Lawson beats fellow Red Bull junior Vips to Baku F2 pole

Formula 2

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Liam Lawson has taken Formula 2 pole after a clean, closely fought session where he battled for fastest time with team mate Juri Vips.

Having taken pole, Lawson will start first in the feature race on Sunday. He will line up tenth for the first sprint race tomorrow which uses a partially reversed grid.

Robert Shwartzman will take pole position for race one, having qualified 10th during today’s session. He pipped Felipe Drugovich to the key position in the last moments of the session, by just two hundredths of a second.

Despite Dan Ticktum’s prediction on the radio that there would be “loads of red flags” the session was largely drama-free. A yellow flag in sector one, for a slight excursion into the run-offs by Christian Lundgaard, was the only significant disruption – it lasted less than a minute but was enough to disrupt some drivers’ final attempts to set a time.

Juri Vips, who had been fastest in the morning practice session, was Lawson’s main challenger for pole. The Hitech team mates and Red Bull Junior Team members had a close tussle in the times but despite a late run with just two minutes of the session to go, Vips was unable to best either his own fastest time or Lawson’s.

Points leader Guanyu Zhou took eighth, five places behind his closest rival Oscar Piastri. Monaco feature race winner Theo Pourchaire will share the second row of the grid for Sunday’s race with Piastri.

Roy Nissany did not participate in qualifying after a major crash during practice at turn 14, heavily damaging his car. He will start the first race from the pit lane.

Marino Sato also crashed his car in practice, and though he was able to set at time, a three-place grid penalty will drop him to the back of the grid.

The stewards penalised him for driving his damaged car back to the pits. After severely damaging the front right of his car, he was judged to have passed five extraction points on the way back to the pits, so will face a three-place grid drop for race one. The race director’s notes for both F1 and F2 state Baku is “not a track where a driver should take any risks to get back to the pits if he has a serious mechanical problem or damage to his car.”

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Qualifying result

1Liam Lawson
2Juri Vips
3Oscar Piastri
4Theo Pourchaire
5Dan Ticktum
6Marcus Armstrong
7Ralph Boschung
8Guanyu Zhou
9Jehan Daruvala
10Robert Shwartzman
11Felipe Drugovich
12Christian Lundgaard
13David Beckmann
14Jack Aitken
15Bent Viscaal
16Richard Verschoor
17Matteo Nannini
18Lirim Zendeli
19Marino Sato
20Guilherme Samaia
21Alessio Deledda
22Roy Nissany

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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2 comments on “Lawson beats fellow Red Bull junior Vips to Baku F2 pole”

  1. Liam Lawson is looking like a great talent! Shame he lost his race win in Monaco but that’s how it goes. F2 has been great this season, can’t wait for this weekends races!

  2. This may work out well for Guanyu Zhou. Being near the front of the grid for the first sprint race should enable a good result there, while probably doing the alternate strategy in the feature race usually pays off for him and he is in a good spot for that – but perhaps the entire front of the grid might do it on this track as the supersofts degrade so quickly.

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