FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the post-Feature Race Press Conference at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the FIA Formula 2 Championship. Joining us are: race winner George Russell for ART Grand Prix, Nyck de Vries for PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing, and Lando Norris of Carlin. George, coming to you, it was a very action-packed event with lots of battles. You took lead quite early on, but it wasn’t an easy win for you was it?

George Russell: No, not at all. With this new surface at Barcelona nobody really knew what the tyre degradation was going to be like. On top of that at the start of the race, it was spitting with rain, which was making it very difficult for us at the front. There were a number of VSCs and we’ve never really tested or used it before, so going in blind made it tricky for all of us. But yeah, it was action-packed, and after the final VSC Nyck and I were pushing – maximum attack, really – and that was great fun to push these cars to the limit. There was huge pressure, especially get out of the DRS zone, because with the headwind today the DRS had a huge effect. All in all, it was a great race.

FIA Formula 2: Nyck, coming to you. You delivered a great start - could you talk us through it from your perspective?

Nyck de Vries: To be honest, I didn’t think mine was amazing, I think Alex’s was a bit down because George was quite close behind me along with a number of others. But we were on the front row and took the lead, we weren’t that quick at the start of the race and, as George said, it was difficult to predict how much we could push, also there were a lot of virtual safety cars so in the end we didn’t push that many laps on the primes, and then at the end of our prime stint we looked really good. I came back on Alex and closed the gap on George. Then we came in together, and yeah, had a bit of a battle in the first couple of laps when we went out on options. But, I couldn’t get past on the main straight, just reaching the limiter too soon and really I had to do it in one of the corners because I had no chance on the straight. To be honest I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t score our first win, but we have to be happy with P2 and the points.

FIA Formula 2: Lando, coming to you. Podium from P8 on the grid, but in your long stint you complained of left-front tyre deg quite early on. How did you manage to hang onto it?

Lando Norris: Yeah, I did start suffering quite early on even though we’d only done like, two push laps, and most of it was VSC so I’d been struggling quite early. I was quite worried, because Jack Aitken was behind me and pushing me quite a bit, so I had to push more than I wanted to just to keep track position. Again, we had to go as far as we could, we didn’t really know how much we could push and how much we could save tyres. As we could see from the GP3 race, some of the guys started to drop off quite a bit, so the tyre wear was quite high despite the new surface. The first stint was fairly difficult, it was just trying to save in the high speeds really, turn 3, turn 9…all the big, punishing corners I had to back off and just try to push as much as I could in the other corners to try and stay ahead of Jack. He tried to overtake me a couple of times into turn 1 on the restart of the VSC – I was fairly poor off the restarts, and yeah, it was all fairly difficult in the first stint, and obviously Jack and I were different tyre-wise, so it was difficult to judge how much to push compared to the leaders. I did what I could, I thought I was starting to drop off a fair bit more towards the last few laps, but things started to come back my way, I gained some pace and I started to get onto the two leaders. From eighth, I was happy to get good points and a podium.

FIA Formula 2: Coming back to you, George, we saw the change in conditions. Was there any point where you thought you’d need to make a switch to wets or go for a second stop?

George: Really, it was in the first couple of laps where I wasn’t sure – it was really spitting a lot and if it continued like that through all of the race it would have really made it tricky for all of us drivers. I knew looking at the radar before the race there would be some drizzles, and it wouldn’t be any more than that. We just had to tough it out through that section, and just plough on through.

FIA Formula 2: Nyck, you said earlier this weekend that the new surface was so smooth it was hard to gauge what your car was doing. Did you find that the track evolved over the weekend?

Nyck: Well, the track didn’t really change, but we just did more laps so we got used to the new conditions. It was still a bit unpredictable, not really knowing how much we could push, but I think that’s the case for most of our races; we only get 45 minutes’ practice so we don’t really get the chance to do long runs so it’s always a bit of a guess. You just have to feel what the car is doing and hope that you do a good job.

FIA Formula 2: Tomorrow we have the reverse grid race coming up, and we had some very close gaps between you all. What does that tell us about tomorrow?

Lando: My pace over one lap wasn’t particularly great in qualifying, but the race pace was very good, and so far the team’s race pace seems much better than in quali performance. Hopefully we can do what we did today and come through the pack, but it’s going to be close; I have Nyck and George behind me. We just need to get a good start, not make any mistakes off the line, that’s a key part and it can go wrong very quickly if you stall it. If you get off the line, you can race and battle, but it’s a long race on one set of tyres, so we’ll see how it goes.

FIA Formula 2: George, Nyck, are you looking forward to some close fighting tomorrow?

Nyck: Well it was a close fight today! One hour and we finished within two seconds, so it was an exciting race and tomorrow it’ll be even more exciting. Hopefully we have a little more racing and the degradation on the primes will be even higher, so it’ll be a bigger difference.