F2 - Post-sprint race press conference | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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F2 - Post-sprint race press conference

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02.09.18

F2 - 2018 Race of Italy - Post-Sprint Press conference 

FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the FIA Formula 2 Championship press conference for today’s sprint race at the Autodromo di Monza: joining us are race winner George Russell from ART Grand Prix, in second place we have Artem Markelov from RUSSIAN TIME, and in the third place we have Sergio Sette Camara from Carlin. Congratulations on your first win since Austria George, and your third of the season. How was the weekend for you?

George Russell: To be honest I think it could have been better: I was quite disappointed with myself yesterday and I felt like I’d handed what I thought was a victory to Artem, I battled with him and Alex but I had a small issue with the brakes, and small problems can cause big problems as I wasn’t able to come back at him later in the race. We potentially lost a victory, or P2, yesterday and so I wanted to put it right today, and I was pleased to regain the position today: obviously I inherited it a bit after a small mistake by Artem, but earlier when I went for the lead I made a mistake too, so it was a tricky race. Very low downforce, high fuel loads, cold and greasy conditions: it wasn’t easy for everyone today, but at the end of the day we’ve extended the championship lead and I’m happy with the win today.

FIA Formula 2: You had a lot of wheel to wheel fighting today, with Markelov and Latifi: when did you know you’d won it?

George: I was confident when I broke Artem’s DRS: it’s so difficult on this circuit where you pull a gap of almost 1 second but he’d just catch it and then the DRS come in, and we were just yo-yoing for 7 laps or so. But I finally did 1 really good lap where I just broke the 1 second gap and I could start to pull away a bit, and then I knew I had it.

FIA Formula 2: Artem, a strong fight up the grid today but a small mistake at turn 1 allowed George through: nevertheless are you happy with your second podium of the weekend?

Artem Markelov: Yeah, it was a pretty nice race, pretty tricky, and I made a few little mistakes but I’m pretty happy with staying here on the podium again today, especially after starting the sprint race from the reverse grid. I enjoyed it, and my team made a huge amount of work overnight for this, so I’m pretty pleased with the result.

FIA Formula 2: You’re well known for being able to preserve your tyres, but you seemed to struggling with them a little today: was that the case?

Artem: Yeah, I was starting to struggle a bit at the end of the race when I was trying to catch George! [laughs] I was trying to catch him but made a little mistake and it started to destroy the tyres in corner 6 and 7, so it was hard to get closer and it meant I couldn’t keep up at the exit of the corners, and then it was too late.

FIA Formula 2: Congratulations. Sergio, a tough weekend for you but a great recovery to get on the podium today. We saw you have a bit of a lock up on the last lap: was it a problem, or just pushing hard to catch Artem?

Sergio Sette Camara: I’m not aware of any problems, and I just locked up when I put the brakes a bit more to the front to make a move, and I was also struggling a bit with the temperatures and maybe lost a bit of performance with that. I just overdid it a bit: maybe if I braked that late and was a bit more clean with the whole process I could have made a nice move, but I locked up and luckily could avoid any contact.

FIA Formula 2: You started from the pitlane yesterday, so are you satisfied with your job to get up to P3 and the podium today?

Sergio: The start yesterday was a misunderstanding: there was no real problem, just a bit of information I didn’t have about the car, so it was a big misunderstanding which from my side is almost unacceptable. But it already happened, it was yesterday, I am quite harsh on myself but  I tried to make the most of today. I wanted more to be honest, starting in P2, and it felt a bit like Budapest where I wanted the win but since they changed this clutch it doesn’t suit me as well: I am already trying to understand why the start was so poor, but I’m happy with trying to forget the bad things, focus on the positives, and a podium today was not a bad result.

FIA Formula 2: Back to you George, and we’ve got a bit of break before the next round in Sochi: what will you be doing to prepare for that, and the closing rounds of the season?

George: Most of my time mid-week is taken up by simulator work for Mercedes, helping to prepare their car for their races, and the Formula 1 team is at such a high standard that it’s almost like you’re driving a real car, so it’s almost like real seat time. I’ll be spending time with them, going to a race, and I’m sure the time will go quick.