Trident enjoyed a weekend back at the top of FIA Formula 2 as they got close to a podium in Azerbaijan.
In addition to score his first points of the season, Bent Viscaal almost got a podium in the Sprint Race 2. He found himself in P4 after finishing 10th in the first race.
His team mate Marino Sato scored an 18th and 13th in the first two races.
Viscaal showed promising pace straight off the bat in free practice. As Sato had an off that prevented him from gaining any experience or confidence.
In the qualifying session, the Dutch driver set the 13th fastest lap time with a mistake in the final sector, which affected his performance.
Meanwhile, the Japanese driver finished the qualifying session in 20th, after missing most of the free practice sessions. As a rookie around the streets of Baku, he experienced the struggles of trying to get used to the track.
In Sprint Race 1, Viscaal claimed three positions, making some valuable overtakes and taking 10th place. He started Sprint Race 2 as a pole-sitter.
Viscaal lost the lead early on but showed pace that allowed him to fight for the podium.
The Dutch driver brought home his first points of the season with fourth. Trident came close to their first podium of the year.
Sato couldn’t make it into the points despite trying a different strategy. However, he managed to gain valuable experience ahead of the next three races.
In the Feature Race, both Trident drivers performed well even though they didn’t enter the Top 10.
Viscaal lost points finish when he was rear-ended by another car. Sato had a delay in his pit stop and ended up going backwards.
The Dutchman made a good start from 15th. The driver was in the points when fellow countryman Richard Verschoor hit him at the end of the front straight.
Viscaal was pushed into the escape road and lost valuable time, which compromised his result. Then he scored a series of fast laps, showing his remarkable level of performance.
Sato, who started 19th, put in a positive comeback race, ending not far away from the points.
Giacomo Ricci, Trident Team Manager, said: “Our cars turned out to be very competitive, but we didn’t get the results we deserved.
“Unfortunately, Viscaal, who had an excellent race pace and was comfortably into the Top 10, was hit by his fellow countryman Verschoor, who compromised our drivers.
“Regarding Sato, the Japanese driver also expressed himself at a convincing pace, but a tyre change issue eventually delayed him.”
Formula 2 will now take a few weeks off, enabling the drivers to work on the data collected in Azerbaijan.
In support of the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, F2 will be back in July, where Trident hopes to confirm the good signs that emerged from Baku.
Image credit: Formula Motorsport Limited