F2: Aitken and Latifi victorious action-packed Azerbaijan

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Nicholas Latifi - pictured celebrating his Azerbaijan sprint race victory - extended his championship lead to 19 points. Image sourced from @FIA_F2 via Twitter.

Campos’ Jack Aitken won a chaotic Feature Race ahead of Nyck de Vries and Jordan King.

Before the start, Tatiana Calderon stalled on the Formation Lap and had to start from the pit-lane.

When the race got underway, Nyck de Vries muscled past pole sitter Nobuharu Matsushita into Turn 1.

Behind them, Mick Schumacher lunged down the inside of Luca Ghiotto and the forced the Italian wide. Ghiotto dropped down the field as a result and elevated Jack Aitken up to third place.

The Safety Car was brought out after Ralph Boschung collided with Trident team-mate Giuliano Alesi and caused the latter to retire. The incident also saw Callum Ilott damage his front wing and made an early pit stop.

Behind the Safety Car, De Vries leads ahead of Matsushita, Aitken, Nicholas Latifi and Sergio Sette Camara. The Safety Car pulls into the pits and racing resumes on lap 3.

After a quick restart, De Vries pulled clear with Aitken defending third with Aitken from Nicolas Latifi.

On Lap 5, Matsushita slowed suddenly and was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop. Although the Carlin mechanics were able to resolve the issue, the Japanese driver would end the race in 13th.

As Aitken and Latifi continued to battle for position, De Vries extended his lead to six and a half seconds. On the end of Lap 6, De Vries, Aitken, Latifi and fifth-placed Schumacher all made their pit stops.

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Sergio Sette Camara temporarily inherited, while De Vries had a slow stop and on the following lap, lost the net lead to Aitken.

After the rest of the field pitted, De Vries was then past by Lafiti at Turn 1 for third place.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed after Schumacher failed to restart after a spin at Turn 16. Schumacher spins on lap 9 on the exit of turn 16.

On the second restart, race leader Calderon had yet to stop and immediately dropped down the order. This saw Aitken move to first place, with Latifi and De Vries behind him.

De Vries then took second from Latifi at Turn 1 on Lap 11, only for the Canadian to reclaim the position at the following corner. De Vries then managed to hold the position after re-passing Lafiti on Lap 12.

Aitken remain unchallenged and extended his advantage. when a late crash between Guan Yu Zhou and Juan Manuel Correa saw another Safety Car appearance.

On the restart, several drivers hit each other and scramble the field.

The race resumed to yellow flag conditions with four minutes left on the clock.

The race was subsequently capped to 26 Laps and saw Aitken claim victory ahead of De Vries and Jordan King. Latifi claimed fourth ahead of Dorian Boccolacci and Sean Gelael, Correa recovered to finish seventh.

Nikita Mazepin started on reverse grid pole for the Feature Race, with Correa second and Gelael third.

When the action started, Gelael got a great start and led into Turn 1. At Turn 2, Calderon locked up and hit the cars of Boschung and Louis Deletraz which brought out the Safety Car.

On Lap 3, the race got underway again and Gelael retained the lead. Behind him, Latifi overtook Correa for second, while Aitken moved up to fourth place. Shortly after, Gelael suffered a issue with his rear brakes and was a sitting duck when Latifi attacked for first place.

The Safety Car appeared once again when Alesi and Zhou crashed on Lap 10.

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On the restart, Aitken attempted to pass Latifi for the race lead while Correa locked up alongside them at Turn 1. Although the three of them avoid contact, Correa pushed Aitken out wide at Turn 2.

This caught out the likes of Ghiotto, King and Mazepin, who all crashed, as Aitken’s poor exit gifted third place to De Vries 3rd. This saw another Safety Car deployed.

With two laps left, green flag conditions resumed, but Latifi held onto victory and increased his championship lead.

Correa held on to claim his first Formula 2 podium in second, with Aitken pipping De Vries to third.

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