Thoughts from Bearman, Vesti and Martins

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at Spa-Francorchamps. In third place Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix, second place Frederik Vesti for PREMA Racing and taking his third pole position in FIA Formula 2, our pole sitter, Oliver Bearman. Now Ollie, that was very tough conditions out there, you had the one lap to get it done. Just talk us through it, how tough was it?

Oliver Bearman: Yeah I think before the session we all knew the rain was gonna come sooner rather than later, so the goal was to get out there and hopefully set a lap before the rain came. We’re quite fortunate to be at the start of the pitlane, so we got good track position and probably got the best track conditions out there, but still it was a really tough lap. Some of it was wet, some of it was dry, so it was really tough to go straight to the limit and do the lap.

FIA Formula 2: How do you find the limit in those conditions?

Bearman: I think you have a kind of reference for how much grip you’re going to have in a full dry situation, then the rest is a bit of guesswork and what you feel on the outlap. But of course it’s always changing with the tyres getting hotter and the track evolves, so it’s a fun experience.

FIA Formula 2: And the forecast for the rest of the weekend, well who knows? It could be wet it could be dry. How good was the car – do you have a preference as to whether you’d like it to be wet or dry?

Bearman: I think we’re going to get to try both looking at the forecast. I don’t really have a preference but the car felt really really good in the dry so looking forward to Sunday and fingers crossed it will be conditions we can at least predict, not changing all the time.

FIA Formula 2: Ollie you had two podiums here last year in Formula 3, you love driving round here?

Bearman: Yeah I had a lot of fun last year. It was my first time at the track. This time it’s my second and so far, so good. It’s really fun and it’s one of the most iconic tracks and I’m really enjoying it.

FIA Formula 2: Well done to you, thank you. Fred coming to you now, so you were the first car on track. How tough was it to lead the way?

Frederik Vesti: Yeah, it wasn’t easy. I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I just got a little bit of information before Red Flag and I knew we had one chance, maybe two if we were lucky. I already had a mistake at T1 so it’s how the lap started. Of course it was difficult for everyone but for sure, happy to be P2. It’s a good starting point for the weekend.

FIA Formula 2: And talk us through the lap, did you have any moments that you can tell us about?

Vesti: Yeah, T1 started with a big lock-up. And T9 I think I lost – I don’t know how much time but quite a lot. I think all drivers will say the same because we had no reference point at all so it was just to go there and try to predict and feel what the car is capable of doing. Either you go all out and risk everything or take a bit more margin and finish the lap. It’s a tricky compromise to do as a driver but yeah, we were definitely lucky to be at the start of the pitlane because the rain was starting to come by the end of the lap.

FIA Formula 2: It’s a PREMA 1-2, do you feel that your team has come here with the best car and do you think it’s going to be a race between you and your teammate on Sunday?

Vesti: I think this result is just from what happened, it’s difficult to say that we’re the fastest. We were a little bit lucky to be the first two cars out. But there’s no doubt that the car is good. Both of us had a really good feeling with the car and it’s been good at most of the races this year. We have good expectations and it’s exciting to have a race with Ollie, so let’s see what we can do on Sunday.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you for that. Victor coming to you now, just talk us through that session from your point of view.

Victor Martins: Of course it was really difficult for everyone in terms of weather conditions but in the end, I was also a bit lucky to be at the front of the pitlane and then it was just a matter of keeping it on the track and doing a clean lap. That wasn’t the case on my side, I think I had the same moment as Fred, I just completely locked up into Turn 1, almost lost it in Eau Rouge and the last chicane. Actually I’m still happy with P3, it was a good start to the weekend. There will be a lot of opportunities tomorrow and Sunday. I’m a bit frustrated but we were a bit lucky and we used it.

FIA Formula 2: We’ll throw it forward to the race. How good is your car?

Martins: I think we have been really strong in the last few rounds so I’m quite confident for the races. Of course, we’ll see tomorrow, it might be wet tomorrow. In Free Practice we were good, I was feeling good with the car. The pace was also great and honestly, in the dry we will need to see. The driver that takes the most risks will get the better tyre management and the best strategy, but I think Sunday will be mostly dry. So let’s do tomorrow and then we’ll prepare for Sunday.

FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you.