Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Paul Aron admits he has exceeded even his own expectations with his fast start to life as a rookie in Formula 2 this season.

The Estonian driver’s form has caught the eye so far, with his three podiums leaving him tied for the most on the grid – alongside Zane Maloney and Dennis Hauger. Those results have put him second in the Drivers’ Championship early on.

Reflecting on his opening three rounds of the year, Aron said: “Looking at the Standings, I think it’s been a pretty successful beginning of the year and certainly a better one than I expected.

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“We are sitting second in the Standings, not too far from the lead and coming in as a rookie, it definitely exceeded my expectations. But also, I think it's a reflection of the work both me and Hitech have put in over the winter and also at the beginning of the year and I am very happy that it is paying off.”

Aron concedes that his and Hitech’s strong form followed three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain where both parties were not in a “comfortable place” with the new F2 car.

The 20-year-old also reveals that while they left those three days with ideas on how to improve, they did not know whether they were correct until he finished P5 in the Sprint and third in the Feature Race at the season-opener in Sakhir.

Aron has been pleased with his start to the season after the first three rounds
Aron has been pleased with his start to the season after the first three rounds

“Going into the first round I didn't have this confidence of knowing that we were going to be there because we struggled in the test,” explained Aron. “We thought we figured it out at the end of the test, but we didn't have any kind of proof of that.

“But after the first round I think we proved that we were a force to be reckoned with and definitely the race pace in Bahrain was very, very good. From then on it was just important to make steps forward.

“We knew that we had the baseline, but we also knew that Bahrain is a very specific track and going to Jeddah and Melbourne it would be a different story. So, it was just about staying consistent and trying to adapt as well as possible to the different circuits and we did that well.

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“I think Jeddah was a bit of a difficult one, but it wasn't purely down to pace, it was just as a rookie a bit of a difficult track and although I actually quite enjoyed the track, I think we just didn't get the best out of it during that weekend, and we struggled a bit in the Feature Race.

“But then going to Melbourne, we made another step forward, the pace we had was very good. I mean in Qualifying we were at the top the whole time except for the last lap and then I think we proved in the Feature Race that the pace we had was very good.”

However, it has not been all down to the car as Aron also spoke in detail about all the work he did prior to the season’s start, that he says has been the crucial to his performances in 2024.

Aron revealed the he and Hitech struggled with the new F2 car during pre-season testing
Aron revealed the he and Hitech struggled with the new F2 car during pre-season testing

“I've tried my best to adapt to the car as quick as possible,” explained Aron. “The F2 Championship kind of plays to my strength because I've always been someone that adapts quickly to different conditions, different cars and I've certainly managed to do that with the new F2 car as well.

“But to be honest it wasn't easy to begin with. I worked a lot on my techniques and driving style during testing to make sure that it suited the car and then obviously we were able to kind of setup the car a bit more to my liking as well.

“The combination of the two meant that I was able to be quite quick with this car early on. As well as that I put a lot of effort into understanding all the niches of F2, understanding the current brakes, understanding the pit stop procedures, start procedure, the tyres.

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“I think all of that has enabled me to focus more on the driving, just because I had a very good idea of all those details. I could mainly focus my effort and time towards how to be as quick as possible with this car. I think that's been the main key to my success.”

Aron though has no plans to rest on his laurels and is keen to use the three days at the in-season test in Barcelona on April 23-25 to continue to get more mileage in, and a better understanding of the new F2 car.

He also plans on working on the “small details” and believes those three days at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be key to helping the teams and drivers readjust to European tracks

Despite his strong start to the season Aron has not set his sights on the title just yet
Despite his strong start to the season, Aron has not set his sights on the title just yet

His main focus is still on continued improvement and not on the title just yet, believing it is too early for him and the team to get into a “Championship mindset”.

“I think especially as a rookie and where we have come from, we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves,” said Aron. “At the beginning of the year my goal was just to get some points and try to ease into this championship, but we have certainly done a very good job.

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“The team has done a good job, I've done a good job and we've ended up in a very good position, but I think it’s way too early to get into the Championship mindset. The car is still very new for the teams and the drivers. We are just starting the European season now where it will be much closer between all the drivers and the teams.

“It will be very important to stay humble and not get comfortable because with the new car everybody is making steps forward consistently and I think getting comfortable too early could end up losing us the pace that we have now.

“So, next up we have the Barcelona test, which I think will be an important three days. I will be pushing a lot the team and myself to make steps forward there and to make sure we don't fall behind anybody else.”