Hitech GP had a mixed weekend in Sochi with a podium in the first race but two non-finishes over FIA Formula 2’s wet Russian weekend.
The Feature Race was a different story for Vips, however, as the Estonian suffered a technical failure and was forced to retire his car from the race early on.
Vips said: “Some positives to take from the weekend. I think we improved the car a lot from Monza.
“I think we took a step back for qualifying, but for free practice and the races, the pace was amazing. The car was really good.
“On the other hand, the reliability has just become… pretty much the talking point of the season. We’ve lost a lot this year because of it, and you can’t fight for a championship like this.”
Meanwhile, teammate Liam Lawson suffered a DNF in the first Sprint Race after a Virtual Safety Car restart incident saw him pick up damage.
The New Zealander had a better second race but was out of position in eighth. As such, he couldn’t show everything he was capable of and finished the race in seventh, but claimed the fastest lap as some consolation.
Lawson said: “Not the best weekend. Yesterday in Race 1 it was cold brakes on the VSC restart, a stupid mistake, I braked too late, couldn’t slow down and got damage.
“Today, we went for an alternate strategy that might have worked. We started on primes. It was quite cold here, and for the first 5 laps, I could just not switch the tyre on.
“The guys around me were on options, and I fell backwards. I think that is where I lost all the time.
“I had a good middle stint once the guys in front of me boxed. Made up some time on the leaders, then boxed. Went out on options, had good pace, but it was just too far back, so couldn’t do more.”
With only two rounds left of the season, Vips currently sits sixth in the drivers’ standings with 102 points, while Lawson is in eighth with 80 points.
Both drivers will be hoping for a better final two rounds so they can finish the season off strong when Formula 2 returns in 10 weeks.
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd