|Following yesterday’s Feature Race on the Baku City Circuit, when both Jordan King and Norman Nato retired following race incidents, they would be starting today’s 21 lap Sprint Race from 12th and 13th positions respectively. Once again it was very hot with air and track temperatures of 32° and 50° respectively and both Racing Engineering cars were starting on the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres.
Jordan made a good start and the lights went off and he was able to gain two places in the opening lap and as the cars started their second lap he was chasing Eriksson for 9th. By lap five the Racing Engineering driver was in a large group of cars running from 6th to 11th place and he was trying hard to pass Eriksson and on lap seven Jordan dived up the inside of the Arden car but they made contact with each other and both spun off resulting in a Safety Car period. Jordan was able to continue but he had now dropped to 13th position but as the Safety Car pulled in and racing resumed several cars left the track promoting him to 10th and resulting in another Safety Car.
Racing resumed on lap eleven but immediately several cars spun and once again the Safety Car was back on track but Jordan had benefitted from the incident to now lie 6th right behind Sirotkin. Lap thirteen and racing began again but again there was another incident as the two leaders, Matsushita and Marciello, made contact and left the track and Jordan was now in 4th. By lap fourteen the Racing Engineering car was 1.6 seconds behind Sirotkin and 0.7 seconds ahead of Jeffri and as the race entered its final laps Jordan was able to pull away from the Arden car but he was unable to close the gap to the ART driver and he crossed the finish line in an excellent 4th place after starting from 12th.
Norman lost two places on the opening laps as all the drivers made sure there wasn’t a repeat of the opening lap incident that had caused so many problems in yesterday’s race and he was lying 15th as the second lap began. Although he was fighting hard the young Frenchman lost two more places to Gasly and Kirchhofer over the next few laps and by lap six he was involved in a tight battle with Giovinazzi. As he was suffering from a problem with his brakes, and in order to avoid an accident, Norman was called into the pits where he retired.The first visit to the Baku circuit did not work out the way the Racing Engineering team had hoped for with retirements for Norman in both races and for Jordan a retirement but a battling 4th today brought some relief to the Spanish team. The next round of the 2016 GP2 series will be in two weeks’ time at Spielberg in Austria.