FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in today's FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here in Monaco. We are joined by race winner Nyck de Vries for ART Grand Prix, in second place is Luca Ghiotto for UNI-Virtuosi Racing, and third is Nobuharu Matsushita for Carlin. Nyck, back-to-back wins for you in Formula 2 but you were made to wait for this one today.
Nyck de Vries: Yes. I'm just extremely pleased with today's race. It was very tough. I knew it was going to be tough. I also knew we had the pace but, as happened today, a red flag halfway through the race, which was far from ideal because we only had 19 laps left to make a 25 second gap. We were forced to put our other set of prime tyres on to have new rubber and enough pace to pull a gap. I think we really deserved this one. We just did our job and I'm happy for the team and myself that we got this one.
FIA Formula 2: You obviously had pole position yesterday and a strong start today. Everything seemed to be going well, so what was going through your mind when you have the red flag, and then also the late safety car as well and a one-lap restart?
Nyck: They are all things that are out of your control. You know they can happen. Obviously, you'd rather just have a smooth race, but to be honest I didn't mind too much about the red flag because it gave us a bit of a breather, even though I had a comfortable gap to Luca and it didn't make our strategy easier, but for me personally I didn't mind a little bit of a breather!
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Luca, moving on to you. We know track position is king in Monaco anyway, but did Nyck just have a bit too much pace for you today?
Luca Ghiotto: Yeah I would say so. I was able to keep up with him when I had new tyres, even after the red flag I could stay with him for seven or eight laps but then there was one point when I started to drop a little bit, and Nyck looked like he could keep the pace a bit more, so that was the main reason why he could get that gap every time. I think in a race like this, from the pole yesterday and today, he didn't put one foot wrong so I congratulate him for sure.
FIA Formula 2: You mentioned the red flag. Was that the time though that you were then looking at ways of trying to get the win. Is there anything you can look at strategically?
Luca: Yeah, it's always tough. I think us three don't have enough tyres for tomorrow now, which is a bit interesting! At first when I saw Sérgio Sette Câmara behind me, and then Nyck, putting on the other set of new primes, I said "OK, let's try it," but we had to go the same. There was no way I'd probably be here now if we didn't do that because my tyres were in a bad condition. We did get a bit better pace on the options. I felt that we were in a bit better shape, but of course we didn't do enough laps. At the end we could have had a shot at the fastest lap but the safety car just came out at the worst moment. I'm a bit upset for those two points but there's nothing I can do about it.
FIA Formula 2: OK, well done today. Nobu, from ninth place on the grid to third in this race. Was that a bit unexpected starting that far back at Monaco?
Nobuharu Matsushita: Yeah, like last year Mr Markelov did the same thing I guess, from P8 to win. I was thinking that it would be possible to do this. First of all though, a couple of disaster weekends for me. I mean too many issues effected my Free Practice, so I'm really happy to be on the podium today and big thanks to the team.
FIA Formula 2: To get that podium you had to pass Sérgio Sette Câmara on track, just talk us through that move.
Nobuharu: I think somebody had told me that there was no TV? There was an out lap for him and then I had one lap with the option already, so it was easier to overtake, and then yeah, that's it.
FIA Formula 2: Where did you pull the move?
Nobuharu: Turn 5, around the outside. Sérgio was in front of me in the prime stint and then his pace was not so strong so I was kind of stuck behind him. Nyck and Luca were quicker than us, so there was a bit of a gap, but I'm happy to be P3.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Nyck just returning to you. We haven't quite worked out who's got the fastest lap yet, but your either one point in the lead, or one point off the lead of the championship now after a day like today. Does it change your mindset when you get that close to the front?
Nyck: No not really. I think we've been very calm from the start of the season. We take it step-by-step and weekend-by-weekend, and we kind of knew that we were going to have a strong package here. I really like the track so I'm happy that we managed to benefit from that and execute our potential. There's still an extremely long way to go. It's nice, but honestly I'm already thinking about tomorrow, trying to survive with what we have and let's see what we can bring home.