Thoughts from Iwasa, Armstrong and Drugovich
FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at the Hungaroring. In third place will be Felipe Drugovich for MP Motorsport. In second place, Marcus Armstrong for Hitech and taking his first pole position in FIA Formula 2, our pole sitter, Ayumu Iwasa for DAMS. Ayumu, what a brilliant lap, three-tenths faster than anyone else to take your first pole. It was a mighty one, talk us through.
Ayumu Iwasa: Yeah, I’m surprised about the gap behind me but to be honest, I was quite nervous until last push because I was quite far from the pole position and I couldn't put together one lap. So I was quite nervous about it. Finally, I could put it together in the last push. Also the car was quite nervous in the first run. And then we made some changes and it was working for the second run. So I think everything got better and then it was quite a good lap.
FIA Formula 2: Now, are you people talk about the Hungaroring being an old-school drivers track, how rewarding is it to take pole position?
Iwasa: Yeah, actually, this is one of my most favourite tracks, to be honest. I like a technical track like this so I had a good quite good confidence in my driving. In Free Practice, I could see the good car potential. So I had a good confidence to take a pole position. But in the first run I thought this is quite difficult. But I think the car setup adjustment was really good and also I was improving the driving through the session. So it was good.
FIA Formula 2: How difficult was it to keep the tyres alive for that second run?
Iwasa: I was having quite bad tyre warm-up in both rounds. I was trying to get tyre temperature but I think tyre temperature was one problem, but I think just my driving was very far - I had a really a lot of mistakes. For example, in the first push of the first run, I made a lock-up straight away at T1. So the driving was getting better and better.
FIA Formula 2: Ayumu I think you're being modest. I think you're on a roll at the minute. You must feel very confident?
Iwasa: Yes. Getting better but the session was not perfect for me, so I need to improve it. So still not perfect. I'm happy about this, but still have improvements to make.
FIA Formula 2: It was a very good lap, very well done to you and best of luck for the rest of the weekend. Marcus, coming to you now. Very well done to you as well. So close to a birthday pole position. As you crossed the line after that first run, did you think your best lap was good enough for pole?
Marcus Armstrong: In the second run do you mean? To be fair, I knew the lab was clean. There wasn't anything special. But at the same time, I knew that the car was really hooked up and the balance was as perfect as you'll ever get in F2 in my opinion. The lap was clean. It wasn't perfect, but I knew that it was good enough for at least the top 10 reverse game. But I didn't think it would be quite that good.
FIA Formula 2: Were you surprised by the amount of time Ayu found?
Armstrong: Yeah, I was actually. I didn't really want to know what the results were until everyone had crossed the line. But when they told me that I was P2 and then they told me that I was P2 by three-tenths, I was quite surprised because I knew that it was quite tight behind and I knew that I could have found one or two tenths in my driving. But you know, three, four tenths is starting to be fantasy so well done to him and he's obviously done a mega mega job.
FIA Formula 2: It's a very technical race track this and you say the balance was very good on your car. Just how difficult is it to find the right setup.
Armstrong: I try not to think about it too much because it's very easy to get lost. But at the same time I think they're predominantly slow speed corners. There's two high-speed corners on the track and as long as you don't make too much of a mess of those, you just need to focus on making sure the car is good on brakes and, and good on rotation. And I think my engineers nailed it this week. Since Free Practice, to be fair, I think the car has been close to what I prefer and so I need to thank them as well.
FIA Formula 2: Potentially, it's going to be very wet tomorrow. Do you welcome those conditions given where you're going to be starting the sprint race?
Armstrong: Yeah, certainly. I was thinking this morning, if there's ever a time to be on pole, it's today, because tomorrow is going to be very unpredictable. I mean, at this rate, we probably won't be racing with five millimetres of rain. So let's hope it clears up a little bit. And then I hope it clears up enough to do a standing start, because that's where the fun really is. Unfortunately, in the past, we've had a few wet races and or a few wet starts at least and we've always had to do a rolling start, where I think you know, it'd be quite interesting to do a standing start, if the conditions allow. So that's my hope for tomorrow. Wet but not too wet and hopefully we can do a standing start.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today, Marcus, and best of luck for the rest of the weekend. And Felipe, great job by you as well, so close to the front row as well. Just how satisfied are you?
Felipe Drugovich: Yeah, I'm very satisfied, I think looking back to Free Practice, we were not in a good shape. But yeah, to be P3 here, I didn't really expect that. So I'm really happy. I think we have to be satisfied with the job, as you said, very close to P2 anyway. Ayumu was a little bit too far anyway. But I think potential was good in Quali. And yeah, very thankful for the team,
FIA Formula 2: As you say, Free Practice didn't look at least from the outside to be a brilliant session for you. What did you change on the car between then and qualify?
Drugovich: The setup? I think we just adapted it a little bit. As Marucs said, there's a lot of slow corners, so you need to focus quite a lot on the slow speed. We just balanced it out. I think it went in very good direction. Obviously, still not perfect. We can always improve quite a bit. But yeah, we have to be happy with it.
FIA Formula 2: Now, Felipe, as we've said, very close to the front row. You've had a brilliant season this year. But you haven't won a feature race since Monaco. How confident are you going into Sunday's race?
Drugovich: I'm very, very confident. I think our race pace has been good throughout the whole year. Maybe even more than Quali. But yeah, I think first of all, we have to get a dry feature race and we can maybe get the jump on these at the start. But yeah, I'm just focusing on my job. Hopefully, we can do a good job this weekend. And yeah, always focusing on the points.
FIA Formula 2: Great job by you today. Best of luck for the rest of the weekend.