Thoughts from Doohan, Pourchaire and Vips
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations to the top three Qualifiers of the FIA Formula 2 Championship here at the Bahrain International Circuit. Qualifying in third place, Jüri Vips for Hitech Grand Prix, in second place Theo Pourchaire, for ART Grand Prix and taking his first pole in FIA Formula 2, Jack Doohan for Virtuosi Racing. Jack, many congratulations, pole already, how sweet does this feel?
Jack Doohan: Yeah it was good. To be honest, it was a little bit of an unknown, we knew we had the potential to do pole but we hadn't really run this trim so far in testing or even in Free Practice. So it was a little bit like going into the unknown but I had the confidence, I had the faith. We committed to a different strategy from everyone else with one push lap on both runs but it worked out and I'm happy to get the pole.
FIA Formula 2: Jack just tells us a little bit more about the strategy, because it was very different to the men on either side of you.
Doohan: So last year Zhou ran in the gap on his first set and then was together for the last set but we hadn't run that sort of trim before if we needed to make an adjustment between the gap and the second run we didn't really have time. We decided to go together and in the gap, which meant there was quite a waiting period for the remainder of the session, but we committed to it even after run one where everyone was improving on the second push, so my engineer was questioning whether we could still just do one lap, or to wait and do the two. We committed to it and luckily it worked out.
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations Jack. Theo coming to you next. Just over one-tenth shy of Jack, how pleased are you to be kicking things off on the front row this time?
Théo Pourchaire: I'm really happy to start the season like that. It's my second F2 season and I wanted to be at least in the top three in quali so job done. For sure it's not pole, but Virtuosi are really strong on this track. It's a really strong team in general, congrats to Jack also for the pole. He did an amazing job, but Virtuosi are really strong. It's only a tenth it's almost nothing, I think I can improve a bit myself as well. It was really difficult, a lot of pressure on the last lap because of the lap time deletion but it was good.
FIA Formula 2: Were there any nervous moments going into that? I just wanted to ask you a little more about the lap time being deleted. Tell us a bit more about the pressure and needing to deliver on that final lap.
Pourchaire: There was a lot of pressure because otherwise, I think I would have been P14 or P15 something like that. I needed to do a really good lap and I did the job so. It was a bit difficult mentally, I was screaming on the radio because to me it felt like I was in the track limits but then I saw the video and it was clearly a mistake from my side. But I'm here, P2, everything is fine and I'm happy.
FIA Formula 2: Theo, many congratulations. Juri coming to you now, great session for you as well. How good was the car?
Jüri Vips: The car was amazing, I thought the lap was really good as well. I'm generally very happy, but I am slightly annoyed because I got traffic in the middle sectors so... I honestly don't think we had enough for pole but compared to even the previous lap when the tyres weren't there we lost a fair chunk in Turn 11. So, a bit mixed emotions but a very encouraging session.
FIA Formula 2: A quick word on the incident with Dennis Hauger early on in the session. How did you see that?
Vips: I think it's just a bit of a rookie mistake from his side. I don't know exactly what they were doing, they were out with the hards early on which was quite surprising. I didn't even check the tyre, I knew I was going behind him, but I just didn't expect anyone to be on hards so I left the same gap I normally would. On the second part of the lap, I was in his diffuser the whole lap. I didn't expect him to pit obviously, I expected during qualifying for him to end the lap and I think in the end we got quite lucky with my reactions, it could have been a very big shunt.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you and well done to all three of you!