F2 - Sprint Race Press Conference | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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F2 - Sprint Race Press Conference

26.05.18

F2 - 2018 Race of Monaco - Sprint Race Press Conference

FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the FIA Formula 2 Press Conference following the Sprint Race here in Monaco. Joining me are race winner Antonio Fuoco for Charouz Racing System, in second Lando Norris for Carlin, and in third, Louis Delétraz also of Charouz Racing System. Antonio, starting with you, we saw that yesterday you had a drive-through in the race and recovering, and today was about managing from the lead. You delivered a double-podium for the team, how does that kind of result feel?

Antonio Fuoco: Yeah, first of all I think we showed we have good pace throughout the weekend. Yesterday we were a bit unlucky with the drive-through, I think what I did was a bit much on Ghiotto, but we got the drive-through and managed to finish P8 so today we started from the front. Throughout the race we had good pace, I managed to keep Lando behind. I saw him pushing to close up but everything was under control. So I’m very happy, and I’m happy for the team because we finished with both cars on the podium today. This is an excellent result for the whole team.

FIA Formula 2: It wasn’t easy, with pressure from Lando coming from behind, and also a series of safety cars – especially those last two right at the end. How do you manage the lead of the race under that sort of pressure?

Antonio: It was, as I said, all under control, and when the first safety car came in I had a good restart For the second safety car it was a bit more difficult because we were trying to catch it up, so we needed to stop and restart. But anyway, it was a good one and everything went the right way today.

FIA Formula 2: Lando, coming to you. Midway through the race we saw that you doubled the gap to Antonio, as if to save the tyres for a later push. Were your strategic plans stopped by the safety car?

Lando Norris: Not really, I think. I pushed for the first few laps to try and find a way past, or push Antonio into making a mistake. He didn’t make any, so I knew it was still a long race and I felt like I had the pace advantage early in the race, but by the end I knew I’d start to struggle with my tyres. I tried to back off, and every time I tried to push to close the gap a safety car or a VSC came out. So it was a bit frustrating, but apart from that I don’t think I could have found a way past – Antonio’s pace was too similar to mine to force a mistake. I think you have to be a big chunk faster to try and get past him. Our pace wasn’t that much greater than Antonio’s, so I couldn’t really do that, so I settled for second.

FIA Formula 2: You talk about it being frustrating, how do you keep your head around a circuit as tight as this one, when you’re close but the opportunity isn’t there?

Lando: If you think, you’d probably lose your head around here, especially when you’re having to concentrate so much. There’s never really a break throughout the whole lap and you’re always having to do something and I think that just keeps you concentrated throughout the whole race, and at the same time you’re second and you always want to do something better. For me, being who I am, it’s the best way to concentrate but apart from that, it’s just trying to not over-push because there’s no room for going over the limit.

FIA Formula 2: Louis, coming to you. Congratulations on your first Formula 2 podium, it wasn’t easy – we saw you coming under enormous pressure from Markelov. How you manage with so much attention on your own mirrors on this circuit.

Louis Delétraz: It was probably the hardest race of my life! I had a good start, had some good pace but at the first safety car, my car just basically switched off. My dash wasn’t showing so I had no information, I didn’t know what gear I was in, I had alarms going and lights flashing sometimes – in fact, at one point, I couldn’t downshift sometimes. Into turn 1, I had to press twenty times to get a gear in, and that’s when I lost a lot of pace, because I just couldn’t drive fast anymore. Artem put a lot of pressure on me, but I did my best to defend and I think we did a good job not to crash. I’m really happy, I think we deserve this podium today and to be here’s going to make the team really happy.

FIA Formula 2: Were you able to get everything working back during the race or were you essentially blind for the rest of the run?

Louis: No, the last 20-25 laps was just that, it came off and without that it was really hard, so again it was probably the hardest race of my life. So I’m really glad to be here.

FIA Formula 2: So there was a lot of communication with the team informing you of gaps?

Louis: A lot, and even with Artem behind me in the straight I had to switch the car on and off just to try and get everything back up, but it didn’t work.

FIA Formula 2: Coming back to you, Antonio, one of the things we noticed over the course of the race was the cooler track temperatures. Did that have an effect on the tyre management?

Antonio: I think, to be honest, we were quite lucky with the safety car, because they came in the middle of the race so we had time to cool down everything and for us that worked quite well. We struggled a bit with the front left but it was something we could control and everything was fine.