Round 1 was a weekend to forget for Nikita Mazepin and Hitech Grand Prix, and the Russian driver has said that “getting the first of anything out of the way is always good,” but he’s feeling more optimistic this weekend, following a week of hard work behind the scenes.

Finishing second in Free Practice on Friday proves that Hitech have the pace to compete, and Mazepin is confident they will deliver.

“It was definitely not the easiest race weekend for us as a team,” he assessed. “For quite a few members of the team at Hitech, it was the first race for them in F2.

“We had to face a lot of issues and it is never nice having to miss Free Practice. I almost didn't make the Feature Race to be honest. It was a lucky charm that put me into race one on time.

“Leaving all of that aside, I would say the one thing - and a very important thing - that we can take out of it, is that the pace was very good. I was very happy with the car itself and I feel like there is a lot of potential there for us to be able to take good results this year.”

As with any working team in any walk of life, the more they work together, the stronger and more successful they will become. The Russian has firmly backed the side to deliver, and was quick to defend them following a frustrating opening round.

“The key members of the team, like the technical director and the engineers, are all very experienced in F2. The key thing at the moment, in my opinion, will be to smooth out and make sure that the operational side of things goes well.

“My pit stop was around 20 seconds longer than it should have been, and while I am not making excuses, because the mechanics do have to do their jobs, but the new tyres are quite a lot heavier this year, so I think that you will see more ups and downs in pits stops all round. It is way more difficult to physically take that tyre on and off.

“The first weekend is always the toughest one, and I’m sure that from now on, we will be going upwards. Everyone is still getting to know each other, but we will hopefully be better bedded in to perform in sync together this weekend.”