The Anglo-Korean driver finished seventh in race 1 and started on the front row for Sunday until he dropped as far back as 16th place after being hit by another rival. Sato continued putting experience under his belt in Russia
Campos Racing didn’t enjoy a perfect weekend in the frame of the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. The Spanish outfit saw its chances dashed when a rival collided with Jack Aitken in race 2. The Briton ace was looking for adding another podium finish to his tally in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship season but an incident on the first lap ruined his race.
On Friday, Aitken was 7th-fastest with a lap time of 1m49.833s set in the free practice session at the wheel of the Campos Racing-run Dallara F2 2018. Sato got his first taste of the challenging Russian circuit setting a personal best time of 1m52.164s after completing 17 laps, which was a solid mileage. Qualifying was all about traffic once again and either Aitken or Sato struggled to find a clean lap. Finally, Aitken couldn’t improve a lap of 1m48.477s and lined up 12th on the grid for Saturday’s feature race. Japanese Sato clocked a lap time of 1m50.311s and set to start from 19th on the grid.
When the lights went out, Aitken moved up to 11th at the same time when a Virtual Safety Car was deployed following a first-lap incident. Back in green flag conditions, Aitken made his mandatory pit stop on lap 6 to change from his Super-soft tires. The Anglo-Korean put up a good pace and moved past Guan Yu Zhou. By the halfway point, Aitken was attempting to get to within DRS range of Sergio Sette-Camara but then both Callum Ilott and Jordan King emerged between them after their pit stops. In the closing moments of the race, Aitken moved up to eighth place after passing Ilott and King and still gained another position after passing Nikita Mazepin. Sato took the checkered flag in 16th place.
In race 2, Aitken was eying another podium finish starting second on the grid. He almost moved into the lead but Mazepin clashed with Aitken’s car damaging his front right tire. Besides, Mazepin collected Nobuharo Matsushita and both drivers crashed into the wall. The sprint race was red-flagged and it took many minutes to properly repair the barriers. Aitken had dropped to 16th and, at the restart, he still moved up to 11th in a 15-lap race. Sato finished 15th.
Aitken now sits 5th in the Drivers’ standings with 159 points. In the same way, Campos Racing also occupies fifth place in the Teams’ standings with 189 points.
The FIA Formula 2 season finale will take place at UAE’s Yas Marina Circuit on November 30-December 1.
Jack Aitken (Driver of Campos Racing): “A very hard weekend for us, being blocked in qualifying set the tone unfortunately. Although we had excellent management to make up 5 spots in Race 1, getting wiped out at the start of Race 2 was out of our control and took away a lot of points. Nothing we can do except prepare as best as we can for Abu Dhabi.”
Marino Sato (Driver of Campos Racing): “We’re improving every time when we go out, but still only upwards from here. Some homework to do now and we will come back to Abu Dhabi.”
Adrian Campos (President of Campos Racing): “It was a tough weekend and it is particularly sad for Jack because he could have secured another brace of points scoring finishes. But the event didn’t go according to plan. Today he was in contention for another win but Mazepin ruined his race because caused him a puncture following a clash at T1. He was forced to use a tire from yesterday. So, Jack finally finished eleventh but something else was impossible. I would like to thank him for his effort and hopefully Abu Dhabi will be much better.”