THOUGHTS FROM TICKTUM, LUNDGAARD AND DELÉTRAZ
FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in today's FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Silverstone. We are joined by race winner Dan Ticktum for DAMS, in second place is Christian Lundgaard for ART Grand Prix, and third is Louis Delétraz for Charouz Racing System. Dan, your first win in Formula 1, and at your home race, but I imagine those last laps were really tense inside the car.
Dan Ticktum: The whole race to be honest! There was never a dull moment, definitely. I think the first five laps this season, in all stints, we've struggled in getting the tyres up to temperature and being quick. I wasn't nervous about 'off the lights', normally I've been quite good, but I was a bit worried about the first five laps pace to be honest. I seem to have figured out, me, myself, and the team, how to get more temp, and managed to stay ahead. When it came to the middle phase of the race, I was really strong and I started to pull away. Overall, I think the management was really good. The safety car obviously threw a bit of a curve ball which I wasn't particularly happy about at the time. We have to look at whether I should have boxed to be honest, because the delta I had in the pit lane from the VSC was actually quite big. We'll have a look at that after. Anyway, the last three laps when the safety car came in, I was absolutely doing it because I knew he was going to be very close and he was. One more corner and he would have passed me. I think myself and the team did a great job moving forward from the setup that we had yesterday. We definitely went in the right direction. Like I said, I haven't won a race for a long time, I think it's Macau 2018, and I don't want to check! To cross the line first, especially at home, was very special. I'll remember this one.
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations. You also had a bit of a strange moment when Callum (Ilott) was coming through the field but had a time penalty. What were you thinking then when you saw him coming up so quickly? Were you aware of his penalty?
Dan: It was 50/50 in my mind. One, I wanted to cross the line first because it's a proper win, and two, I was sceptical of his pace to be honest. He was catching me by seven tenths per lap. I wasn't flat out but I was pretty close to being as fast as I could have been. I could have maybe found three tenths a lap at that stage of the race, but I would have destroyed the front left if I were pushing more than that. I don't actually know what happened. Did he spin?
FIA Formula 2: Yeah, Callum spun and caused the safety car.
Dan: Yeah, okay. Well, I knew that but I didn't know if he'd crashed or not. I don't know. Maybe he pushed too much. Maybe he thought he had nothing to lose because of the penalty, but at the end of the day, even if he did get to me with the dirty air and everything, it would have been quite hard to pass anyway. There were some things to deal with in that race, it wasn't easy.
FIA Formula 2: Christian, moving on to you. You provided plenty of entertainment for us in those final few laps. Just talk us through the call to make the switch for new tyres.
Christian Lundgaard: I was actually in the pit lane! I think I was halfway through the pit lane and then at the last second I was called to box. We lost a bit of time on the pit stop, which is why I came out behind Maz (Nikita Mazepin). I think if we would have been ahead of him we could have won the race. Like I said earlier, I'm not disappointed about the result. The team did a good job today because I was not expecting anything like this to happen. I think a podium would definitely have been possible without a safety car as well, so in the end I think we got the maximum out of today.
FIA Formula 2: I'm told you're not a huge fan of this circuit, but you've managed to pull out another good result and it's really helped your championship chances as well.
Christian: I don't know if it's something to do with my results in previous categories, but I've never been a fan of the place. Definitely this year it's a different story because the cars are so much quicker. There's a lot more downforce. I've also spoken to some of the drivers on the grid that were driving last year. It's a lot harder physically than last year, but it does seem that we have a lot of downforce. Maggots/Becketts are some of the coolest things I've done so far this year, and I'm looking forward to Spa too. But, to come back to today, I'm happy.
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations, well done today. Louis, your second podium of the season as well. Did that safety car help your race, or did it hurt your chances?
Louis Delétraz: It's hard to say to be honest. I'm happy with third. I was third before the safety car, and I finished third after. I couldn't do much more. Just before the safety car I was closing in. I'd saved my tyres. Callum passed both of us and then I started to push, and I was quite a bit faster. I was lining up my move, but I never got the chance. To be honest, when I saw him box, I thought it was a present for me, because he was never going to come back. I thought there were much more cars behind. Then I got the call on the radio telling me where he was, and though that maybe we should have done it as well! It was an intense race, and I couldn't do much more than that.
FIA Formula 2: It was a good drive, and it's a decent run of results for you as well after a difficult weekend in the second round in Austria. What have you worked on? Are you getting more comfortable with these tyres?
Louis: I think the tyres have changed a lot. We had a good first weekend with good points, but I think no one could really take much from the first round. The second week at the Red Bull Ring we struggled a lot. We definitely had a real issue, found out what it was, and we worked a lot on the car. I worked on myself as well, and it seems like we're getting it together. We're still lacking quali pace. We just qualify in the top 10, but it's not enough. You just make your life harder. Race pace seems to be fine. We're not the quickest. I think Virtuosi have been very impressive. They both spun today, but without that I think they could have won. That's what we have to work on.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much. Dan, just returning to you. If we look at the championship picture, it's been a good weekend with Robert failing to score and Callum retiring as well. Does this feel like a weekend when you've pulled yourself back into contention in the title picture?
Dan: I think judging from previous years and what we've seen at DAMS at least, if I score 20 points on average per weekend, you're going to pretty much win. If I can get anywhere near to 20 points most weekends... I think we just haven't got the pace at the moment in quali, so to be where I am. I think there's obviously bits I can work on still because there's a lot to learn in this category. I think I've done a pretty good job to be honest, bringing the car up to the reverse grid positions and stuff like that, to get the most points. I don't actually know where I am now, but it's all quite close now. I can't believe Christian doesn't like the circuit. That's very strange to hear to be honest!