Thoughts from Iwasa, Pourchaire and Vesti.

FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at Paul Ricard. In third place, Frederik Vesti for ART Grand Prix, in second place Theo Pourchaire, also for ART, and taking his first win in FIA Formula 2 our winner, Ayumu Iwasa for DAMS. Now, Ayu, this is a huge moment for you. You got close to winning at Silverstone and you've finally done it here in emphatic fashion. You've just come off the podium. Tell us what this means?

Ayumu Iwasa: The feeling is amazing. In Silverstone I almost won the race, but it was a Sprint Race, and this is a Feature Race so this is really big points. I've been having good speed this season so far, but I couldn't win a race and also, I was missing that result in the Feature Race. So it was a bit of a frustration, but finally, I won the race. So really, really happy.

FIA Formula 2: Ayu, why do you think it's all come together for you here at Paul Ricard?

Iwasa: I’m not sure. I think as a team, we could put everything together in one weekend. This was a big, key point. From FP P2, and even yesterday, in the Sprint Race, I was having good speed so I could overtake some cars, and finished P6. So this weekend was so good for me.

FIA Formula 2: Now, before the race, you talked about the possibility of a Safety Car, and you nailed the restart when it came. You were one second clear of the field as you crossed the line. How do you manage that?

Iwasa: It was from French F4 maybe! I had a lot of events here in French F4 two years ago, so I think it was helpful. Also, I was managing the tyre temperature during the Safety Car, so I think it was working well.

FIA Formula 2: So how much confidence does this win give you for the upcoming races and Hungary has been a good racetrack for you in the past?

Iwasa: I'm feeling like the Hungaroring is very good for me, because it's really technical. I like a very technical track. Also, in Formula 3 I had quite good speed and I won the race. But I finished P2 last year, so I didn't win the race on track. So I want to get to get a proper win on track this year.

FIA Formula 2: Very well done today, thank you Ayu. Théo, coming to you. Fifth to second in front of your home crowd. You've been on fire this weekend and the fans have loved it.

Théo Pourchaire: For sure, it was a crazy weekend. I'm so happy to have raced here in Paul Ricard and I got two podiums, in my heart at least. It was amazing. I would just like to thank the fans. It's amazing. I know it's finished this year - no more French Grand Prix. I will miss it but good memories for the future and I will keep that forever in my mind and my heart. It's amazing.

FIA Formula 2: Now, what was the key to your progress in today's race?

Pourchaire: The key was the strategy. It was very good. We tried to pit earlier than the other cars and it worked, at least for the undercut, I overtook three-four cars, so this was good. Then by the end of the race, I had a bit more tyre deg, so I was pushing a lot. But nobody was catching me apart from Jack Doohan, but he made a mistake. The strategy was very good, pit stop was good. The start was good, but then Freddie (Vesti) pushed me a bit on the blue part, but it’s okay, it’s racing. So maybe he didn’t see me.

FIA Formula 2: How much tyre management were you having to do to keep those tyres alive till the end of the race?

Pourchaire: Not a lot of tire management, but I had a bit more of an oversteering car. It was sliding a bit more; traction was a bit difficult to manage and that’s why Ayumu. I was just giving everything to keep that podium place and it worked, so it was not easy.

FIA Formula 2: You just made a reference to the incident with Jack Doohan at the Nord Chicane. Can you just talk us through the moment from your point of view - was there any contact between you?

Pourchaire: I don't think so. It was very close. I was surprised but I knew he was going to push a lot on the brakes. I think he made a small mistake, it's very easy to lose the car on that part of the track because we have quite a lot of rear locking. He just pushed a bit too much and I avoided the contact just by opening a bit, but it was very close, so I was a bit scared. But as soon as he did these mistakes, I was a bit happy because I had a bit more space and I could relax a bit.

FIA Formula 2: Now Théo, you've moved up to second in the Championship. Just a quick word on how you view the rest of the campaign.

Pourchaire: I think it's going to be positive, I'm happy the pace is good. I’ve been faster than the Championship leader for a few races, so I feel confident we will fight till the end. For sure Felipe (Drugovich) is really consistent, he scored a bit more points than me this weekend again, but we have the Hungaroring before the break. Then we have a triple header, a very important triple header and I’m ready for that. At least I’m P2, back in P2, it’s good so I will enjoy it.

FIA Formula 2: Alright, very well done to you and Fred, coming to you now. You started third, you finished third and given how your weekend started with no Practice time, how pleased are you with that result?

Frederik Vesti: Well, I think it's good. First of all, I'd like to say thank you ART. It's the first time I'm here in the press conference with Théo, so that's quite a good thing for ART. To be on the podium in the Feature Race is very important for me, because obviously, we've been so strong in Qualifying in the past rounds but have barely scored any points due to small mistakes. Friday started very poorly with no laps in Free Practice and to fight back like that in Quali and in the races is key.

FIA Formula 2: Now, let's talk a little bit more about that lack of running in Practice and how it impacted on your race. How much of a step into the unknown was 30 laps this morning?

Vesti: Well, I was lucky to do the race yesterday. There was not so much pressure yesterday. We started P8, the main thing was to do a good start, prepare everything for today. So yesterday was a bit more of a practice race and obviously, we were on the Prime tyre. We prepped for today and it was not too unknown., but definitely going into Quali it was very unknown and I had to pretty much guess my brake points.

FIA Formula 2: And just at the end of the race there, a lot of pressure from Felipe Drugovich.

Vesti: Yeah, I could see that orange car coming closer and closer and I knew he was on the opposite strategy. I really just tried to keep my eyes on Théo and keep pushing myself forward and not look too much in the mirror. In the end, two different strategies. It looked very close today on which one is quicker, but I'm just happy to be on the podium.

FIA Formula 2: Well done Fred and a very well done to all three of you.