Jüri Vips finishes 13th in Bahrain after unlucky weekend

Jüri Vips.
Jüri Vips. Source: @Formula2/Twitter

Estonian formula pilot Jüri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) finished 13th in the feature race of a Formula 2 event in Sakhir, Bahrain, over the weekend. The weekend event was full of disappointment for the Estonian as the Estonian was disqualified, had technical issues, and experienced delays in an important pit stop.

Vips was the fifth-fastest driver in the qualifying session on Friday, but a violation of aerodynamics regulations caused the Estonian's result to be disqualified as the car's lower stabilizers were 1.5 mm lower than allowed. The disqualification put Vips in last place on the grid for Saturday's sprint races.

Vips was great in the first sprint race, climbing up four positions from his 22th-place start in the first few corners and was 14th by the fifth lap. The Estonian finished 11th but a punishment to 10th-place Guilherme Samaia vaulted Vips over the Brazilian.

As Formula 2 rules see the second sprint race started from opposite order to the first, Vips was the first car in the second of Saturday's sprint races. He maintained first place for five laps as the security car was brought out due to a crash in the early portion of the race.

After Vips gave up his first position to Chinese pilot Zhou Guanyu, he held second until the 15th lap, when the security car was once again brought out. Vips took a pit stop and fell to fifth but was able to retain his position in the following laps.

Unfortunately the Estonian's machine went through technical issues two laps before the finish line and he fell out of point positions to go with a five-second punishment for violating security car rules. The Red Bull youth program pilot officially finished 16th.

Still, the Estonian showed heart in Sunday's feature race and climbed six spots by the end of the first lap from his 22th-place grid position, standing at 12th after eight laps. Vips touched point positions after some of his rivals took pit stops, but a stop of his own took far longer than expected. Following the pit stop, the Estonian's car was once again hit by technical issues as Vips fell behind with each lap, eventually finishing 13th after another five-second punishment.

The Bahrain Grand Prix was taken by Zhou Guanyu (Uni-Virtuosi) who came in just ahead of Dan Ticktum (Carlin) and Vips' Hitech teammate Liam Lawson.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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