Following his incredible achievement on Round 1 of F2 Virtual Racing, we spoke to Arthur Lerclerc for a quick debrief.

FIA F2: Arthur, congratulations. A perfect F2 start for you. Were you expecting this result? No for sure I did not expect this result at all! I first had a great qualifying lap and then, during the race, the pace was really good. I think that’s what made the difference. Also the fact that I was alone on track helped because when you have to fight and defend you can use a lot of the tyres. I think I think what made the difference (today) was the consistency: I was able to focus on myself only and get the best latpimes as possible. That’s what gave me the opportunity to be in front of the others.

FIA F2: How much did you train before this event? I train quite a lot on the game. I usually play with the F1 cars, but I could find some things that are similar like the grip, and to train with the Ferrari sport as well. They are really, really fast. Maybe there are some things that are not quite working like they would in reality for sure, but in the race, when you have the pressure, you are in front and you have to do some consistent laps, it’s the same. I’m really happy.

FIA F2: Your brother Charles is still remembered in our Championship for the strategy he pulled off in the 2017 Sprint Race at the Bahrain International Circuit. Did he give you some pointers? Charles did not give me any pointers and that’s good: when I am in the car, I’m alone and I need to learn from my mistakes and improve on them. To do that I only need myself and nobody else.

FIA F2: No one in F2 has done the pole/double win feature yet. Even if this is only virtual, what does it mean to you? I didn’t know that! It’s virtual so it’s not the same. In virtual racing, the level is very high because you can train all day and all night, spend a lot of time playing ahead of the race. In reality, you have just a few sessions to train and then you have to be ready for the race and do the best job as possible. So for sure the philosophy is quite different and it’s not the same. But I’m happy to know that!

FIA F2: When you passed Louis Delétraz on the final lap of in the Sprint Race, did you know it was the move for the win? I did not know it was the move for the win because I did not have any engineer to let me know that Norman (Nato) had a time penalty. For sure, I would have preferred to finish P1 on track, but I am still happy with the result!

Photo: PREMA Racing