David Beckmann only signed for Campos Racing on Wednesday, but the German showed his class in Qualifying to put the team on reverse grid pole for Sprint Race 1 in Monza, and said he feels he’s still got more in the tank.
The rookie spent the first half of the season with Charouz Racing System, taking two podiums from the first two rounds. However, he had to depart the team ahead of Monza, before managing to strike a deal with Campos to replace Matteo Nannini earlier this week.
And it didn’t take him long to settle into his new office, finishing 10th in Qualifying after an initial bedding-in period during Free Practice.
“The car is a bit different than Charouz,” he explained. “I didn't set any targets because I didn't know how the car was going to be, but it is really good. I have tested with Campos before in European F3, back in 2017, so I know some of the people in the team.
“They have that Spanish passion, which is quite similar to what I was used to with the Italians at Trident in Formula 3. I think we are working well together, although we haven't had long. I don't think we maximised our potential, though, it feels like we've got a lot more.”
It’s well known that getting a tow is key for Qualifying in Monza, but Beckmann missed out on a slipstream during the first run and had to learn on the job during the all-important second stint.
“It is very, very difficult because no driver wants to give a tow,” he continued. “But you cannot drive without a tow on this track in Formula 2, it makes a huge difference. It's not like in Formula 1 where you have different manufacturers and cars. We all have the same car, so it makes a huge difference here.
“On the first set, the next car was around 20s in front of me, and on the second set, we got a tow, but I had no references for what to do and I didn't want to over push. I’m happy to get reverse pole and I think I can make a great weekend out of it.”
Beckmann is hopeful of fighting for a first Formula 2 win, but he said that even if he does manage to cross the line first, then he doesn’t expect it to have been a straightforward lights-to-flag dash.
“I want to achieve a podium tomorrow, but this is Monza, and the lead will most likely change many times,” he continued. “The minimum goal is to get some points and to help the team.
“If I get a good start and keep P1, then I don't think that I will spend the whole race in P1 because the lead will change at Monza. But at the end of the race, it is important to be on it.
“I only have a little bit of Formula 2 experience here, so I don't know how the deg will develop, but I think it’s still possible (to win).”