Thoughts from Bearman, Fittipaldi and Martins
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race. In third place, Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix, in second place Enzo Fittipaldi for Rodin Carlin, and taking his third win of the season Oliver Bearman, for PREMA Racing. Ollie, pole to the win, a brilliantly controlled race by you. How comfortable were you out there?
Oliver Bearman: It was a nice race, we managed to lead out of Turn 3 which is of course the goal. I controlled the gap really well. The longer you go on the option tyre the better your prime stint will be, of course, fewer laps on the hard tyre are better. It helped that I was leading the race, of course, I had no dirty air in front of me. We were planning to go as long as possible, once we saw that Enzo pitted and Théo, a couple of laps before, we decided to start pushing and the pace was better than before. I had the call to box on three consecutive laps and then by the time I got to the pits they told me to keep going, so we extended really well and that was the key to a good race.
FIA Formula 2: Great job by you. Enzo, coming to you. While we're talking tyre stints, you pitted relatively early in the race. How difficult was it to make the hard tyre last until the end?
Enzo Fittipaldi: It was difficult, we tried the undercut to try and get ahead of Ollie, honestly I think it would have worked if me and Theo hadn't fought for position. I think there we lost maybe two seconds. He went off track, and I was all over the place, so I think that's what cost us the race lead so that's a bit frustrating. Then to control the hard tyre until the end, it was difficult when we caught up to the slower cars and we had traffic. You had to be very strategic and plan the overtakes well because the other guys were not just letting you overtake they were defending and doing their race. So it wasn't easy to overtake, the DRS wasn't that strong so it was a very strategic race for us.
FIA Formula 2: Enzo, second in the Baku Feature Race, second here in Barcelona in the Feature Race. Clearly, you've got great speed, what ideas have you got in your head as to how you're going to overcome the PREMA boys?
Fittipaldi: It's as simple as going faster than them, they are very fast, we are very fast so I know when there is a clean session we're going to be up there in Qualifying. We've been caught out by the Red Flags multiple times this year but when we do have a clean session we've always been in the top two. We're just going to have to work hard.
FIA Formula 2: You're confident it's going to come?
Fittipaldi: I'm very confident.
FIA Formula 2: Good luck with that. Victor, coming to you now. P7 on the grid to P3 in the race. A great job by you. Would you say this is your best race in Formula 2 so far?
Victor Martins: Honestly I think I managed really well throughout, from the first lap to the end. Honestly doing the opposite strategy was a good thing for us to do from P7 on the grid. For sure you never know if it will play to your side or not, but in the end we took the gamble and I'm really happy with that. We were actually in a good position, I was the first on prime at the start of the race so I knew if I was still ahead of Vesti and managing my tyres throughout the stint I would be in the potential position for a podium. As soon as my engineer told me we were fighting for a podium in the end, it gave me a bit more determination and motivation to keep going, to keep it calm, do the pitstop and know I would have better tyres at the end.
FIA Formula 2: You were so close to Enzo at the flag, had you passed Iwasa just one lap earlier do you think you might have got P2?
Martins: Honestly, I think that was the debrief at the end of the race. With one more lap, I don't know if I would have been able to overtake Enzo but I would have been really close to doing so. Iwasa defended really well, really respectful, credit to him on that because it wasn't easy. For sure if I'd passed him one lap earlier, or even before, I would have been in a better position for P2. Honestly, P3 is a good start to my season I would say.
FIA Formula 2: Well done Victor.