THOUGHTS FROM ILOTT, TSUNODA AND GHIOTTO
FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three qualifiers for tomorrow's FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at Monza. We are joined by pole-sitter Callum Ilott for UNI-Virtuosi, in second is Yuki Tsunoda for Carlin, and third is Luca Ghiotto for Hitech Grand Prix. Callum, back-to-back poles here at Monza, and you said it wasn't even that good a lap?
Callum Ilott: Yeah. That's life sometimes. We got a good slipstream and it made the difference here. It was a good clean lap, but I was a bit surprised by the time that I actually put in. I felt like the lap before was a lot better. It wasn't bad, so I can take it!
FIA Formula 2: How important was it though to bounce back from the disappointment of last weekend so quickly here?
Callum: Last weekend was probably my worst weekend of the Championship. We knew where we got it wrong, and made the improvement for the Sprint Race, but obviously I didn't really get to drive in the race. It was good to carry on the momentum here, and I knew that I wasn't really out of place in Spa, personally. It was just that we didn't get it right. These things happen, so it's good to bounce back and be in the top three again.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Yuki, second place for you. Are you happy with your work to start from the front row tomorrow?
Yuki Tsunoda: Yeah, I'm happy, but it's a shame to have lost P1 by three hundredths. It was really close. The lap was quite okay, I just got into the wake for the tow. I also felt it was not a good lap compared to the first run - the lap I did by myself. But suddenly I went 31.9, which I didn't expect. So, I was also surprised. I also felt that the tow made a big difference to the lap time.
FIA Formula 2: Callum's already hinted at it, but the two of you did have a bit of an incident at the end of the weekend in Spa. Does that change the way you'll approach the start tomorrow?
Yuki: No. Not much. Of course, I felt sorry for Callum after the second race in Spa, but I tried as much as possible to avoid a collision. There was another car that came from the outside of the track, and rejoined quite unsafely, and I think that Callum had to brake to avoid contact. I couldn't react quickly enough, and I made contact with Callum. This time, we're on the front row, and there shouldn't be any car coming from out of my view. Hopefully, we won't make contact, but I'll push hard to overtake him on the first lap.
FIA Formula 2: Good luck, thank you very much. Luca, it's only the second time you've qualified in the top three this season, I think. Is it an even sweeter result to do that here in your home race?
Luca Ghiotto: Yeah. We did quite a lot of work from Spa to here. We basically changed the whole car, so I was hoping for a good result to pay off what the team did to try and get back to the results I've always had in the past few seasons. I've missed that in the last few weekends. It's been a good Qualifying, and I had the same feeling as these two guys, in that my lap from the first run was actually better in driving. Then, at the end, everyone was playing a bit with the tow and that made a bigger difference than pure driving. I'm also not completely proud of the job I did. I know that I left something on track. It could have been better, but Monza's always a gamble on that. You never know what's going to happen. Still, I think this is the best Qualifying I've done here. I've never really been a great qualifier at this track in the past, so P3 is actually quite good I would say. Anything can happen tomorrow. Hopefully we have a good car for the race, and we move forward.
FIA Formula 2: You mentioned the results this year. You're not really in the title fight to the extend you have been in the past, certainly not compared to these two. Does that change the way you can attack the race tomorrow?
Luca: Well, it's my home race and I want to have a good result of course, but I always keep my brain switched on and try to be smart. I don't want to do stupid things. Of course, I will attack. They are really good racers as well, so I'm sure that none of us will do stupid things. We'll race hard but fairly, and hopefully it will also be a good race for the fans. The tow was making a big difference, so I think there's going to be plenty of overtakes and be good fun to watch from home.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much. Callum, just returning to you. We mentioned your tough weekend last weekend, but now Robert (Shwartzman) is starting down in 16th place as it stands. Can you give an explanation as to why we've seen such fluctuations between the main title contenders this season?
Callum: I wish I knew. Again, it's a track that you can overtake at, so I wouldn't be surprised if he can make a few positions up. That Quali was very close. The first run was just... A millisecond would get you a bit higher up. It's easy to make a little mistake and feel the pain, shall we say, but I think the Championship is very tough this year. There's a lot of good guys. Everyone, in their own way, is struggling a bit with the car and trying to get it right. That shows, and when it's a bad weekend it's a lot worse - that kind of thing. We'll see how it goes. I'm sure they won't be there for long, but I've got to make the most of it.