Oliver Bearman scored a stunning win from ninth on the grid in the Formula 2 Azerbaijan after the two race leaders crashed out following a late Safety Car restart.
They were among 10 drivers who retired from an incident-packed race at Baku City Circuit, six of which were wiped out at the final restart.
Ferrari junior Berman overtook team mate Frederik Vesti at turn four moments before the Safety Car was deployed for the final time. Zak Crawford joined the Prema pair on the podium.
Richard Verschoor started the race from pole position on the partially-reversed grid, with Zane Maloney behind. However both front-row starters failed to reach the second lap.
As the lights went green, Victor Martins drifted to the left from third and hit the side of Maloney. Nonetheless, the Red Bull junior briefly took first down the inside of turn one as Verschoor let the rear of his car slide into the wall at the exit. Verschoor then tagged Maloney’s rear-right tyre, giving the Carlin driver a puncture. Both cars retired at the end of lap one.
The collision between the two initially put Martins into the lead, but he soon lost position on lap one after Hauger overtook him into turn seven. With Verschoor and Maloney both out, Hauger was leading by seven-tenths of a second at the end of lap one, ahead of Martins and Jehan Daruvala.
The first Safety Car period was called on lap three. Ralph Boschung hit the wall on the inside of turn nine, which forced him to retire from sixth. The race restarted three laps later, and Hauger retained the lead while Frederik Vesti started his attack on Daruvala for third.
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After waiting patiently behind, he finally made his move on lap 10 and jumped into the podium positions. The same lap, Daruvala lost fourth to the other Prema of Bearman down the start-finish straight.
Ayumu Iwasa, who arrived in Azerbaijan leading the points standings, became the race’s third retirement on lap 11 with a mechanical fault. Roy Nissany then understeered into the wall at turn 15 on lap 14, causing a second Safety Car period.
The lap 18 restart caused mayhem throughout the grid. Hauger and Martins led the field down to turn one but both braked too late and hit the wall at the exit separately. Martins went in first, following moments later by Hauger a few metres down the road.
Daruvala was unable to avoid slamming into the back of Martins, while Arthur Leclerc and Theo Pourchaire also struggled for grip and went…
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