F2 - Post Qualifying Press Conference | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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F2 - Post Qualifying Press Conference

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02.08.19

F2 - 2019 Race of Hungary - Post Qualifying Press Conference

Thoughts from De Vries, Ghiotto and Latifi

FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three qualifiers for tomorrow's FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here in Hungary. We are joined by pole sitter Nyck de Vries for ART Grand Prix, in second place is Luca Ghiotto for UNI-Virtuosi Racing and in third is Nicholas Latifi for DAMS. Nyck, it's your third pole position of the season but just how tough was this one in such difficult conditions?

Nyck de Vries: It was a tough session. We started our day quite well in practice so to be very honest I wasn't too keen on the rain because we knew that we had a strong package for the dry, but it was out of our control and it was the same for everyone. I think we did a really good job and we managed the session well, so thank you very much to the team who gave me a great car in the morning and afternoon. I'm very pleased with our pole in the wet this afternoon.

FIA Formula 2: You mentioned that you were strong in both conditions - just how hard is that to do with a spec car in a spec series, and how confident does that make you for tomorrow whatever it throws at you?

Nyck: Well to be honest I have to give those credits mainly to the team. Obviously when they send me out it's my job to do the job on track, but ahead of that, and in terms of set-up positions between different circumstances, it's all in their hands really so thank you very much. Tomorrow I'm not sure what the weather is actually going to do. It looks a bit 50/50 so we'll see. We look strong in both conditions but it will be a long and challenging race - hopefully not as exciting as Hockenheim in F1 [laughs] but let's see. Hopefully it turns out good for us.

FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Luca moving on to you. Second place - are you satisfied with your lap to get that position, and are you ever satisfied with the lap you do in wet conditions?

Luca Ghiotto: It's kind of a 50/50 answer. You tend to be more satisfied when you do a good lap in the dry because small things make a big difference, while in the wet, even if you don't get a corner 100% right, you can still record a good time. The lap is slower and the way you drive is so different in the wet that you can make a big difference in one corner, while in the dry maybe that's only three tenths maximum difference between pole position to the slowest car on the grid. You're still happy but it's more about surviving in the wet rather than really giving 100% [laughs]. Today I'm half-satisfied let's say, because yeah, it's the front row for sure, but unfortunately I'm not on the side of the front row that gives me four points [laughs]. That's the only thing that's a bit disappointing. Still, it was a good qualifying, a tough qualifying, and well done to Nyck because he did a better job than me.

FIA Formula 2: No points for your starting position today but tomorrow there's more points on offer. Which conditions would you prefer, a wet or dry race?

Luca: Today we struggled a little bit in practice in the dry, but we had a few issues, so I'm not really worried if it's wet or dry - it will be the same for me. Looking at the weather forecast it could even be a mix of both, so that would be interesting. I think we are waiting because no one really knows what to expect tomorrow so let's see.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much. Nicholas moving on to you, what Luca said about how practice was a bit of a struggle for him, you also seemed to be a little bit more off the pace in practice than you were in qualifying. Are you happy with third at the end of all that?

Nicholas Latifi: For me honestly if it had stayed dry I was still confident that I'd have been in at least the top five. Maybe it would have been a bit more unpredictable. Like you said, my practice was not a very clean session but it was not because we were lacking pace. I don't think I could have scripted a worse session in terms of luck, traffic, red flags... I think by the time I actually closed a proper lap there was only like 15 minutes left in the session. I never did the last sector up until the last 15 minutes. It was quite frustrating really under the circumstances and then when I did do a lap the tyres were completely out of the window. It was not very representative. Analysing the data and seeing what was missing I was confident that if it was dry then we were going to be on the pace. Coming into the weekend actually and looking at the forecast I said 'oh, it would be cool if we had a wet qualifying', just because we haven't gotten to drive in the rain yet so far this year. I always like driving in the rain. I'm normally on the pace. In the end I'm satisfied with P3 as it's a good place to start the race from, but I'm disappointed because I was on pole after the first set of tyres. It's not the first time this year that that's happened and then gone away [laughs]. The second set of tyres were a bit trickier. We made a few changes and I wasn't driving as cleanly either. As Luca said, it's kind of about surviving the lap, although you can make a few mistakes in a corner and not get it completely right, you can then try to make up the difference in other places. I didn't get the right rhythm on the second set and wasn't able to improve which was a bit disappointing in the end. I'm happy that I didn't drop back further than P3 as I was quite concerned that that was going to be the case. I guess a lot of people didn't end up improving afterwards. It's a good place to start the race tomorrow and as you said, that's where the points are. Wet or dry I think we can be quick in either condition.

FIA Formula 2: We have three familiar faces up here this afternoon. How much did experience play a part in those conditions today?

Nicholas: It always helps if you've driven the car in the wet before, but at the same time it's not that we have tons and tons of days driving this car in the wet. There was a few wet conditions last year. We are the top three in the championship as well, so I don't think that's a surprise either. I get to be out there racing against my rivals tomorrow [laughs], I don't know what they think, but I think it will make an exciting race.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you. Nyck, returning to you, it is the top three in the championship. Does that add an extra edge to tomorrow's race?

Nyck: I don't think tomorrow's race is going to be much different from any other race we've done so far. The approach will be the same and the goal will be the same as well. Perhaps the conditions will be a bit more challenging and less consistent or predictable. In terms of approach and preparation it's all the same thing.