SPORTS


Racing with tough guys: what is special about Formula 2 in Baku

Baku, June 21, AZERTAC

Formula 1 is not the only racing championship that comes to Azerbaijan this year. With Formula 2 sessions in the break between main events the spectators have a great opportunity to watch one of the most breathtaking racing series live in Baku

Just for the introduction: Formula 2 is well known in Europe. Race fans from all over the world love Formula 2 for the great show provided by reckless drivers who desperately want to come to Formula 1. Why desperate? Every Formula 2 participant knows: after wins and podiums in this championship a driver can get an invitation from a successful Formula 1 team. That is the main reason for drivers to push hard and be tough guys on the track.

Year by year Formula 2 provides excellent show for the fans. The drivers are determined and temerarious, the cars are fast and fight is tight. Each racer is a champion in his mind, so the race track becomes the battleground for the ambitious guys in their twenties. Entertaining, isn’t it?

Last year Formula 2 races in Azerbaijan outshined the main event – Formula 1 Grand Prix itself. The battle was so harsh that a safety car appeared at the circuit 4 times. There were lots of overtaking and collisions during both races in Baku: the drivers were really motivated to win the first ever junior race in the streets of Baku.

Soon-to-be Formula 1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi won both races in Azerbaijan in 2016. It was the first major success for Antonio – and the start of his challenge to try to win the championship title in Formula 2 on the first try.

This year race fans are going to watch another epic battle of the best young drivers in the world. Monaco-born Charles Leclerc is the points leader at the moment. A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy has already won two Formula 2 races and is now ready to add another trophy under his belt. British Oliver Rowland is Charles’ main rival. A development driver for Renault Formula 1 team is now second in the points. Needless to say that Rowland really wants to beat Leclerc and snatch the lead.

Russian Artem Markelov is another guy to watch. Youngster has already proved he is capable of winning races so this time Markelov can become a serious contender for the victory. Italian Luca Ghiotto is right behind him in the points.

The fifth position in the championship belongs to Nobuharu Matsushita – the most controversial driver in Formula 2. Last year the Japanese was so hungry for success that he collided with rival drivers several times and finished his race in the wall. Matsushita’s style was so reckless that the official disqualified him for the next event. In 2017 Nobuharu is not that guy: the Japanese has become more experienced and moderate. Anyway, the fans are eager to see Matsushita’s race in Baku-2017.

This year Azerbaijan Formula 2 event has its own guest star. Sergey Sirotkin, a bronze medalist of 2016 championship, is coming back to Formula 2 for the Baku race only. The Russian is taking seat of Alexander Albon in ART Grand Prix. Sirotkin achieved two podiums in Azerbaijan last year. This time Sergey is a serious contender for the overall victory.

The first Formula 2 race in Baku starts at noon local time on Saturday, June 24th. The second race with reverse starting grid starts at 2 pm local time on Sunday, June 25th.

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