Thoughts from Boschung, Hauger and Martins
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here in Bahrain. In third place, Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix, in second place, Dennis Hauger for MP Motorsport and taking his first win in FIA Formula 2 Ralph Boschung for Campos Racing. Ralph, what a day for you. Talk us through how you're feeling.
Ralph Boschung: Yes, super happy, I have to say. Obviously, it took a long time for me to get the win, but finally we have it. Especially to win by more than 10 seconds. The car was incredible and I'm just super happy.
FIA Formula 2: When you reflect on your career in FIA Formula 2, why do you think it's taken so long to get this win? Because, as you say, you dominated today. Boschung: I mean I think its various factors. I think I’ve matured a lot over the years. I maybe stepped up into F2 at the wrong time, when I was not in the right environment, let's say. I always knew that I could do it, but it was just a lot of external factors that weren’t great. Now, finally, I can show my true potential.
FIA Formula 2: Do you think you've got the car to put together a title challenge this year?
Boschung: I think so yes. Obviously, I had the same question last year when we had a good start to the season then I had the neck injury. So, you never know what can happen, and the team gave me a car that as we saw today, can win races. I also think pole positions are clearly a possibility. Obviously, the level is just so high, you can make the slightest mistake and then be nowhere in a race weekend. The car is there to do it. It's just everything has to go together.
FIA Formula 2: You dedicated this win to Adrian Campos. Where would you be without him? What did he do for you?
Boschung: I wouldn't be here. Probably I wouldn't be here.
FIA Formula 2: Well, very well done to you. Many congratulations. Dennis, let's move to you now, sixth to second. What a way to kick off your life at MP Motorsport?
Dennis Hauger: Yeah, definitely. I think the pace overall was good. I didn't have the best start, but after that, we sort of managed to settle down and have a good race taking it one by one, so I enjoyed it a lot. A good start to the season. I was a bit too far off to try and challenge the lead for F2 but otherwise, I'm happy with it. Good points in the first race and I think we can be confident going into the the Feature Race tomorrow.
FIA Formula 2: You managed to make your way through the field and keep your tyres alive. Tell us how you managed to do that.
Hauger: I think it's a lot about the the thermal deg around this track and we were all on softs so it's all sensitive, to be honest. I think I just managed to stay a bit calmer in the beginning. While everyone was fighting, I stayed a bit behind and tried to keep everything calm. Then at some point mid race I managed to get a step forward on the pace and that's the moment we managed to go forward, so a good experience to bring into tomorrow.
FIA Formula 2: All right, many congratulations to you as well. Victor, an incredible first race in FIA Formula 2 for you, from eighth on the grid to the podium. Tell us how satisfied you are with that?
Victor Martins: I'm really proud of my race today. I’m also really proud of the team with the car they gave me. To be honest, I was pushing a lot. I was feeling I had the grip to do it, so I just went for it and I got many opportunities. I wanted to look ahead. Then for sure, at some point I had to manage the tyres. I made a few mistakes which cost me being able to fight again to gain a position on Iwasa. Then I knew I was going to struggle, so it was a matter of keeping the the car on track and finishing where I could.
FIA Formula 2: How much did you enjoy the on track battles today, particularly with Ayumu and Dennis?
Martins: It was really nice, really clean. A lot of respect between each other, which is I think is a good thing for the first race of the season. We are always a bit excited when we start, so to have a clean race like that to battle and have fun. It's always nice.
FIA Formula 2: And what's the biggest thing you've learned today?
Martins: I will say to manage my emotions a bit more. I was seeing Ralph and I was like; I want to go for it. But you need to think about the tyres, so maybe tomorrow and tonight we need to analyse where I could have stayed a bit more on the back foot to be better in the end. I need to have another approach, but I think for the first race I just wanted to push and see where I ended up.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you.