FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the FIA Formula 2 Press Conference following the Sprint Race at the Hungaroring. Joining me today are: race winner Alexander Albon for DAMS, in second place Luca Ghiotto for Campos Vexatec Racing, and in third place Sergio Sette Camara for Carlin. Alexander, starting with you: it’s your third victory this season and your first sprint race win. We saw you keeping a constant gap to Luca before passing him in the closing stages, were you planning your tyre management throughout the race?

Alexander Albon: Yeah, I think everyone was really. It was very clear from the first few laps that it was going to be a long race. Luca was really quick at the start, so even if I wanted to I couldn’t keep up with him, so it was about managing myself. I could see Sergio was struggling a little bit as well, so I had a bit of a safety buffer and I could afford to be too slow rather than too fast. In that sense, it was a really good race. I just kept the same lap time going, the car was evolving during the race and I could maintain my gap – Luca was coming to me rather than I was coming to him – and by the end I could really see he was struggling. So it worked out well.

FIA Formula 2: So you wouldn’t have chosen to fight him earlier, after you’d passed Sergio at the beginning?

Alexander: I did want to get him at the beginning, especially under the VSC which we’re all still learning, so we were a bit safer than we wanted to be. We were all stacked up behind Luca at the restart, but none of us wanted to risk doing the jump which I think was probably what happened to Antonio. That first lap after the restart, I thought that was my chance to get Luca, but he quickly pulled away and I decided to settle into my own rhythm.

FIA Formula 2: Coming to you, Luca, that was an excellent start and it looked perfect on the screen. How was the race for you, could you have held Alex off for any longer?

Luca Ghiotto: Well I did my best, I think the moment where Alex got me my rear tyres were completely gone and in one lap he pulled away by two seconds so there was nothing I could do. Actually, I was a bit surprised at the point I lost time to Alex, because the tyres had lasted well and the car was quite balanced, and then in one lap it changed completely so I was quite confident with my pace. But actually then, when the tyres got away, I lost too much so in the end it was trying to keep the gap to Sergio and the others behind rather than trying to get back at Alex – that would have been impossible.

FIA Formula 2: Can you tell us about that start?

Luca: I think it’s also a matter of luck, the guys in front of me and Alex had a lot of wheelspin as we both started well. I got a bit more space, I went to the outside and he was closed by Sergio so at the end it was a good start but I got a better line. Getting a good start was an important part of the race, because being stuck behind other cars would mean you’d struggle more with the tyres. This is why I wanted to push at the beginning, because I thought with the clean air it would be enough to preserve the tyres enough, but unfortunately it was not like that.

FIA Formula 2: Sergio, coming to you: after you made the pass on Artem, he was chasing you an awful lot. Did that have an effect on your tyres?

Sergio: Definitely, when I was fighting with him I had to push on the exit which I didn’t want, I wanted to do my own pace and my own race and I wasn’t doing it because I had to make sure I got good exits. He was sometimes better than me on the brakes, but I couldn’t go forward on the brake bias because that would mean I’d lock up and he would pass me. So I took up a lot of tyre life on my rears, and I think all of us struggled, and then I was really struggling towards the end of the race because of the beginning.

FIA Formula 2: You said after the race that you weren’t happy with your weekend, but you’ve come away with points from both races. Do you feel you’re back in the fight, or do you feel like you could have had more than you managed?

Sergio: Yeah, I definitely think I could have had more than I managed, sometimes a few mistakes are really expensive. Yesterday, when I was making a move on Lando for P2, if I’d braked five metres earlier or got out of the draft I could have made the move for second and got double the points I did yesterday, but because of some mistakes and also with Antonio in the penultimate corner. The mistakes were little, but were enough to compromise the results. Today, the start wasn’t perfect, as Luca said, it’s a bit due to that so I could have done a better start. I got my first pole this weekend in the series so I’m happy for that, and I got 20 points which is a good amount.

FIA Formula 2: Coming back to you, Alexander, you’ve made gains in the championship in a weekend that wasn’t great for George Russell. Are you anticipating closing the gap further in Spa?

Alexander: Yeah, that’s always the plan. We’ll see, I think George had an unlucky weekend and I think it’s going to be the case that you just try to capitalise when you can. We all get these moments, George and Lando are still quick so there’s still work to do. But we’re starting to understand the car better, especially in the races, and this weekend was a bit special for us in that we struggled in qualifying where we’re usually strong and were good in the races where we’re usually weak. So it’s a good weekend, we can learn something from that, look at the data and come back stronger for Spa.