Thoughts from Crawford, Hauger and Vesti
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at Zandvoort. In third place, Frederik Vesti for PREMA Racing. In second place Dennis Hauger for MP Motorsport and taking his first FIA Formula 2 pole position Jak Crawford for Hitech Pulse-Eight. Well Jak, just talk us through your emotions right now. Your first time on pole, how do you feel?
Jak Crawford: Obviously very happy, I mean this is my best Qualifying of the year by far. We definitely got lucky, but the pace was there, even if we were to complete the second run, I still think we would have been up there. So of course, I’m over the moon right now. It hasn't been the best season and we’ve put in a lot of prep for this event and it finally worked out.
FIA Formula 2: As you say, far and away your best Qualifying of the season so far. What’s different on the car? Does it feel any different? Why here?
Crawford: I’m not sure. I’ve just sort of clicked with this place. I was quick in Free Practice this morning, but I didn’t get to show it. We did so much prep days, I did so many laps in the sim and just everything came together.
FIA Formula 2: And Jak, just a little comment on the moment you had in the pit lane. What happened there?
Crawford: So we wanted to be the first ones to jump to get a clean warm up, which was so important for this track. I was full speed into the pit limiter on basically shiny tyres and someone came out right in front of me and just T-boned them and broke my front wing. To be honest, I was so mad at the time and luckily, I was able to change my wing and there was no damage. But anyways, we didn’t even get to set a lap after that.
FIA Formula 2: Well, you’re on pole, let’s throw it forward then to the Feature Race. Just what is the strategy? What do you think are the potential pitfalls around a racetrack like this?
Crawford: It’s definitely, probably going to be an eventful one. It’s a long race as well, 40 laps in this place is really, really tough. Luckily for me, I have the cleanest air and requires a good start. This track is very tricky to overtake at, so hopefully that plays into my favour.
FIA Formula 2: Right look, very well done to you, Dennis coming to you. Red Flags seemed to plague your session like so many drivers, was the car fast enough for pole had you had another go?
Dennis Hauger: Yeah, I mean I felt quite comfortable. Generally, I think we struggled a bit to get the tyres ready on the first set, but overall, we were up there. Quite a few Red Flags, I think it was three in the end and I was the first car out of the pit lane most of the times, and was feeling like I was on a flyer every time to be honest. So, to get that cut off a few hundred metres away from the finish line was a bit annoying. But in the end, I'm happy with P2. From where we've been in Qualifying this season so far, I'm taking that with me into the weekend and I think the pace was there to be up there fighting for pole. But I mean it’s a front row start for Sunday and there's plenty of stuff we can do there.
FIA Formula 2: Dennis, as you say, the pace was there. So, same question to you that I asked Jak, why do you think the car is so much better here in Quali?
Hauger: I don't know. It's a bit the same for me to be honest. In terms of the track, I really enjoy the track. The team is obviously doing a good job around here, it’s their home event and the motivation is high. So, I don't know, I really enjoy it around here. I've been driving around tight, technical tracks since I was a kid back in Norway, so it's a fun track to drive around for a Qualifying lap.
FIA Formula 2: Alright look, very well done to you, front row start. Fred coming to you now. So, your quickest lap was your second push lap, was there more in the car had you had another go?
Frederik Vesti: Yeah, for sure. The second run is always quicker in F2, the fuel is burning off and all drivers are getting more confident. So of course, it would have been quicker, no doubt for everyone, but happy with the result for sure, especially considering that we’re the second to last team in the pit lane. What we saw today was crazy, but it was to be expected. Everyone is pushing really hard, it’s really easy to make a mistake and when you’re one of the last teams to exit, you just have no chance to even start or finish the lap before someone crashes. That compromised a lot I think our second run and potentially our result, but honestly, P3 is really strong.
FIA Formula 2: Fred, as you say it was a crazy session, three Red Flags. Why do you think, just on a general level, so many mistakes were being made?
Vesti: I think it's a really technical track, so it requires you taking a lot of risk and by taking risk, you risk crashing. I would say this Zandvoort is quite an old school track, there is grass and sand right next to the white line. If you go just 1% past the limit, then you go straight off and probably are hitting the wall. So, it's really easy to make mistakes and that will be the same for the races.
FIA Formula 2: Final one from me. Théo's back in P10 on the grid, so what is the strategy for the race on Sunday in particular?
Vesti: It will be to win the race, but that's easier said than done. Getting a good start is important. This race in Zandvoort is a bit different because we can't pit under the Safety Car, which is a bit of part of the strategy normally in Formula 2. So it's different here and it requires a different strategy, but let’s see how it plays out.
FIA Formula 2: Alright, look best of luck to you.