THOUGHTS FROM LUNDGAARD, DELÉTRAZ AND VIPS
FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in today's FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Mugello. We are joined by race winner Christian Lundgaard for ART Grand Prix, in second place is Louis Delétraz for Charouz Racing System, and third is Jüri Vips for DAMS. Christian, a dominant victory. Does that make up a little bit for what happened yesterday?
Christian Lundgaard: I think it shows the pace that we had this weekend. Yesterday should have been a victory. If you do prime/option, or if you do option/prime, you wait for a Safety Car at either the beginning or the end... and it came in the end. That benefited the prime/option drivers. I'm not too disappointed about the result yesterday, because I still think that without the Safety Car we would have done the job. Obviously, it showed that we had a car that as capable of winning today and we did that. I told the team that it's either 17 points or nothing, and we got 17 points. I'm very satisfied with the result today.
FIA Formula 2: The full haul. You started third and made a great start to take the lead. Then your pace was incredible. You won by over 14 seconds. Are you surprised to be so far clear of the rest of the field?
Christian: At some point, I was like, "now I need to take care of the tyres." Every time on the straight, my engineer would tell me the gap to P2, and it just kept increasing. At that point, I was just cruising around trying to nurse the tyres until the end. These Pirelli tyres seem to only work if you put enough energy into them, so at the end when I started pushing slightly more, I just didn't have more grip. I think it's the same for everyone. The pace today was great. The car was great, and the team did a great job the whole weekend so I cannot thank them enough.
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations today. Louis, a really nice move around the outside of Artem Markelov for second place early in that race, and then having to do some defending towards the end of it as well. How was that race from your perspective?
Louis Delétraz: It was a really good race. Starting sixth, I had a very good start and passed three cars I think, to go straight into third. I knew Artem is very experienced, but normally the pace is not mega, so I had to go quite early rather than late to overtake him. I saw the opportunity around the outside and I went. It was fair from him as well. He gave me space, so that was nice. That's the race. In the end I struggled with the rear tyres, but I just made it.
FIA Formula 2: Yesterday was your first Feature Race podium of the season, but to back it up with a second podium today, does that exceed your expectations for this weekend?
Louis: I don't think it exceeds my expectations, because I come and, as I said yesterday, I really want to win. That's the only thing I'm missing in this Championship. I've been waiting for it for a long time. I think we had the pace for it. In Quali we already had it. It didn't go our way, but that happens. It's racing. Two podiums and a lot of points, if not the most points of everyone this weekend, so I can't be more pleased than that.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Jüri, your first podium in Formula 2, and in only your sixth race. You must be delighted with your work today?
Jüri Vips: Yeah, I'm quite happy, but I'd say it's a little bit mixed feelings. Obviously, I'm very happy for the team to get a podium and score some decent points this weekend, but in the end I made a mistake in Qualifying, and in the races we didn't capitalise on the opportunities that we had. I missed out on a podium yesterday, and we also had a hydraulic issue in the gearbox which lost us quite a lot of time. We had a slow pit stop too, so that might have been a podium there. Today, the start was pretty poor. I guess it's just a little bit of inexperience from my side today, with the start. Still, there's some very good positives to take, and some very good momentum into Sochi. Today, the pace was quite good. I pushed a little bit too hard to catch up to Louis, and probably a little bit too early. In the end, I just ran out of tyres. There were four or five times in the last few laps that I nearly spun. I'm just thankful that I finished in the end. I really gave it everything to recover from the bad start today.
FIA Formula 2: I was going to mention the fight with Louis. You did get close and was following him for a while, but was it on your mind that you were in a podium position already and you didn't want to throw that away?
Jüri: No, not really. I just see a car in front and I try to pass it. Whatever the situation is. I gave it everything, but I think in this Championship, with these tyres... What didn't help me, with being inexperienced, I started pushing a little bit too early and being a little bit too desperate to try and close the gap to Louis after (Artem) Markelov hit me in the start. I had maybe three seconds to him. I just started pushing too early and I ran out of tyres in the end.
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations. Christian, just returning to you. As you mentioned earlier, the fastest lap points to boot as well today, and that puts you up to third in the Drivers' Championship. Do you feel you're building a bit of momentum now after the last couple of weekends?
Christian: The Championship is one thing, but scoring points each race is another. Monza was a good weekend for me. Pretty much the same results as Louis' this weekend. It's scoring points. The Championship still has a long way to go, with three race weekends. Mick (Schumacher) seems to be quite strong in consistency, just scoring points every race. We need those podiums, pretty much from now on until the end, but for me at the moment it's still a long reach. We need to focus on being consistent, and that's the thing we need to do now.