Thoughts from Armstrong, Novalak and Hauger

FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Zandvoort. In third place, Dennis Hauger for PREMA Racing, in second place Clément Novalak for MP Motorsport, and taking his third win of this 2022 season, our winner, Marcus Armstrong, for Hitech Grand Prix. Very well done Marcus, another one in the bag for you. And a race that you controlled from the front?

Marcus Armstrong: It wasn't the easiest of races, despite leading from the front. It's one of those places where you need to really look after your tyres, and it could go wrong at any moment in Formula 2. I know it's the topic of my life so far, tyre management, but it genuinely is important and especially around here. I could have cliffed at any moment, so it was just a case of trying to stay under that limit and manage my gap to Clém. The start was very important, and equally so, the restart at the end. We nailed those two things and here we are.

FIA Formula 2: The race was actually won at the start. So can you just talk us through your getaway and that run down to Turn 1?

Armstrong: I think this season one of my strengths has been starts, and it was dirty on the right-hand side. So I wasn't expecting to out-launch Clém, but we did the job and my engineers got the right for throttle per cent and clutch mapping so I'm very happy with that. Then I just basically drove the thing. So really happy to have won that. It could have gone either way to be fair.

FIA Formula 2: Now we didn't see much overtaking in the race today, do you think that will change in the Feature Race tomorrow?

Armstrong: It could do with different strategies. I think tomorrow, tyre degradation will be equally as important, but maybe driver degradation will start to come into it too. It is a difficult track, certainly when we will change for tyres at some point and have about 20% more grip. It could be more exciting tomorrow with some pit stops and strategies and whatnot. This pit lane is extremely small as well, so hopefully, there's not too much chaos in the pit lane.

FIA Formula 2: All right. Well, let's hope we have a good race tomorrow. Very well done to you today. Clément, let's come to you now. Very well done to you. Your first podium in FIA Formula 2 just talk us through the start from your point of view.

Clément Novalak: It was pretty average, to be honest. I thought I would get a good launch, I think the practice start was really good on the formation lap, but I don't know, I just basically just got a bit of wheel spin right after the launch. I just didn't do the job into Turn 1, I tried to hang around the outside but Marcus had me there. From then on it was trying to put pressure on him, I tried to keep as close as I could but every time you got within a second you'd start to get brake fade, and you'd start getting overheating in the tyres. So it's a shame, but it's a P2 and I'll take it.

FIA Formula 2: How was the pace of the car late on in the race? And did you fancy your chances of having a run on him after the safety car restart?

Novalak: I actually got a really bad restart because I was expecting him to go a lot later. So guess I didn't get a proper chance, or a proper run but I think the pace actually generally got better as the car was on lower fuel loads. So hopefully we can do a good race tomorrow and switch it up with the strategy and show our pace because I was just sort of there and then couldn't go any quicker really.

FIA Formula 2: Clément, as I said, it's your first podium in Formula 2, can you just sum up how you think things have gone this season? It seems to me the race pace has been there from the outset. Perhaps a little more progress is needed in Qualifying. Is that an accurate assessment?

Novalak: I think it's honestly the best way you could put it because the race pace has always been extremely strong. We've always made up positions in the races but in Qualifying, I just haven't managed to put either a full lap together or I've been a little bit unlucky with traffic and Red Flags. So I think it's sort of the biggest thing that's hindered me the most from getting results this year, but it's obviously a massive challenge stepping up into F2 as well. So it's a cool challenge and I'm going to keep working on it.

FIA Formula 2: Alright, very well done to you thanks, Clément. Dennis coming to you, a great job by you today as well. Your fourth podium of the season so far. Just talk us through the race from your point of view.

Dennis Hauger: I think we knew it was going to be in the start, that what was going to be the most important. I had sort of a plan in my head, but you never really know before it's gonna happen, right? It was not too bad, had a decent launch and got around the outside of Jüri in Turn 1. Then we were side by side into Turn 2, but I just managed to keep it around outside. From then on really it was just about managing, to be fair, I felt like I had a decent pace in the beginning, but it started to drop off a bit afterwards compared to the two guys in front. Still, the guys behind struggled to stay on as well. It was a tough race, just keeping everything together and keeping it clean. Other than that, not too much was happening, so it was just about doing the race and trying to do the job on track.

FIA Formula 2: You said you had good pace early on, but there was a lot of pressure from Liam Lawson. What was that like? Did he get close to having a look?

Hauger: No, not really, to be fair, it's quite hard to get close enough here. I think I think he was 0.7s away or something on the main straight once, but he was never really in a position to do much, just trying to get me stressed out or something like that. He started dropping off as well in the end, so I wasn't really worried about it. I just tried to do my race and focus on what I could control at that time.

FIA Formula 2: All right, well, it very well done to you.