Thoughts from Iwasa, Daruvala and Crawford
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here in Monte Carlo. In third place, Jak Crawford for Hitech Pulse-Eight, in second place Jehan Daruvala for MP Motorsport and taking his third win of the 2023 season, our winner Ayumu Iwasa for DAMS. Ayu, what an impressive race by you, well done. After the tough weekend you had out in Baku how important was it to bounce back with a win here?
Ayumu Iwasa: I think it's quite a positive, unfortunately I missed a result again in Qualifying yesterday even though I had the speed that's why I could take the P1 in Free Practice yesterday. I think this is the minimum recovery as a driver. Anyway I'm quite happy about this result and speed in the race. I think this will be quite positive for tomorrow's race.
FIA Formula 2: How good was the car today?
Iwasa: Actually it was quite ok, it was quite similar to Qualifying and Free Practice. The driving was not so difficult I was just trying to manage the speed and pace and the tyre. The pace wasn't perfect, but also not too bad so I should try to analyse a bit my driving today because I was missing the pace a little bit in the middle of the race. I think tha's the only point from today's race.
FIA Formula 2: You say you were missing a little bit of pace in the middle of the race but do you think you could have challenged and maybe overtake Isack Hadjar had he not had to retire after that first Safety Car?
Iwasa: Honestly, it's really difficult to say because we didn't run that many laps before the Safety Car so it's difficult to know. It should have been difficult because it's Monaco, maybe the pace was a little bit better than him, but maybe the overtake would have been a bit more difficult.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you. Jehan let's come to you now. You were second at the Sprint Race in Monaco last year, second in the Sprint Race again this year. Great consistency by you. How does this podium compare to last year?
Jehan Daruvala: I would say it's a bit better, in a way it was more challenging, especially in the middle of the race. Of course it's very difficult to overtake, so my goal was just to put as much pressure as I could on Ayu but he didn't make any mistakes. After the Safety Car I got a bit of scare because I had a puncture warning on my dash so I was taking it really easy because I didn't want to have a slow puncture and put it in the wall so I was breaking really early everywhere which is why he opened a four or five seconds gap within a couple of laps so by then I just decided to bring it home.
FIA Formula 2: What did you learn today that will help you in the Feature Race?
Daruvala: I think I learnt that when I get a bit too close for too many laps the car balance has changes quite a lot and it does get difficult. Apart from that we can take a lot of positives from today's race. I felt like we had good pace, even though I wasn't over driving. Of course I was pushing close to the limits but it was nothing out of control and the car was always good and we had good pace.
FIA Formula 2: Well done. Jak coming to you now, high pressure race, Richard Verschoor never very far from your gearbox. How tough was it from your point of view?
Jak Crawford: It was really tough, I actually had the same issue as Jehan at the beginning of the race. I was also taking it easy the first two laps because I had a puncture warning. After that I pushed a lot and distroyed the tyres a bit and after that it became really difficult and Richard was quite quick, especially in Sector 2, in Turn 10 he was quite close but I was just quick enough in the right places to keep him behind.
FIA Formula 2: After what happened to your teammate did you have any reliability concerns?
Crawford: For me, no I didn't have any concerns. I'm sorry for him, but I wasn't worried.
FIA Formula 2: Jak this is your third podium in Formula 2, it feels like you've got your feet firmly under the F2 table. Do you feel fully confident in these cars now?
Crawford: I feel up to speed, obviously the Qualifying has been decent this year, that's why we have had three podiums in the last three Sprint Races. Obviously we need to improve on the race pace on my side and fight for the Feature Race which is where the big points are.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to all three of you.