FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the Press Conference of the Top 3 finishes for the FIA Formula 2 Championship Sprint Race here in Imola. In third place we have Zane Maloney from Rodin Motorsport, in second we have Paul Aron for Hitech Pulse-Eight and completing the podium is Franco Colapinto for MP Motorsport. Franco your first win in Formula 2 and what a way to do it, talk us through that final lap move?

Franco Colapinto: I am just extremely happy, it was a tough start to the year. We had some difficult races. After the test in Barcelona, I was quite sure that we were going to turn it around soon and it happened very quickly. Just very happy, very proud of the team, they have done a really good job. They have been supporting me a lot in these first few races. I didn’t perform at my maximum and now I am starting to feel more comfortable. Today was where we could show the real pace of the car. I am really happy with the win and with the pace that we showed. To win in the last lap, it’s just a bit of a nicer feeling. You get all of those emotions in just one lap. I think it is the best way to do it. Luckily Paul was also very clean, we both got really tight on the corner, the chicanes are always really tight and it’s certainly hard to pass at Imola. Super happy, the car was amazing, so a huge thanks to the team, they have done an amazing job. They gave me a very very fast car. Let’s hope to keep building this pace into the rest of the season.

FIA Formula 2: Speaking of, what does a win like this do for your confidence?

Colapinto: A lot for sure, I already knew that we had strong race pace. We didn’t quite show it at first because we were always starting on the back foot after Qualifying. I think this is the first time we could really fight for positions in the front. Since the start of the race, we had really good pace. It is a big boost in confidence for the whole team. Just really happy about it and we need ot keep pushing now.

FIA Formula 2: That race had drama on the first lap and last lap today. Just talk us through the start from you point of view.

Colapinto: I don’t have much to say, I have not seen the replay yet. I had a very good start and I think someone was squeezed in the middle of two cars. I felt a hit on the rear right. I think it was similar to what happened in Australia, someone was in the middle of two cars, and they touched. It is very tricky to know where the other cars are, the mirrors are a bit tricky. I think it was very unfortunate as so many cars were out of the race after that first lap. It’s a shame that they couldn’t continue and have a good race with all of us together.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you for that well done today, congratulations. Paul, second place for you after leading the whole race except the final lap, talk us through the race from your perspective.

Paul Aron: As you can imagine disappointed. It is the worst feeling you can have losing the race on the final lap. We were struggling with pace from the beginning. I had a good start, and I took the lead which was ideal. I knew that it was going to be hard to overtake me after that. But then I struggled a bit with the car balance, and I think our pace was just not as strong as Franco. So, I had to play my race really smart. When I saw that he was catching me, I didn’t push anymore, I let him come close to me. I tried to manage keeping him close in Sector 1 and 2 and pulling away in Sector 3. It worked for most of the race so I can’t really say that I lost the win today because we didn’t have the pace. I think that if I managed to keep him behind me for those 19 laps then I could have done it in the last lap. So that is a big shame. Other than that, we will have to work on the pace for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the main race with the main points to score. We still leave today with 8 points, that’s the most important to be honest. Hopefully, with the results we have been bringing, the win will come soon. Points are something that you need to pick up at all times. I am still happy with the points we got today.

FIA Formula 2: Franco mentioned the move from his point of view, you kept it clean between the two of you, what was it like from the car for you on the inside?

Aron: I don’t want to take anything away from Franco, it is his first win and I think he did a good race, so he deserves it. From my side I would say that it wasn’t the cleanest in my opinion. I haven’t seen it back, it always looks different from the cockpit. If the stewards decided it was fine then, then they are there for a reason. If they think it was right then it must have been right, that’s all I can say.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you, still more points on the board back-to-back second places for you, going back to Melbourne, do you feel like there is anything missing for you to secure that final step on the podium.

Aron: Every race is different. If we compared it to Melbourne I was flying in both races. It is just a shame that today we did not have the pace. Even though we didn’t have the pace, I think keeping him behind one more lap was possible. The season is still long, points are important, and it is my fourth podium, but you always want the win. So far, I would say that there has been something missing each weekend, but it is not the same thing. It is not like we have a continuous weakness in me or the team. It is just that we have not nailed it fully yet. I am sure that with the long season we have, it will come at some point.

FIA Formula 2: Great stuff, Zane to you, you also needed a late pass to get a spot on the podium. Talk us through how sweet that move was at Tamburello.

Zane Maloney: It was cool, we got a good start. Franco didn’t quite get a good start. I mean it closes up the field as you go off the line. We were all bunched up. I couldn’t really use the momentum that I had. We lost a few places there, compared to where we should have been. The pace was really good for the whole race. It is very difficult to follow in the last corner especially. I was very close for the whole lap, and you get into the last corner and completely full lock and a snap of oversteer on the exit. You lose a lot of time. I was just trying to do the same thing around the whole track and try to change that last corner, try different things. When I got the move done, I was just that little bit closer, still have to break quite late on the outside into Turn 2. Amaury was very clean, he could have run me out of road, I kind of gave him no option but we could have easily crashed but he did allow me to have room. Great racing by him and great to get back on the podium. The main race is tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: You mentioned the start from your point of view, did you get much of a view of the chaos unfolding around you?

Maloney: From my point of view, I got a good start and Franco didn’t get as good a start. He was coming across with the track and I think he realised that I was almost alongside so then he went right a bit. He doesn’t know that there were two cars to the outside of him. I think when he went to the right, then all the chaos started. I need to look at it back, I don’t think he would have known that there were more cars on the outside. I think it is just unfortunate that so many cars ended up in the same spot at the same time. I came back around the next lap, and it was chaos.

FIA Formula 2: A lot of cars everywhere, similar to Paul you have now finished third in your last two Formula 2 races, going back to Melbourne. You retain the Championship lead today, going from 6th tomorrow what is the target?

Maloney: I think to show the pace, we need to have a good strategy, a good start, good pace again. If we do everything like we have been, we can go for the win. Points are our target, podiums are a target and wins. We need to do the job first. We will go back in the truck tonight, see what we can do to improve, see what I can do in my driving to improve. To gain two places was a good step, just need to gain five tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: Well done today to all of you.