THOUGHTS FROM DARUVALA, TSUNODA AND TICKTUM
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 Sakhir. We are joined by race winner Jehan Daruvala for Carlin, in second place is Yuki Tsunoda, also for Carlin, and third is Dan Ticktum for DAMS. Jehan, your first victory in FIA Formula 2. Just how does it feel to cap off the season like that?
Jehan Daruvala: It feels very good to finish the season on a high. It's been, in general, a tough year for me. Things have been getting better and better, and to finish the season with a win is the best result I could really ask for.
FIA Formula 2: You had to work hard for it. How tough was that fight with Dan, trying to take the lead? It was a good ten laps there that you looked like you were trying to line it up.
Jehan: Honestly, I expect nothing less. You're fighting for the win; you're going to give it everything. It was hard, but it was fair at the end of the day. I took my time. I struggled. He had me covered on every move, so I just decided then that I should wait, make sure we pull a gap from the cars behind, and then take my chances later on. I think he tried letting me go before the DRS zone, but I timed that pretty well. After that, he seemed to struggle a bit more than we did, so I could pull away and win the race.
FIA Formula 2: Nicely done, congratulations today. Yuki, from eighth to second, and with the fastest lap. A Carlin one-two. Is that the perfect way to end the season?
Yuki Tsunoda: Yeah, I think so. Well, if I were P1 it'd be more perfect, but I think it's a good finish, especially for Carlin - P1, P2. I didn't expect this result, especially in the Sprint Race. I'm really happy to end with this result, at the final round, in the final race.
FIA Formula 2: If we just look at the race, there was a point I think with Dan, running up to the final corner with one lap to go where you both slowed down. What happened there?
Yuki: I think he tried to come behind to use the DRS.
Dan Ticktum: That is what I tried to do.
Yuki: Yeah. He went in front because I felt my tyres were in a better condition than him, so I just tried to accelerate better, but he passed me into Turn 1. Then in the last corner I luckily passed him, so it's good.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today, it was a great race to watch. Dan, you played your part in that thrilling race, but you had to get your elbows out and try and defend. I imagine, starting from pole and finishing third, you're not too happy today though?
Dan Ticktum: No. To be honest. I'm not very happy. I have to say it just reminds me of many an argument I had with my father when I was in karting and I was much younger, where we would refuse, basically, to go with a top team and pay however much money it was for a go-kart - huge money, I won't say numbers. So, we went to a team that we thought would benefit me more mentally in the long run. And there was a couple of seasons where I just had no power. I'd managed to qualify alright, but then I'd just have to defend for the entire race. I remember arguing, "dad, I want to be in this team, I want to be in this team." You know? He said, "no, this is character building for your future and good for your racecraft." I think it is, to be honest! I don't think many people would have been able to defend for that long to be honest, without tooting my own horn or anything. I actually enjoyed it, defending. I just had no pace! You know, let's be brutally honest, I just struggled with traction after Lap 4. I struggled to keep the rear of the car. Exit of Turn 2, the little kink, and exit of Turn 8 with a bump, I just got not traction so there was nothing I could do. Then, as soon as the rears start to get a bit hot then you rear lock a bit. Then you put the brake bias forward. Then you start to lock the fronts. Then you get a flat spot. Then you're completely screwed. I did everything I could. It's annoying that I locked up in the last corner, but I just had no grip. I had nothing left. I had a massive flat stop. I had no rears. My rear tyre temp was probably 20 degrees hotter than his, so he's just able to cruise either around the outside or undercut, it was just also going to happen unfortunately. I played it clever with DRS on the lap before, because I knew it was going to be the last lap so I thought maybe if I got ahead of him at Turn 1 again, which I did by sort of risking everything, braking it felt like at the 50 metre board. But there you go. I tried my absolute best. It's been a very tough year with DAMS. I'm happy to get them a podium, but obviously it's not where they want to be, and not where they should be, let's say. Anyway, there you go.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today, it was still great to watch. Jehan, just returning to you. You've had a really strong end to the season. How much does this win strengthen your plans for next year?
Jehan: I always believed in myself, it was just a couple of reasons why things did really go well at the start of the season. They got better and better, and yeah, to finish on a high like I said means quite a lot to me. I hope, I think I will be back here next year in the FIA F2 Championship. Hopefully, this win gives me some confidence to be a contender for the title next year.