F2 – Post Sprint Race Press Conference 

F2 – Race of Austria – Post Sprint Race Press Conference

Thoughts from Drugovich, Delétraz and Ticktum

FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in the FIA Formula 2 Championship Sprint Race here in Austria. We are joined by race winner Felipe Drugovich for MP Motorsport, in second place is Louis Delétraz for Charouz Racing System, and third is Dan Ticktum for DAMS. Felipe, a lights-to-flag victory today on your first weekend in Formula 2 as well. You had plenty of safety cars to deal with. Was it as comfortable as it looked from the outside?

Felipe Drugovich: No, certainly not! With the safety car and the DRS range you always have to try and keep that gap of one second to keep the others outside. The three restarts didn’t help. Every time I had to push again, and every time you push that much you make the tyres worse and heat them up. It was really hard. Every time I got a gap there was a safety car. Luckily, the car was much better than yesterday, and I could push comfortably how I wanted to. I’m really thankful to the team for the work they’ve done.

FIA Formula 2: You mentioned yesterday’s race. Obviously, you had a strong qualifying as well. What did you learn in yesterday’s race that you could then take into today to get this result?

Felipe: We learnt mostly about keeping the tyres, but maybe I shouldn’t say that! Also, just little things about the set up. I just kept calm. Yesterday the start wasn’t so good, today wasn’t the best but it was okay to keep first position. I’m really happy with the win.

FIA Formula 2: Congratulations, well done today. Louis, moving on to you. It’s your sixth podium in Formula 2. Kicking off the season with a second place, are you satisfied with that result?

Louis Delétraz: I’m quite happy with today’s result. It’s been a difficult weekend for us. On Friday especially I was not happy with the car. It was really difficult to drive. We made some big changes which is always dangerous in such a short weekend, but I’m happy with 18 points over the course of it. It keeps us in the game from the start. I don’t know what the exact standings are, but I’m quite satisfied. We still have a lot of work to do, but I think as a team we were very strong.

FIA Formula 2: There were a number of restarts in that race, which normally are some of the best opportunities to get ahead. Were you impressed with the way Felipe handled the pressure?

Louis: To be honest, his whole weekend has been very impressive. His quali was unbelievable. Yesterday was a bit more of a struggle. Today my objective really was to do a good start, the same as yesterday, and get passed straight away which I didn’t manage to do. Then at the restarts, I think I kept DRS in the first two, but the last one I lost it. He was simply a tenth of a lap faster and I just never could get it back. I never really got the opportunity, which I’m not so happy about because I really wanted to win. I’ll have to wait for next time.

FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Dan, moving on to you. Your first podium in Formula 2 as well. You were racing hard as well throughout that one. Just how was the race from your perspective?

Dan Ticktum: I got a really good start, but nearly ended my race in Turn 4 when I got sandwiched. I can’t remember. I think it was {Robert} Shwartzman and {Giuliano} Alesi. There were two cars anyway and I had to back out of it which was a little bit hairy. Apart from that, Felipe now knows what it’s like in that Macau-style… Three or four safety cars. Luckily for him there isn’t a two kilometre straight here. We learnt from the Bahrain test that the deg from the 18-inches, especially on the hard, is a lot less than before so I expected a race like this to be honest. No one really dropping away. Obviously if your delta is not sufficient enough to the car in front you just can’t get past here unfortunately. Having said that, I think we lack a bit of pace. We have some improvements to make. I think the car was a little bit stronger yesterday if anything. But my first weekend back in F2, with two strong points finishes means I’m very happy. Big thanks to the team and also all the organisers for actually getting us here. I was starting to get a little bit bored this year!

FIA Formula 2: You’ve only had a tiny bit of experience in Formula 2 before, and like you mention, with the new tyres. Does having that knowledge help you coming into this weekend, based on the fact that there was a delayed start? Maybe compared to some of the other rookies?

Dan: Yeah, a little bit. I really worked hard in the Bahrain test to really try and understand. I spent a good few days last week at Le Mans, trying to go through the stuff from pre-season and try and understand the tyres the best that I could. Yesterday in the race there was a couple of things I could have managed a little bit better, but it’s all learning. I’m making big steps forward, so hopefully I’ll be slightly further up the podium next weekend.

FIA Formula 2: Congratulations on a good start to the season. Felipe, just returning to you. With the pace you’ve shown so far this weekend, we mentioned Qualifying and you said the race didn’t go so well yesterday. With the win today, what’s your target going to be for this season now?

Felipe: I think my target will be the same. Try to improve with every round, try to learn during my rookie season in F2. I know it’s really difficult. Everything’s going to be fairly new every time I get on the track. We’ve shown good pace. The Feature Race was not what we wanted but it looks like we have fixed part of the problem and we were fast today. I think we still have to improve on some strategy stuff, and I also need to learn about pit stops and all that stuff. Learn how to make the starts consistent. I think I’ll just try and take it easy and improve every round.

Source : Fia