F2 - Post-Sprint Race press conference | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

F2 - Post-Sprint Race press conference

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26.03.22

F2 - Jeddah Event - Round 2 - Post-Sprint race press conference transcript 

Thoughts from Lawson, Vips and Hughes

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of FIA Formula 2's Sprint Race here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In third place, Jake Hughes for Van Amersfoort Racing, in second place Jüri Vips for Hitech Grand Prix and taking the second win of his FIA Formula 2 career, our winner, Liam Lawson for Carlin. Well done Liam fifth to first with very few racing laps, you judged it perfectly. Give us your thoughts?

Liam Lawson: Well pretty much the whole race was just about just trying to keep as much break and tyre temperature under those Safety Cars because of those crashes that were happening. There were some quite slow Safety Car laps, and in these cars, it's really, really hard to keep temperature, but when we did have green flag laps the car was really fast. I thought Jake was going to be in a great position, to be honest, because we didn't have many racing laps, and as you said and he was on softs but I was able to stay with him in those first couple of laps and then stay within DRS and make the pass. So it's promising. We need to take this into tomorrow, make a few tweaks to the car and hopefully grab another good score of points.

FIA Formula 2: Liam, tell us about the choice of tyres. Was it clear cut to you that medium was the way to go?

Lawson: Definitely not clear cut, because judging by last year's races and then obviously what happened today with very few racing laps, the softs could have very easily worked. To be honest, under that last Safety Car we had like eight or seven laps left, and we'd only had one or two pushing, so at that point, I thought softs were the clear choice. But then they obviously dropped a little bit more than what we all thought. It definitely wasn't clear.

FIA Formula 2: You've taken the lead of the Championship. Do you prefer being the hunter or the hunted?

Lawson: It's always nice to be in front, but it's so early that it's completely irrelevant. We just take it race by race, it's definitely a good result for today. This weekend with the chaos that goes on in these races it's really about surviving and that was the target today. I was in third before I'd even made a single overtake because of the incidents. So that's the goal for tomorrow, just survive and hopefully, we can be in another good position.

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations, Liam. Juri let's come to you now. First up, talk us through the overtake as you charged to the line?

Juri Vips: It's quite intuitive, you know, going into the last corner you never know what's the right thing to do I just sort of reacted to the time Jake was doing ahead. He covered the inside line so I had nothing to do, and I don't think it's possible against an experienced guy like Jake to overtake around the outside of the corner so I thought my only chance was really to cut back, exit in his diffuser and try with the DRS. It worked surprisingly well, so I didn't expect that to be honest as I didn't get past him before. It was a nice surprise let's say.

FIA Formula 2: It really was Bottas on Ocon in the Grand Prix last year?

Vips: Oh yeah true!

FIA Formula 2: How good was the car? You were on the medium tyre as well and you made a lot of progress from 6th on the grid?

Vips: Yeah we had the fastest lap, so the car was really really good and with an overtake as well. Of course, it was the last lap, and I saw that Jake was on the softs and potentially struggling. So I was pushing really flat out, but I think the car was really, really good and we'll try and keep it up for tomorrow. Maybe a few tweaks to do, but I think generally we're in a really good spot.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you, Juri, well done. Jake coming to you, your best result in FIA Formula 2. Many congratulations. Is it a little bit bittersweet at the moment?

Jake Hughes: Ah yes, I mean I was a little bit frustrated crossing the line, obviously. But to be honest on that last Safety Car restart, especially when I got the lead into Turn 1 or Turn 2, being on the softs, I actually thought I was quids in. We saw a little racing lap, so I thought these should last from this point, but unfortunately, it was surprising and I think more surprising than we expected as a team how quickly the softs would fall away, even on the opposite axel than we anticipated so I think once I realised Liam was in my DRS two or three laps after the restart I was not kind of in trouble, but I was going to struggle. With Juri crossing the line I kind of knew that once he was on my gearbox pulling out at the last corner that the DRS would give him enough to cross the line. There was a bit of a miscommunication on the radio regarding the VSC restart so I had a bit of an issue staying on Liam's gearbox then and I think that gave Juri a bit more of an impetus to try. In the end, I'm happy, for sure.

FIA Formula 2: Well done, very quickly, can you just describe the job Van Amersfoort have done this year to give you the car that they have so early.

Hughes: I mean I think everybody should probably be quite impressed, no less myself. Even in F3, they were on pole in Bahrain with Franco Colapinto. For me, part of my job is to help progress the team as quickly as possible, but even that being said I think I'm completely taken back with how quickly they've got on board with it. F2 is an extremely difficult championship, there are obviously nuances to it that require a lot of learning to perfect and we still have a lot of learning to do, we're not perfect for sure, not yet. But we can see that we get the car in the window at the right time that we're very quick and that's the underlying glaring positive to take away from these two weekends so far. Apart from this podium which is obviously quite nice!

FIA Formula 2: Enjoy it, well done!