Thoughts from Vips, Vesti and Daruvala

FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome and many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Monza. In 3rd place, Jehan Daruvala for PREMA Racing, in second place, Frederik Vesti for ART Grand Prix, and our victor who is also the 11th different winner in FIA Formula 2 this season, Jüri Vips for Hitech Grand Prix. Jüri, at last your first win of 2022. What an extraordinary performance by you, just how sweet does this feel?

Jüri Vips: As you said, at last! But yeah, better late than never. It was a really good race, we got Logan off the start and then Frederik on the restart, then just controlled it from there. So, a nice and clean day after a difficult one yesterday, where we got held back by the yellows. We’re trying to make up as much ground as we can tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: Can you explain your pace today because you were ferociously quick?

Vips: If I needed to! In the beginning it seemed like we had a bit of an advantage, at least compared to Frederik. I don’t know if they struggle with their tyre warm up or something, but we seem to be on top of that and then it was just sort of managing from there on. Then when my engineer told me he was closing in, I started pushing again and then we pulled a little bit more of a gap. So yeah, good race, nicely controlled.

FIA Formula 2: How much of a relief is this result Jüri?

Vips: A lot. I mean, we’ve had countless chances to win this year and for one reason or another we haven’t executed them. So yeah, very happy to finally get a victory under the belt, but also hope to get a couple more this year.

FIA Formula 2: Well, there are still three races to go, but as we crown a new Champion here at Monza, I just wanted to ask you about your season. How do you view 2022?

Vips: I mean, it’s tough to find the words. It’s been really, really tough, but also, it’s taught me a lot of things. I think I’ve grown a lot as a person and as a driver as well, but it’s just been sort of learning how to overcome bad results basically. It’s been sort of the story of the year, but happy to finally get one victory at least under the belt.

FIA Formula 2: Well done on that. Final one from me, could we just get a word from you on the new FIA Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich?

Vips: Sitting right there in the back actually, you can’t see him, he’s behind the cameras smiling at me. He’s done an amazing job all year. The consistency that both him and MP Motorsport have delivered this year has been extraordinary and that's the difference in the end this year. I think the last couple rounds also, I think he's always been quick, there or thereabouts. Probably like third, fourth, there thereabouts in Qualifying, but now he's also, I think taken this step on pace where he's just dominant and yeah, they've done extraordinarily this year.

FIA Formula 2: Right, thank you for that. Fred we will come to you now. Very well done as well after a difficult couple of races at Zandvoort and Spa, just describe how it feels to be back on the podium.

Frederik Vesti: Yeah it's good, Spa and Zandvoort were very, very difficult. I went on the summer break with lots of confidence and a great feeling. I went from P15 to P6 in the Championship and then I came back to Spa and we were pretty much nowhere. I was not fast, not in the top 10 in Quali and in Zandvoort, we had the chance but didn’t really get it, didn’t get into the top 10 and therefore, didn’t score any points actually. But to get P10 yesterday meant we could start in the front today and get the podium, which is really important. And now it’s just to keep focusing and keep improving ‘cause we are not where we want to be fully yet.

FIA Formula 2: Can you just talk us through the restart after the Safety Car period when Jüri took the lead?

Vesti: Actually, I thought I did a really good job. I went off very quickly and I felt the gap was quite big, but the slipstream was really, really strong, the one Jüri had. So, I was really surprised how much speed he had and when I braked, I think he just braked later than me and and overtook me. I was quite surprised by the speed difference and also, when you're second you have something to aim for. You know, we have cold brakes after the Safety Car, so it was a bit tricky. I think Vips was very fast in the beginning of the race.

FIA Formula 2: All right, final one from me. Just a few words from you, if we could, on the new champion.

Vesti: What a job Felipe has done. He's shown all of us and everyone that he deserves to be a champion. It started in the beginning of the season, and he's pretty much done it every single round so far this year. If you want to be the champion in F2, the consistency in Quali and the races are the key and Felipe showed that and that's what we all aim for and work so hard to do, so big congratulations.

FIA Formula 2: Thanks Fred. Jehan, coming to you now. First time on the podium since Paul Ricard, you and the car were very rapid, just how’s this one for you?

Jehan Daruvala: It feels very good. Even though it's a Sprint Race podium, I think I'm a bit happier than I normally am just 'cause of the lack of pace I've had over the last few rounds. I have barely scored in six races at all, so to finish on the podium and actually move forward in the races, it felt good. The team and I have been working really hard behind the scenes to get back where we need to be, and we've definitely taken steps forward now and it's showing.

FIA Formula 2: You said a moment ago that you feel alive again. How much did you need this?

Daruvala: Yeah, I needed it for sure. For my mental side as well, I think I needed a good result. You know, it's definitely not been easy in the last few weeks after the summer break, but yeah, I think it's a good way to bounce back. Last weekend was difficult as well, but I've had my family with me throughout the time, so it's made it a bit easier and now I'm happy to be on the podium.

FIA Formula 2: There was a purple patch during the race when you passed Logan Sargeant and Ayumu Iwasa on consecutive laps, just talk us through those moves.

Daruvala: Yeah, to be honest, I felt like we had a lot of work in the beginning of the race. In the first two laps, I was just settling in and managed to get by Logan and Ayumu. After that, I put my head down and tried to catch Fred and Jüri, but I think I overcooked my tyres a bit too much in those few laps and I had to kind of settle for third. I was still pushing in the end but the guys in front were a bit too quick.

FIA Formula 2: Thanks, and Jehan, a few words on the champ.

Daruvala: Yeah, I think he's had an extraordinary season, he definitely deserves to be the champion. Both him and MP have done a good job all year. Even when they've not been the fastest, he's been there or thereabouts and scored a lot of points. I think he fully deserves it and a lot of credit goes to him and his team.

FIA Formula 2: Alright, thank you for that.