Juan Manuel Correa survives Baku carnage for best result of Formula 2 season
After his second point-scoring result of the season in Melbourne, Australia earlier in April, Juan Manuel Correa was targeting another top-ten result as the Formula 2 fraternity visited the fan-favorite circuit of Baku.
Early signs in Friday’s qualifying session were encouraging with the American-Ecuadorian racer recording the ninth-fastest lap time on his first flying lap. As the session progressed, however, the times tumbled, and Correa’s final effort was good enough for P15 on the grid for both the Sprint Race and the Feature Race.
Correa remained unfazed at the start of the Sprint Race and gained one position off the line and enjoyed a thrilling battle with Jack Doohan, one that lasted for the opening two laps, but one the Australian would ultimately emerge as the victor.
Upon the Safety Car deployment to recover Ralph Boschung’s car, Correa was running in P13. At the restart, the hard-charging Isack Hadjar and Roy Nissany made their way past, but it wouldn’t be long before Nissany ended his race in the barrier bringing out another safety car.
The second restart would prove pivotal and decisive in the outcome of the race with several of the front runners getting caught out in a first-corner incident. Correa masterfully navigated the ensuing carnage to appear in P6. With the race finishing under the safety car shortly thereafter, the 23-year-old notched his best result of the season after a hectic race that saw many of his competitors falter.
The Feature Race was far less eventful as far as incidents were concerned. In a case of déjà vu, Correa gained a place on lap one, a position he held until he pitted on lap seven and dropped to P16. He would have to bide his time to make progress from this point on, but eventually, Correa made up two positions in the final two laps to finish P14.
Correa’s next outing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship will be at Imola for Round 5 of this year’s Formula 2 championship (19-21 May).