Thoughts from Martins, Vesti and Pourchaire

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at the Red Bull Ring. Starting in third place, Théo Pourchaire for ART Grand Prix. In second place, Frederik Vesti for PREMA Racing and taking his second career pole in FIA Formula 2, our pole sitter Victor Martins, also for ART Grand Prix. Now Victor, you had the speed all day it seemed today in the Qualifying session, just talk us through it.

Victor Martins: Honestly, we started really well from Free Practice. From the first push we had the pace, I was feeling good in the car. I think we did a good job with the team. The car was really fast today and again in Qualifying, from the first push I was topping the field so it was really nice. When you start the session up there, you just have the confidence to just find the time in the few corners and to manage to deliver the lap in the end.

FIA Formula 2: So, very quick over one lap. Just how much confidence do you have over a race distance?

Martins: I don't know, we'll need to analyse a few things. I have watched a lot of races from the past, but the first job you need to do is Qualifying and obviously taking the pole is a good confidence for the weekend. Honestly, I like the track, I like high-speed corners, so we'll see. We are working hard with the team to prepare for the races as best as possible. Let's see with the conditions, we will not know until we will start the session which tyres we will be on. Let's prepare it at the best for both conditions and we'll see in the race.

FIA Formula 2: Victor, two poles in your first season of Formula 2, but no wins yet. Are you feeling ready to take that top step?

Martins: I think I've been ready since Barcelona or even before, it was just a matter of not wanting too much. I have had the pace from the beginning of the season in every situation, in the wet or the dry, FP, Qualifying, all the races. It’s just how much I was pushing, I was maybe going over the limit sometimes, but I think I’ve found the right approach in Barcelona. So, I will need to put my focus on that and take the positive from the last weekend to help me to maybe achieve the first win this weekend.

FIA Formula 2: Victor, many congratulations and good luck for the rest of the weekend. Now, Fred coming to you, great second run in Qualifying, just talk us through the session.

Frederik Vesti: Just really happy to be honest. I think probably Théo will say the same, but pole was there or thereabouts. It's P2 and it's a really, really good starting point to the weekend and I'm really sure we can do a good job from here. The car was fast and obviously I really like this track, so I'm really happy to do another good job in Qualifying here and let's see what we can do in the races.

FIA Formula 2: Well, let's talk about the race. You got wins in Monaco and Spain, just how confident are you for the remainder of the weekend?

Vesti: Well, very much. I think this season has proved to probably be a bit more of a struggle Qualifying compared to the races. So, for sure we can carry a lot of confidence into the races, especially with a strong Qualifying like this. It's about not making mistakes, two good starts and so on, but I'm sure the car is there.

FIA Formula 2: And Fred, in terms of the Championship, now you're 11 points ahead of Théo. Where is your head at? Are you starting to think about the long game?

Vesti: No. You can think about it, but in the end to win the Championship, you need to score points every single race and go for the wins. I think the advantage of being the Championship leader is at some points in some races, you can take a little bit less risk and of course, I have to use that to my advantage. But that's a very small part of it, I need to push to the maximum to maximise every single session.

FIA Formula 2: All right, Fred, thank you very much and Théo, coming to you now. Great recovery after what had been a shortened Practice session.

Théo Pourchaire: Yeah sure, it was a tough, tough Free Practice session. I was not feeling well in the car, not driving well. On the second run, I did a small mistake that ended my session, so going into Qualifying like that was not easy.

FIA Formula 2: Let's look ahead to the race. What are you hoping for and how good do you think the car will be on a long run?

Pourchaire: I hope I can win. I want to win and I feel like it's possible. So, I just need to take a good start and hoping for a good strategy as well. And let's see because tomorrow it's probably going to rain, so we will have no data for Sunday. Tyre degradation is not so hard normally on this track, but we have the soft tyres this weekend compared to the medium last year, so it can make a small difference.

FIA Formula 2: Now we've seen great consistency from you in recent races, but you haven't won a race since Bahrain. Just how hungry are you to get back on that top step?

Pourchaire: For sure. I want to win. I want to win so bad, but it's not easy. It's Formula 2, the level is incredibly high. My teammate is driving very well. Fred, he is of course leading the Championship and he won in Barcelona and he won in Monaco. I need to focus on the details and I'm sure we can win again this season.

FIA Formula 2: All right. Thank you, Théo and best of luck to all of you for the rest of the weekend.