Thoughts from Doohan, Vips and Fittipaldi
FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at the Hungaroring, in third place, Enzo Fittipaldi for Charouz. In second place Jüri Vips for Hitech and taking his second win of the season, our winner Jack Doohan for Virtuosi Racing. Very well done Jack, another win in the bag, and a dominant one at that, but there was pressure all the way. Just how pleased are you with this one?
Jack Doohan: I'm happy with the win. Obviously, it's only a Sprint Race, but I think we managed it very well. I feel a little bit more deserving of it due to that. I think last year here in F3 I absolutely cooked the rear tyres and went backwards quite a lot. So, it's good to know I've made progress in my development of tyre management and also becoming more at one with the Virtuosi car, and it's good knowing that we have a strong race package now as well. It was not ideal getting passed by Enzo off the line, I just went straight into wheel spin, but luckily, I was able to get him back with a slight mistake from his side. Then it was quite close for the next 15 laps, I'd say. In the last eight laps when Jüri started to come down to 1.1 seconds, I thought I'd see how much we can we really had left. I think we managed it quite well, so I was able to jump back down into the 1:34s and stay there until the end.
FIA Formula 2: Can you just give us a bit more on the start? What happened there?
Doohan: So, I had a start mapping for the Formation Lap and did that and then went straight in wheel spin. Obviously, the clutch then heats up, everything heats up a little bit more. So naturally, it will not be as aggressive. I went to minus one just to pre-empt that and hoped that with a hotter rear tyre it was going to be okay. But it still wasn't enough, and as soon as I dropped the right paddle, it just went straight into wheel spin. It wasn't ideal at all, it was a bit of a frantic look in the mirrors and luckily, the second row had sort of the same, but Enzo obviously did quite well.
FIA Formula 2: Now another key moment of the race was the restart after the Safety Car. You went early, 1.7 seconds ahead at the end of that lap. Just talk us through that.
Doohan: I think got the tyres into a good window during the Safety Car period and was able to have decent grip. I guess I bunched the pack up quite a bit early on and really knew where I wanted to go. I was able to go at a decent point, even when we went into Turn 13 straight after I went the tyres are still a little cold, so it was important to try and maximise it without damaging them. After the rain comes, the harder compounds don't like it so much and can be damaged a lot more than when it's hot. So, it was very important not to go too hard out. When they said I'm 1.7s seconds ahead of Jüri I was like maybe I'm already pushing too much, but I don't feel like I'm doing much at all. They closed it back down after that.
FIA Formula 2: Was there much tyre management from you in the closing laps?
Doohan: From seven laps down, I wasn't wheel spinning the tyre or having any snaps, but I definitely wasn't saving like I was for that first part. As I saw that Jüri started to drop back, and I saw I still had tyre life. I was like, as I don't go into the cliff let's treat this as an opportunity to see how far we can go for tomorrow.
FIA Formula 2: All right. Great race by you well done. Jüri, coming to you. Great race by you. Good to see you back on the podium as well. Now, we saw great consistency from you in that race. Just how was the pace of the car?
Jüri Vips: I think it was good. I think it was a little bit masked and hard to tell exactly the story of the real pace because it felt like every time I started to push to catch up to Jack, I would come to like near DRS range or around 1.1 seconds. I would spend the lap there and then massively overheated the front tyres and drop back. I tried that a couple of times, and every time it was the exact same outcome. I think maybe I could have had a bit of a different approach and tried to save it a bit for the end, but then again, Jack had amazing pace in the end, and I don't think we would have been able to do anything.
FIA Formula 2: Hindsight is always 2020, isn't it? Now, tremendous start and opening lap by you just talk us through some of those moves.
Vips: Yeah, it was great. I think everyone was caught out a little bit by how little grip there was. I expected that because the track is quite green and it's a bit lower temperatures than earlier in the weekend it would be a bit harder, but it was very, very low grip on Lap 1. I think we managed it quite well, also we were on the correct starting map and so well done to them. That's what made our race today.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you as well. Now, Enzo coming to you a very determined race from you. But it was a frustrating opening lap, wasn't it? Can you start by talking us through the high of your getaway from the grid?
Enzo Fittipaldi: I think we had a really, really good start off the line. I was able to overtake Jack and then was in the lead after the first corner. At Turn 2, honestly, I don't think I braked that late but like Jüri said the track had very low grip. As soon as I hit the brake, my left front locked up and just went straight off the track, where it was a little bit damp. I was actually honestly quite lucky to come back in third. I almost got overtaken by Vesti, but I was able to keep my third position and from then on we had honestly a really strong pace in the opening laps.
FIA Formula 2: Just another word on the start, why do you think you were able to find grip away from the line where so many others couldn't?
Fittipaldi: Honestly, I think I was making a lot of effort in the Formation Lap to get the tyre up to temperature. I did a lot of wheel spin, probably eight or nine burnouts, normally you don't do that many. Normally you do like two or three and I did triple as many as I normally do. I think I really had the tyres ready for the opening lap. I was just looking at it and the plan was to have a really good start and overtake. Turn 2 was a little mistake but ended up losing us the win today.
FIA Formula 2: As I said to Jüri, hindsight is always 2020. But with hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently to pass Jüri?
Fittipaldi: There was one opportunity that I had to overtake him, which I was very close to. I could have risked more into Turn 1 and did a dive bomb. I think I was a little bit too far away. I was thinking about it, but I decided in the end not to do it. It was a little it was close. I was almost going to do a lunge on that one lap he blocked. I think if you didn't move the line a little bit, I would have gone for it!
FIA Formula 2: All right, great race by you as well.