Vesti now 2nd in the Championship
With just a few points behind the leader in the F2 championship, Vesti returns from Baku with his head held high in preparation for the next exciting challenge in 3 weeks at Imola.
But it wasn't all a bed of roses for Vesti, who did manage to bag some good points but they didn't come easy.
In qualifying Vesti got beaten by a tiny margin of just 0.071 sec. and on the very last lap.
Slipstreaming is crazy in Baku. I ran a clear fastest lap without the help of any drivers in front and expected that pole position would be mine. But in the very last and decisive seconds, many drivers profited from lying in each other's slipstream. It completely altered the result in the very last seconds. Suddenly I found myself in fourth - beaten by just thousandths of a sec."
Starting P7 in Saturday's sprint race and with the reversed grid and a fast car, Vesti was ready to leave his competitors in the dust.
It turned out a classic Baku race as we have come to know it - lots of drama - lots of exits and several safety cars on the track. Me and my teammate both had cars strong enough to be decisive in the outcome of the sprint race. The speed and the balance was there. After the race resumed and the safety car got out of our way, disaster struck 6 drivers in turn 1. I had the feeling of braking late myself. Tires and brakes were cold. It obviously surprised several drivers who put the car into the wall. Among them, the two leading drivers with the European Champion in F3, Dennis Hauger currently positioned in the very front - this was my chance."
During the race, I had worked my way up to third. I was now suddenly P1. Unfortunately it only lasted for a few more turns as I made a mistake and went too wide. My teammate Oliver Bearman right behind me seized the opportunity. A fraction of a second after Bearman passed me, the field slowed down completely. A new safety car was deployed due to the many exits. If it had happened just a few seconds earlier, I would have stayed in P1 to the end. That part just didn't play out in my favor this time around. But I will after all happily welcome my P2 and the 8 points that comes along with it."
Sunday's race turned out somewhat dull compared to Saturday. Vesti's option tires from the start didn't really work. Tire degradation happened much faster than anticipated. A bad pit stop didn't help either, and traffic after the pit stop ended up separating Vesti from the top. From then on it all became a matter of securing his 5th place, which was later converted to 4th place when Frenchman Victor Martins, ART, was disqualified.
I got pretty much the most out of the cards I was dealt this weekend. Another 20 points feels great. There have been lots of positive notes and a mental surplus that I have profited from. I can only but allow myself to be pleased. And then I'd like to congratulate my teammate Oliver Bearman on being triumphant this weekend. I am super happy on behalf of the team about our overall result here in Baku. It gives us all such a boost of strength, confidence and energy ahead of our next race."
Vesti now has but a tiny 3 points margin up to the leader in the championship - Vesti's old teammate from ART - Théo Pourchaire.
Imola coming up on April 19-21st.