FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the FIA Formula 2 Press Conference following the Feature Race at Silverstone. Joining me today are: race winner Alexander Albon for DAMS, in second is George Russell for ART Grand Prix, and in third is Antonio Fuoco for Charouz Racing System. Alexander, coming to you first: it’s your second feature race win of the season, congratulations. From your perspective, what was more important in getting the win today – leaving the pits first or passing Boschung on track?
Alexander Albon: I’d say the pits, to be honest, I think that decided the race. It was quite clear for me on lap 2 that it’s a track where it’s very difficult to follow and it’s easy to overheat your tyres. We did go into the pits banking on that if we were to make a move, it would be there as the soft tyres were actually quite good. But then, we were very fortunate – George had an issue and my guys did a very good job, we were really fast and it’s been something we’ve been working on through the year. We realised it was something we needed to work on a little bit and every race we’ve been getting faster and faster. It was a race where my team made me win.
FIA Formula 2: It looked like a really smooth race for you, how was the degradation out there?
Alexander: To be honest, I think George and I were the only guys in free practice to do a long run and already by then, I knew that the tyres were going to be quite good. I heard other people talking about high deg, but I think I knew it wouldn’t be that bad. So with that information, I drove – pushing, but not killing the tyres, so I could relax. But I also saw that George was very quick, and he had the luxury that he could back off, cool the tyres down and go for fastest lap. I wanted to, but it was better to get the win than try to risk anything silly.
FIA Formula 2: George, coming to you: a good result where you extended your championship lead, you got the points for fastest lap, but you had a difficult time in the pits with the penalty and the error – what happened there?
George Russell: I think we had a problem trying to tighten the front-left wheel up once I had stopped, and then I’m not too sure when I got the penalty, where it was on the entry or the exit – I think it was potentially from the exit as Alex caught me a lot on the entry. So I think I misjudged when I took the pit limiter off. Then, as Alex said, we lost a lot of time in the pit stop which was disappointing, but the mechanic apologised – but I said to him that we’ve been one of the quickest in the pits all year, and if we have one mistake that costs us one position I’m not going to be disappointed at all. I think I’m disappointed not to win at my home race, the pace was definitely there to do it, but congrats to Alex and DAMS – they did a great job and we were very quick compared to those around us.
FIA Formula 2: What are your expectations for tomorrow, are you looking forward to the fight from the reverse grid?
George: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it – we’ve had a really good couple of weeks so far and it takes a bit of pressure off tomorrow. Hopefully myself and Alex can fight through, we certainly have the pace to do that and going off the last performance in the sprint race, there’s no reason why we can’t be pushing for a podium. But as Alex said, Silverstone’s a much harder track to overtake on, and with the higher speeds it makes it difficult to follow. We’ll have to wait and see!
FIA Formula 2: Antonio, here you are on the podium but on lap 1 you were reporting no power. What happened on the first lap?
Antonio: Yeah, to be honest we need to look after the race because I came to turn 1 with very low power and I was a bit afraid. Then it was all good, but it happened again on some laps in turn 1 and turn 9. But we managed to stay P3, and when Sette Camara came close I had everything under control because I was not pushing, I expected more tyre degradation to be honest, I think I’m the only one on the podium who didn’t try a long run. I think it wasn’t good for us, but we scored a good podium and with Louis in P4, it’s very good for the team.
FIA Formula 2: When Sergio had his retirement, it seemed that he was closing in on you. How worried were you that you might lose this podium finish?
Antonio: I was a bit worried, especially for the DRS as he came quite close before turn 14, I think one lap he tried to make an attack, but then I put a bit of a gap and then when he blew up the engine I was five seconds ahead of Ghiotto so I just managed until the end. On the last three laps, I pushed to get the fastest lap – it was close to George but not enough to take some more points.
FIA Formula 2: Coming back to you Alexander, what are your expectations for tomorrow? Do you think you’ll be able to fight through the field?
Alexander: Yeah, I’ll give it my best shot. As George said, it’s not going to be easy, and I think we’ll have to take into account – even setup-wise – just trying to adjust to the lack of downforce we’re going to get. I don’t know the pace of the guys who were around P6, P7 and P8, so I’m hoping it’s a good race where the guys in the front are a little bit slower and we can have some fights.