Sitting sixth in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with 90 points, Estonian Jüri Vips says he must deliver a series of “big weekends” at the final three rounds of the season in order to claim a strong result in the Drivers’ standings.
Vips endured a difficult event at Monza last time out, finishing eighth and sixth in Sprint Race 1 and 2 respectively, before retiring from the Feature Race while running in seventh place.
The retirement ended a streak of 11 races in which Vips scored points, which included two race wins in Baku and a further two podiums at Monaco and Silverstone.
The 21-year-old is currently 59 points behind championship leader Oscar Piastri, and admits that achieving the top position in the standings is not likely. However, Vips has set his sights on passing the competition for a top-three result in the table.
“I only need big, big weekends from now on. There can’t be any little mistakes,” Vips said. “I have to score big every race weekend in order to finish the championship in a good position.
“But I don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I’ll just do my job as I always have and just take it session by session.
“I think now it’s difficult to win, but I don’t think Rob (Shwartzman) is too far in third, so realistically, if we have a good few races, we can still finish third. But let’s see. The front two are quite clear, but I wouldn’t want to say that the championship is over yet.”
Vips’ quest to obtain a high finishing position continues this weekend at the Sochi Autodrom, a circuit that he knows well. In 2019, he won the final FIA Formula 3 race of the season at the venue, solidifying fourth in that year’s championship.
Vips says that he is a fan of the track layout, with each of its 19 corners offering a unique challenge to the driver. However he’s aware that the weather forecast, which predicts heavy rain on Saturday, could have an impact on the outcome of the weekend.
“I quite like it here,” Vips commented. “I actually think it’s quite nice. It’s got a bit of a flow to it. It’s all pretty much the same for most of the part, 90 degree corners, but all sort of different 90 degree corners with different challenges. It’s an interesting circuit for sure.
“The weather might play a part this weekend as well: it looks like it’s going to rain on Saturday. We just have to just take it session by session.”