into first. His fellow Red Bull juniors were unable to overcome the Hitech Grand Prix driver’s time of 1m 53.762s, as Lawson narrowly pipped Hauger to P2 by 0.048s.

The closely-fought session saw 16 drivers finish within a second of Vips’ leading time, but was Marcus Armstrong who took fourth, ahead of championship leader Felipe Drugovich – who’s nearest rival Theo Pourchaire could only manage P12.

Richard Verschoor was sixth, beating out Williams-affiliated Logan Sargeant and Red Bull junior Jehan Daruvala.

Mercedes protege Frederik Vesti and Jake Hughes rounded out the top 10 and will start Saturday’s Sprint Race on the front row when lights go out at 1330 local time.

The F2 Sprint Race begins at 1330 local time on Saturday before FP3 for the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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