Thoughts from Vesti, Martins and Verschoor

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers for the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here in Monza. In third place, Richard Verschoor for Van Amersfoort Racing, in second place Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix and taking his fifth win of the season, our winner, Frederik Vesti for PREMA Racing. Fred, after such a frustrating weekend last weekend in Zandvoort, how good does this win feel?

Frederik Vesti: It means a lot to me, Spa and Zandvoort were both very difficult in the Feature Race so to finish on the podium now is very important to restart the Championship. This is the second to last round but this definitely helps and I'm fully motivated now for tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: You've won here in Formula 3, you've won here in Formula 2 now. How confident were you before the start?

Vesti: I was quite confident, to be honest, we have a good car here. I've driven a lot of races here before but you never know what can happen in Monza. I would not call it a lottery but you can definitely win from very far back because a lot can happen with Safety Cars and so on. Taking the lead on Lap 1 I had a lot of laps to try and pull a gap, and then we had the Safety Car again so there was a lot of pressure, but we managed a good race.

FIA Formula 2: Tell us about Lap 1, you did the damage in the first four corners.

Vesti: First of all I had a good start, I took the outside and I was not really sure if I could do anything but when I saw Boschung lock up I tried to take a normal line and get a good exit and get past Richard into T4. Everything worked out as it should and I'm just very happy to take this victory.

FIA Formula 2: What about tomorrow, starting P8 you are nine points off of Théo Pourchaire. Give us a little preview about what to expect in the Feature Race.

Vesti: I'm starting from P8... and I've won here from P9 here before in F3, so everything is possible. I'm going to stay very confident and push to the maximum. F2 is a bit different with the strategy, it's 30 laps tomorrow so we will try to improve the car further and I'll see if I can find a bit more pace and I'm sure we can do a good job tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you Fred, Victor. Coming to you now, great race by you as well from sixth on the grid. Both ARTs were so fast today?

Victor Martins: Honestly it was a really good race, I had a bad start so I went down to more than P10 before Turn 1. Then there was a bit of a mess so I managed to recover it to P7, until the first Safety Car came out I was right behind Hadjar I think I already had a good pace and I knew that I was going to be able to come back. With great pace a great opportunity into Turn 1 and good braking, I had good confidence that I could overtake the guys into Turn 1 and come back.

FIA Formula 2: Victor you just passed Richard for second just after the second Safety Car came out can we get your thoughts on that moment of the race? Did you welcome the Safety Car because it would close up the field or did you want to keep racing at that point?

Martins: Lap after lap I was coming back on Richard so at some point I would have come back and had this opportunity later but I welcomed it with my arms open and in the end I knew I had the pace anyway so when I saw the opportunity into Turn 1 I went for it.

FIA Formula 2: And looking ahead to tomorrow, P5 on the grid, if you have a car as good tomorrow as you have had today is it a race you can win?

Martins: If my start is good yes, I would say this is the only thing I can improve. Maybe a few things in a few corners to be a bit even quicker but with a good start I think we will be fighting for a podium, or even more.

FIA Formula 2: Well done to you, thank you. Richard a great job by you as well, your second podium of the season so far. You started second, can we start by talking about the opening moments of the race when you were alongside Ralph going into Turn 1?

Richard Verschoor: I saw Fred had a good start as well, I was really happy with mine but I knew we were side by side with three cars. Then I saw Ralph locking up and then it was my corner. Unfortunately, Fred had a good run on me into Turn 4 and he got the lead. I feel disappointed with that because I feel if I could have stayed in front we had the pace, especially towards the end, to win.

FIA Formula 2: You said on the radio on the slow-down lap that this is a race that you could have, or maybe should have, won. How good was your car and when you were in second place did any opportunities present themselves?

Verschoor: I was struggling a lot in the beginning, that's for me where I lost the race. If I had a bit more pace, or I could have improved a bit more but from mid-race onwards I felt fast so it was just a bit of a shame about the beginning.

FIA Formula 2: Where did Fred have the edge in those early laps?

Verschoor: It was mainly in the entrance to the corners, I didn't have the confidence and the car didn't feel nice on all of the entries. I feel like that's where they were much quicker in the beginning.

FIA Formula 2: Let's throw it forward to tomorrow. You're starting ninth, what are your hopes, what can you do?

Verschoor: I think we should improve the car a little bit for tomorrow, and see where I can improve myself but in Monza, you never know what happens, so I keep my head down and try to have a good strategy and then we'll see.

FIA Formula 2: Good luck with that.