NEWS

01/09/2017

Round 9 Qualifying Press Conference

Round 9 Qualifying Press Conference

Matsushita, De Vries and Deletraz discuss the session

FIA Formula 2: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today’s qualifying session here in Monza: joining us are poleman Nobuharu Matsushita from ART Grand Prix, in second we have Nyck De Vries from Racing Engineering, and in third we have Louis Deletraz from Rapax. Nobu, your first pole in Formula 2, it must be a special day for you.

Nobuharu Matsushita: Yeah, it is a really special day for me: last week I had a really big crash in Eau Rouge and it was a really difficult, really tough weekend for me, and actually this morning I had really good pace and we spoke a lot with the team about set ups for qualifying. My qualifying first lap was really good, no mistakes, really calm and not pushing: I think it was the best lap in my life!

FIA Formula 2: You mentioned the crash, and the team had to rebuild your car: how important was it to find a good result to thank the team for their work?

Nobuharu: It was the biggest crash in my life also, and the car was nearly completely destroyed, but luckily the monocoque was okay so we didn’t change it, but everything else was new, so a massive thanks to ART: I think they didn’t sleep!

FIA Formula 2: Nyck, your first front row start since Bahrain: do you think pole was within reach today?

Nyck De Vries: Yes I do, I think it was a really close battle, but nevertheless I’m satisfied with what we could do today and for a front row tomorrow. I was a bit disappointed after the session because I thought we had the package to fight for pole, and we did fight, but once you have the opportunity you have to take it, and I felt I probably didn’t put it quite together. We improved a bit on the second run but I left too big a gap between myself and the guy in front, so I lost the tow: there are always things you can do better, and in terms of ideal laptimes Nobu is still quickest and we are second, but he deserves his pole and congratulations to him, and hopefully we can do a good race from the front row tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: It’s only your second weekend with Racing Engineering: are you surprised to be progressing so quickly with them?

Nyck: From the first moment I joined them in Spa I was really impressed with the whole team, their organisation and structure, so I believed they had a lot of potential. Obviously they had a tough start to the season, but I believed we would be able to get up to speed very quickly, because I could see the potential and they’ve been strong in the past. So for me it was no surprise, but you’ve still got to do it, that is always the last question mark, and we’ve done well so far and hopefully we can continue like this.

FIA Formula 2: Congratulations. Louis, this is your best qualifying performance by far and you have swapped seats with Nyck, so what do you put it down to today?

Louis Deletraz: Yeah, it was a really good qualification today, I’m very happy for the result, and as you said we had a tough start to the season, really not what I was expecting in coming to Formula 2. But now we’re back at the front, at least for this qualy, and I’m very happy with what we’ve done together with Rapax in our second event together: the car really suits me much better, we are working in my opinion in a better way, so the result today shows that we are improving and now we have to get a good result and some strong points, and then carry on like this.

FIA Formula 2: After the result today how confident are you of a good result in the race tomorrow?

Louis: Monza has always been a strong track for me, in the past we’ve had podiums and wins here, so hopefully we can carry on with this, and that is the objective. Starting from 3rd we have some good opportunities, and hopefully we will do the maximum with them.

FIA Formula 2: Nobu, Monza is a circuit where it’s relatively easy to overtake: are you expecting a tricky race?

Nobuharu: Yeah, Monza is easy to overtake because of the DRS and the long straight, but I’m in the best position to start, and my main target is to get big points tomorrow, not make a mistake at the start and then take it easy, not too easy [laughs] and not crash, this is the most important thing. I think my pace will be very quick tomorrow, and then it’s all about degradation. It will be a good day, I think.

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