Race Report: Virtual Baku Grand Prix

Race Report: Virtual Baku Grand Prix

The #RacefromHome FIA Formula 2 GP series made the virtual trip to Azerbaijan this weekend with round three at the Baku City Circuit, under the glorious virtual sunshine.

This has been the fourth Virtual Racing round that is completely dedicated to the junior formulas.



Feature Race


Oscar Piastri took a maiden win on his F2 debut in Baku after putting in a dominating performance for Prema Racing.

At lights out Piastri made a perfect getaway from Lirim Zendeli, as the front runners made their way through turn one cleanly.

Further back Paul Aron spun around into turn one dropping him to the back of the pack.

Callum IIott was next to make a mistake as the Brit ploughed into the barrier while the first penalties were dished out to Louis Delétraz and Dan Ticktum.

Enzo Fittipaldi and Jack Aitken locked horns on lap 2 as the Brazilian and the Brit duelled onto the front stage with neither driver giving an inch. Fittipaldi eventually got the better of Aitken to take the fourth spot.

Guanyu Zhou took out Roberto Merhi in the castle section on lap two, causing the track to be briefly blocked, but luckily for both the Spanish and Chinese drivers, they both resumed racing.

Fittipaldi then dispatched debutant Matteo Nannini for third place on lap five but he quickly lost the position to Aitken who made a desperate lunge into turn four to snatch third.

Lap six saw Piastri concede his lead to Aitken while making his pitstop which saw him rejoin in sixth.

Things got worse for Fittipaldi who received his second penalty of the race for speeding in the pitlane.

Aitken’s lead lasted just under a lap as he pitted for tyres where he rejoined behind the penalised Fittipaldi in sixth.

Arthur Leclerc was slowly making progress through the pack from sixteenth on the grid and was up to fifth after passing Aitken into turn one, the Campos driver fought back but too much speed saw him on a diversion down the escape road, seeing him fall to ninth.

Zhou’s two-lap lead ended on lap nine as he made his stop, dropping him down to ninth whilst Piastri regained the lead once again.

On fresh rubber Zhou quickly dispatched Theo Pourchaire for eighth and provisional reverse grid pole, with the Frenchmen giving Zhou a love tap into the wall on turn two.

Zhou lost pole after passing Nannini for seventh – the Italian quickly lost ground to Pourchaire and Roberto Merhi.

Merhi snatched eighth position from Pourchaire on the main straight.

Zhou’s charge continued as he moved up to sixth after dispatching Aitken, putting him provisionally third on the sprint race grid. However, his charge would be halted with fifth place.

No one could catch Piastri who drove faultlessly to win his maiden race in F2 by just over ten seconds from Zendeli and the hard-charging Leclerc, who sliced through the field from sixteenth to finish third. Aitken took reverse grid pole after Victor Martins and Fittipaldi received penalties.



Sprint Race


Louis Delétraz won the final F2 virtual race in the sprint event on the Baku City Circuit in a chaotic race that went down to the wire!

The five lap race saw some superb battling on the virtual Azerbaijan streets, and the finish could not have been closer, with Delétraz out-dragging Roberto Merhi on the run to the chequered flag.

Pre-race favourite Arthur Leclerc spun at the first corner after contact with Piastri whilst polesitter Jack Aitken lost control of the car on his own at turn two and dropped down the field.

Campos teammate Merhi inherited the lead from Aitken and quickly built a gap over the chasing pack.

Enaam Ahmed in the Carlin was close behind but winner of the virtual Monaco GP, Delétraz, passed the Brit for second place on lap two.

As the race entered its penultimate lap there was a huge scare for Ahmed and Guanyu Zhou in the fight for third as the pair touched into turn one and clouted the wall – no damage was done.

Using DRS, Delétraz closed in on Mehri as they reached the final lap, but wasn’t close enough as he lunged into turn one. The Swiss driver was almost pushing Mehri along at one point, through sectors one and two.

On the exit of the final corner Delétraz had one final opportunity to overtake Mehri and the two drivers touched on the run to the line with Mehri spinning out, allowing Delétraz to take the race win.

Merhi recovered to take second ahead of Zhou and Ahmed, who battled on the final lap, with the Chinese driver coming out on top.

Juan Manuel Correa and Victor Martins finished fifth and sixth respectively, whilst Leclerc managed to recover from his first lap incident to secure seventh.

16-year old Théo Pourchaire claimed the final points paying position.

Feature race winner Oscar Piastri just missed out in ninth, with Aitken ending the race in tenth.


The event at Baku was the final virtual Formula 2 event before real racing gets back underway in Austria on the first weekend in July.

We hope you’ve enjoyed all the action as much as we have!


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Written by: 
Race 1: Ed Spencer
Race 2: Adam Newton
Edited by: L.A. Wilshaw @1_LA


*Image Credit: Formula 1 Official Twitch / You Tube