Struck with the same fever that’s become all too typical of Baku, the carnage we all bay for was present in the F2 feature race. Jack Aitken was the one to prevail amidst a tornado of carnage. Nyck De Vries and Jordan King joined him on the podium, a product of their experienced heads.
Chaos was an ever-present, even from the start. Mick Schumacher steamed into Turn 1 with an unfruitful late-braking move, and Giuliano Alesi hit his Trident teammate Ralph Boschung, bringing a permanent end to Alesi’s race and badly compromising Boschung.
A safety car was brought out, which allowed De Vries to cement a lead he had taken from experienced driver Nobuharu Matsushita and gave him hope he would be the one to prevail among the carnage.
De Vries was in fine form after the restart, building up a six-second lead on the pack, but Matsushita’s car gave up on him and left the Japanese driver with scant reward for his fine qualifying performance.
Not long after, the pitstops started to come to the fore, with Tatiana Calderon the only one to stay out and attempt the alternate strategy – the same move in Bahrain a month prior worked to her advantage.
De Vries suffered a slow stop, and although it could have been much worse, the fact it allowed Aitken to get a run on him and pass into Turn 2 was a bitter blow. He also fell behind Nicolas Latifi, but that didn’t last long – he was soon back past the title contender.
The second restart, after Schumacher dropped his Prema out of Turn 16 and into retirement, was where the real carnage happened. Sergio Sette Camara was sent into a spin by Luca Ghiotto as the cars were weaving, while Louis Deletraz bashed into the wall as a result of avoiding contact, with Aitken bunching up the field until the last possible metre of track.
This kept the safety car out for another two laps, and when it did finally pull in Anthoine Hubert took to the Turn 1 escape road and lost his shot at big points, while Mahaveer Raghunathan was unable to hold on to tenth due to the Frenchman reeling him in, to the tune of 5 seconds a lap.
Other retirements were Calderon and Callum Ilott, and notable points finishers were Sean Gelael, who recovered well after his qualifying exclusion, Juan Manuel Correa, and Latifi, coming in sixth, seventh and fourth respectively after penalties.