Oscar Piastri remains well and truly in contention for the FIA Formula 2 Championship title despite having a mixed weekend in Baku during the round meeting of the season.
Heading into the round in second place on the standings behind fellow Alpine academy driver Guanyu Zhou by 16 points, Piastri ended up closing the gap to just five points after a brilliant feature race result.
It was a tough start to the weekend for the Victorian after he was forced to retire on the opening lap of the round’s first race.
Hit from behind by Felipe Drugovich just after lights out, Piastri damaged his steering which saw him unable to turn into the next corner and resulted in a hit with pole sitter Liam Lawson.
Although he was forced to retire, Piastri bounced back in the weekend’s next sprint race with a P8 and fastest lap bonus point giving him confidence ahead of his best result of the weekend.
For the second consecutive week in a row, Piastri was a runner-up in the feature race thanks to some opening lap chaos for which he avoided and other contenders receiving penalties.
Piastri was given a five second penalty himself not long after taking the net lead from Juri Vips due to an unsafe pitstop release in which he pulled in front of Drugovich.
Although he had lost the lead to Vips due to the penalty, he still piled plenty of pressure on the Finn but was unable to pass him, eventually crossing the line six seconds behind but six seconds ahead of Prema Racing teammate Robert Shwartzman.
With championship leader Zhou’s only points of the weekend coming in the form of a race one podium, Piastri is in a good position ahead of the next round, which takes place at Silverstone on 17 July.
ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen
Two Australians were among the 130 teams contesting this year’s 24 hour endurance race at the famous Nürburgring with Josh Burdon and Matt Campbell both unable to secure the results they wanted.
In what was a wet and wild race, which included a 14-hour red flag due a number of crashes and saw the winning team only complete 59 laps, both drivers performed well throughout with Burdon and his team fairing the better of the two.
Racing for Malaysian outfit KCMG alongside local driver Marco Holzer, Alexandre Imperatori from Switzerland and Italian Edoardo Liberati, Burson helped steer the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R to 63rd place respectively.
Campbell on the other hand was unable to replicate his success from last month’s GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup winner – his team forced to retire the car prematurely.
Teamed up once again with Kiwi Earl Bamber and Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet and joined by British star Nick Tandy, the four battled hard in their Frikadelli Racing Team prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R but ultimately retired with mechanical issues.
Although Campbell started the race strongly and promptly worked his way into the top 10 – an early issue surrounding the car’s hydraulic fluid was just the first of many problems for the team as they eventually pulled the pin after 26