Thoughts from Fittipaldi, Verschoor and Pourchaire

FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Spa-Francorchamps. In third place, Théo Pourchaire for ART Grand Prix. In second place, Richard Verschoor for Van Amersfoort Racing, and taking his first win in FIA Formula 2, our winner Enzo Fittipaldi for Rodin Carlin. Enzo, this is a very special moment for you, quite a long time coming. Just describe how it felt on the podium.

Enzo Fittipaldi: It was an amazing feeling, obviously. I’m very happy with my first win and to be at such an amazing track like Spa is very special. I’m just very happy to have had a really good race today, a good fight as well with Théo for one or two laps and then with Richard in the last two laps. So, it was an amazing race. We had great pace, especially from the middle to the end of the race and I saw Richard was struggling and took advantage of that to bang some good laps in at the end and make a move.

FIA Formula 2: Enzo, it’s such a famous surname yours. What would your grandfather be saying to you now if he was here?

Fittipaldi: I think they’d all be very, very happy for sure. Obviously, it’s an honour to carry the Fittipaldi name on track, but at the end of the day, I’m here to make my name and that’s Enzo Fittipaldi.

FIA Formula 2: Talk us through the race then. It was a very patient drive by you, what was the strategy from the off?

Fittipaldi: I was struggling a bit with pace in the first five laps, Théo behind was putting quite a lot of pressure and Richard had pulled away quite a bit. I think it was like three or four seconds. So, I was struggling and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep my position or lose a podium spot. Then from the middle to the end, I found pace. I kind of found a balance where it felt comfortable and I could start pushing more of the corners and I started catching Richard. The balance towards the end of the race was really very good. Thanks obviously to all of the Carlin team, the car was fantastic today and very happy with the result.

FIA Formula 2: Can you just talk us through the move for the lead?

Fittipaldi: Richard had a bad chicane and he went a bit deep, and I was able to catch him a bit there. Coming into Turn 1 I was pretty close, but obviously I didn’t want to be too close because of the dirty air in Eau Rouge. So, I lifted a little bit before Eau Rouge to give a little bit of a gap and then I was able to do Eau Rouge flat and have a great run into Turn 5. It was quite difficult, the slipstream wasn’t that strong, so I was struggling to get a run on Richard. I was able to get him just before the braking of Turn 5, I was able to be a full car length ahead of him.

FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you, fantastic to see you up there on the top step. Richard, coming to you now. A brilliant race by you, how frustrating to lose it on that penultimate lap to Enzo.

Richard Verschoor: Of course, it’s always very frustrating. We just didn’t have the pace today and, at the end, I dropped a lot. Already at the beginning, I didn’t feel really good with the car, but somehow, I pulled away from them. So, I think everybody must have been struggling with pace and with the grip. Then at the end, my fronts and my brakes were off. It was all a bit of a mess, so it was very difficult for me to keep the pace. In the end, they just did it better and of course, it’s always frustrating.

FIA Formula 2: We heard you refer to the brake problem over the radio on the slow down lap. How long had you been suffering with brake issues?

Verschoor: It's not that the brakes were not working. It's always if they go under a certain temperature, they get too cold and become less efficient and it was from Lap 3 already. So, it was quite a long one for me.

FIA Formula 2: And what about the start too? Somehow you managed to hold on to P2, but that run to Turn 1 was difficult for you.

Verschoor: It was. We had a wet grid spot, so as soon as I dropped my clutch, I was just wheel spinning. So, it was a bit of a shame, but we managed to hold on to P2.

FIA Formula 2: And final one from me, just tell us how the tyres held up.

Verschoor: They didn’t. I was just dropping like a stone at some point. But the others were too, as I said, so let's try to improve that for tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: Well, and what have you learned today that can help you tomorrow?

Verschoor: Well, let's see. I'm not going to tell you we’re there.

FIA Formula 2: Okay, thank you very much. Look, well done to you Richard and Théo, coming to you now. A fantastic result for you, loads of overtaking, it was a busy race. Talk us through the opening lap first of all.

Théo Pourchaire: I mean the start was a bit difficult. My reaction time was really bad, but then I had a good start, so that was okay. I overtook Dennis and another car probably in Turn 1 and then, I was almost flat on the first lap in Raidillon because my car was really good the first few laps. I could overtake Ralph Boschung into Turn 5 and after that, the first few laps, I was really, really quick, but I knew I was going to have a bit of tyre deg. But at least we tried something today and we learned a lot of things.

FIA Formula 2: Now, it’s been a brilliant race for you, for the Championship, just seven points separating you and Fred Vesti. Now just give us your thoughts on that.

Pourchaire: It’s good, it’s good. Tomorrow is the big race, tomorrow there are a lot of points to take. I feel confident, we have a great car. I’m starting P5 tomorrow, so it’s even better than today and I have a great chance to do a great race because there is the pit stop strategy, a lot can happen. So, let’s see.

FIA Formula 2: Right, very well done to you as well.