Renault junior Jack Aitken claims chaotic Baku victory
Renault-backed junior Jack Aitken took a chaotic victory in the Azerbaijan Formula 2 Feature race on Saturday morning for Campos Racing.
The British driver started eighth but was third almost immediately as a busy start saw several drivers running wide at Turn 1, taking to the expansive run-off.
Mick Schumacher was amongst those. As was Trident's Giuliano Alesi who hit his team-mate Ralph Boschung, forcing Alesi to retire and Boshung to pit for damage. The incident saw the first of two Safety Car appearances.
At the time Nyck de Vries led ahead of pole-sitter Nobuharu Matsushita. But that was short-lived P2 for the Japanese racer as his car slowed on Lap 4, forcing him to drop to the back of the pack.
Leader De Vries had a slow mandatory stop and that meant he emerged back in the lead by the narrowest of margins ahead of Aitken, but the Campos man quickly passed the Dutchman to take over the lead and was then followed by DAMS' Nicholas Latifi.
The Virtual Safety Car made its first 'appearance' following a spin for Schumacher, which saw the German retire.
As the track returned to green, De Vries retook second from Latifi and began to close up on leader Aitken in the closing laps, only for the Safety Car to make its second apparance for a stranded Guan Yu Zhou, who had struck the wall.
The SC was set to pit until Ghiotto collided with Sergio Sette Camara as they bunched up ready for the restart, forcing it to stay out and, when it finally came to restarting properly, just three laps remained and Aitken was able to control the race until the chequered flag to take his maiden F2 victory.
De Vries finished second ahead of MP's Jordan King, who made a late pass on Latifi to complete the podium.
The second Campos of Dorian Boccolacci was fifth ahead of a provisionally placed Ghiotto in sixth. Sean Gelael, who started from the back, finished seventh with Juan Manuel Correa eighth.
The final points paying positions went to Nikita Mazepin and Anthoine Hubert.
Both Tatiana Calderon and Callum Ilott suffered car failures during the second Safety Car and failed to classify.