Through all of the high-fives and hugs at Trident, as both Richard Verschoor and Calan Williams qualified inside of the top eight at Jeddah, there may have also been a few worried glances with Williams revealing he’s made a bet with the team that if he takes a podium this year, they’ll have to eat a pineapple and cherry pizza.

In only his second Formula 2 round, Williams put himself eighth on the grid at arguably the most challenging circuit on the calendar, while his more experienced teammate, Verschoor, took P2.

It was also only his second experience of a street circuit, with his first coming at French track Pau in the 2019 Euroformula Open Championship.

“That was in a much smaller car, so for me, I consider this as my first street circuit,” said Williams. “I am really happy. The result is definitely better than I expected. You do all of the preparation that you can, but the simulator is never the same as the real thing.

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Williams revealed that he has made a bet with his team if he makes the podium
Williams revealed that he has made a bet with his team if he makes the podium

On the simulator, you can hit the walls as much as you like and there are no real consequences. Here, you get one chance and that is it. And the race will be a completely different ball game, with tyre management coming into play and a heavier car due to the fuel.”

For Saturday’s reverse grid Sprint Race at 3.30pm (local time), Williams will start from third and although he says he won’t be getting ahead of himself, the Australian isn’t ruling out a maiden podium.

“Anything is possible,” he continued. “The famous motorsport quote goes ‘to finish first, first you must finish.’

“Watching all of the races from last year here, it is certainly one of attrition. You’ll probably get a few people not finishing the races due to incidents, so the priority for me will be to keep my nose clean, stay out of trouble and avoid any penalties.

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Williams finished eighth in Qualifying
Williams finished eighth in Qualifying

“From there, I’ll just do what I can. I didn't expect to be starting P3 at this stage, so I’ll just do my best and stay out of trouble, then maybe I win, maybe I am top five - who knows.”

It follows an excellent start to the season for Trident who took their first F2 win last time out as Verschoor won the Sprint Race in Sakhir.

Williams will look to keep that hot streak going from third on Saturday afternoon, which would not only see him win his first silverware at this level but also a bet with the team.

“The team are all really happy, there are a lot of high fives and hugs going around, which is really nice,” he continued. “A couple of them are quite worried because I made a bet with the team at the start of the season.

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Williams will start from third on the reverse grid in the Sprint Race
Williams will start from third on the reverse grid in the Sprint Race

“With them being Italian, I made a bet with them that if I finish on the podium, they have to eat a pizza with pineapples and cherries on top of it, so they are a bit concerned. But honestly, I am not going to get ahead of myself.

“Overall, we’re really happy. Richard (Verschoor) taking P2 is incredible, but I see how hard everyone works and I am not surprised.”