Thoughts from Pourchaire, Piastri and Drugovich
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here in Monaco. In third place, Felipe Drugovich for UNI-Virtuosi, in second place Oscar Piastri for PREMA and taking his first victory in Formula 2 - thereby becoming the youngest winner in Formula 2 history - our winner Théo Pourchaire for ART Grand Prix. Théo many congratulations, just how good was being on the podium?
Théo Pourchaire: It was amazing, the race was so stressful because I was under pressure. Monaco is unique, you cannot make a mistake in Monaco, so I was so concentrated. We had the perfect race; I was fast in the second part of the race and we had a really good strategy. I can only thank the team for that, and also my family, and Sauber Academy. It feels incredible. I didn't know I was the youngest ever winner, it feels so good. I'm just so happy!
FIA Formula 2: Théo could we just break down a little bit, you say you were under a lot of pressure. First up, how difficult was it early on when you had Robert Shwartzman right on your gearbox?
Pourchaire: It was not easy because in Monaco you have to push. You have to stay focused on your own race and Robert was pushing quite a lot behind me and putting a lot of pressure on me. Every time he was one tenth, or two tenths, faster than me and that was difficult mentally because to stay concentrated for 20 laps without making mistake and with a PREMA pushing you it's not easy. But I think I drove a really good race, made zero mistakes, and it feels so good.
FIA Formula 2: Great race from you. Just how good was the car, was it as good today as it was in Qualifying on Thursday?
Pourchaire: I think the car was really good all weekend. The Quali was amazing, the car was amazing, and I did a really good lap. In the race, our start was not so good, and Robert had a really good start so I was a bit scared because I wanted to stay in front. We all know it's almost impossible to overtake here. As soon as I was in front of him, I was in free air pushing. I knew that my goal was just to push and focus on my own race, and with this car I could drive as fast as I wanted.
FIA Formula 2: Of course, celebrate the moment, but can I throw it forward a few weeks because we have another street circuit next up. Are you confident that the pace of your car will translate there as well?
Pourchaire: I don't know to be honest. Baku is completely different, it’s a really fast track and I don't what's going to happen there. I will discover the track, and I think Oscar, Felipe and lots of people will also be discovering the track. I think ART are not too bad in Baku, but we will have to adapt as we do with every track and every race weekend, but I think it will be good.
FIA Formula 2: Well done Théo. Oscar coming to you, a really good days work for you two podiums you must be thrilled?
Oscar Piastri: You summed it up pretty well. Two second places is a pretty solid day in Monaco. We had a decent race this morning in the rain, then the Feature Race was really good. I struggled a bit in the beginning but then once I found my feet I pushed and caught up to Robert reasonably quickly. I think Dan behind us was probably quickest on track at that stage. So yeah, a pretty solid day.
FIA Formula 2: You weren't totally happy with your car in the damp this morning, was it better in the dry this afternoon?
Piastri: Definitely. The pace in Monaco is very much dictated by what the leader wants to do, so it was more or less follow the leader. Then I saw Ticktum went for the undercut on me so we had to react to that and covered it successfully. I'd say we definitely better than this morning, the same position on track, but it was a bit more comfortable this afternoon.
FIA Formula 2: You've spent quite a lot of time racing wheel to wheel with Dan Ticktum today. Can you talk us through what happened as Rascasse?
Piastri: I actually haven't seen what happened. Obviously, I locked up into the swimming pool and then we were side by side to Rascasse and next thing I knew he wasn't there anymore. I don't really have much more to comment on then that.
FIA Formula 2: Finally, up to P2 in the Championship now, how does that feel?
Piastri: That's cool. There's still six weekends to go so I'm not looking at that too much, but it's nice to be able to finish the job off here. Ok, we didn't win but in Bahrain we had a very solid weekend and I kind of threw it away with a few laps to go, so to have a really strong weekend and finish it off with P2 in the Feature Race is much more satisfying than in Bahrain.
FIA Formula 2: Great stuff, thank you Oscar. Felipe coming to you, a man who has had a very good weekend as well and what a fantastic race. You said on the radio that it might even be the race of your life. Why does this one mean so much?
Felipe Drugovich: Well first of all, because it's in Monaco. But not only because of that, you have a feeling every time you finish a race and this time, I feel like I didn't put a wheel wrong. The whole race I was on the limit, on the edge, every lap pushing for my life. I'm extremely happy with how I did today so that's why I said it was the race of my life because of the job I did, I don't think I could do much better than that!
FIA Formula 2: You said a moment ago that you decided on the alternate strategy just before the start of the race. What did you think was on at that stage, did you think a podium might have been on the cards?
Drugovich: No, no way! We were thinking maybe if the strategy worked maybe P6, or P5, would be really good. Obviously, we were wrong, and I'm really happy with the result. We maximised everything that we had, the pit stop was great, the first stint was great. Obviously, you can't overtake but I was really pushing Christian to go forward to help me gain a little bit of time in the first stint as well. I think it was really good!
FIA Formula 2: Well done Felipe!