FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the FIA Formula 2 Championship post-qualifying press conference at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Joining us today is our polesitter Alexander Albon for DAMS, in second we have Nyck de Vries for PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing, and in third, Luca Ghiotto of Campos Vexatec Racing. Alexander, starting with you - this is now your second pole position in Formula 2. How did you find the session, and were there any major challenges out there today?

Alexander Albon: Not really, the main issue was…it’s not even an issue, but there was the red flag - and with a red flag there’s a split strategy you can do. You’re always going to plan on going out at the beginning, and depending on whether you’ve had a good first run, we wanted to go out straight away on the second run – and that way, you won’t end up with traffic and potential problems that you’d get later on in qualifying. With that red flag, we thought “okay, what do we do now” and we decided to still go for it but we didn’t know that on the second push lap we would be coming up against traffic, so we had to deliver on the first one. It was quite nerve-wracking, but I knew the car was very quick and I knew I had no space – almost everyone did their best time on the second push lap, and that’s when the tyres are really at their peak. All credit to the DAMS team, the car’s been really good this weekend and I was really happy with the lap itself.

FIA Formula 2: You and your teammate Nicholas Latifi were out of the car in the final five minutes of the session, how nervous was that for you?

Alexander: I hate it, I hate it with a passion! Obviously when you’re in the car you’re not really paying attention to what the other drivers do, but when you’re just stuck there with the engineers just looking at the timing screens – looking at the greens and the purples – it wears you out, it makes you older! It made me think “why do the engineers enjoy this?” because it just wasn’t fun – it’s horrible! laughs I think my heart rate was higher in those five minutes than it was for the rest of the session. I’m just really happy it was all okay.

FIA Formula 2: Congratulations - Nyck, over to you. You’re P2 today after a somewhat difficult start to the season, how was your session today?

Nyck: I think it went pretty well, for some reason we didn’t manage to optimise the tyres on lap 1, but already in free practice we were competitive and in qualifying we continued that momentum from the morning. I think we were P2 after the first run and at that stage you know you have the potential to perform and do the job. I was slightly disappointed at the end of my fastest lap, I made a few mistakes and I think I lost a bit of time there. In the end, everyone has those things and in the end, I think Alex and DAMS really deserve the pole today. They’ve been quickest in practice and in the first run they were a bit stronger than us, but we were very clearly competitive and it would have been maybe a couple of thousandths between us. But in the end, I’m happy to start from the front row tomorrow. As you said, it’s been a difficult start to the season, but we’ve shown some good things, and the championship will be long. So, we’ll focus on tomorrow and try to take the maximum points possible.

FIA Formula 2: Can we ask how much the wind has an effect today, and how much the resurfacing of the track came into play?

Nyck: Yeah, the resurfacing of the track is very different, it’s nice because the grip is higher and it’s much smoother so from a comfort point of view it’s better. Sometimes it’s so smooth that it’s hard to feel what the car is doing, but in general it’s a positive step in comparison to what it used to be. Luckily the wind was consistent, so from free practice to qualifying it was the same so I could get used to it, in some corners the balance was a bit different but again it was consistent – it was the same for everyone so I don’t think it made too much of an impact on the final result.

FIA Formula 2: Luca, coming to you. This has been your best qualifying result of the season, but we’ve seen you start from pole here in GP3, and you scored points in both races here in F2 last year. Is this a circuit you particularly enjoy racing at?

Luca Ghiotto: Well, I really enjoy racing in Barcelona because it’s a nice track; everyone knows it very well because we come here a lot, and I think it’s the first time in a long time that we’ve not come here for testing. Last year, I had a good weekend here, coming second in the feature race. It’s too early to say how the race tomorrow is going to be, but for sure we’re going to try our best and try to get some points – this season’s been terrible so far in that we’ve only got four points in two weekends which is not what we’ve worked for. I want to keep my target low for the moment, I don’t want to have high expectations, just to get to the points and we’ll see what our potential is tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: As you say, it’s not been the easiest start to the season. Does having a result like this in qualifying give you more energy?

Luca: For sure, that’s one thing I was missing last year – if we compare the start of this season to last, I was really bad in qualifying so that was something I was working really hard to reach in one lap. So doing well in qualifying is something that gives me good confidence in the car. We’ve been working very hard and we’ve been improving quite consistently during testing and the first two races. We probably had a faster car in Baku, but at the end I crashed the car so that was my fault. Hopefully, we can be as quick as that tomorrow – we still have some bits to improve to beat these guys next to me, but I think we can do it.

FIA Formula 2: Alex, just back to you; in the previous race, you probably weren’t on the ultimate pitstop strategy. What have you got up your sleeves to make up for that tomorrow?

Alexander: There’s an alternate strategy available here, so we can go prime-option or option-prime. We’re going to decide this evening and see how we feel, but for me in Baku being at the beginning of the pitlane – and when you try to pit at the same time as everyone else - you’re at a disadvantage because people are coming in when you’re trying to get out. We’re aware of that, and we’re going to try and find a way to have a smoother pitstop. Again we’re focusing on the starts as well, just to get off the line and have a good opening lap.