Thoughts from Lawson, Doohan & Boschung
FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Spa-Francorchamps. In third place Ralph Boschung for Campos Racing, second place, Jack Doohan for Virtuosi and winning for the third time this season, Liam Lawson for Carlin. Liam what a brilliant race by you. You said on the radio that the car was hooked up but you did a fantastic race in the cockpit as well. Tell us how good this one feels.
Liam Lawson: Thank you! I had a good start, was into P2 by Turn 1 from fifth, and had really good speed straight away. The tyres were switched on right away so we had a nice warm-up and I was able to get by Ralph in the first couple of laps and then start to stretch away. Honestly, I felt the degradation quite a lot but I guess everyone was feeling it too. A massive thanks to Carlin, the car was really good, and it's obviously a positive to take forward into tomorrow's big race.
FIA Formula 2: Was this the best the car has been all season?
Lawson: I think we've always had a really strong race car. I can't remember a race this year where we've been really struggling, so it wasn't super surprising. They've been doing a great job all year but I would say this was definitely one of the strongest it's been, for sure.
FIA Formula 2: You touched on the start a moment ago, can you just talk us through it because you were on the grass at one point? It was super aggressive.
Lawson: I got a really good launch, and I guess when I went to go by Théo he didn't think that I had the run that I did. He went right so I had to swerve and drive through the grass, but I had so much momentum that even lifting and driving through the grass I was able to stay next to him and take the position. I think it was tough today because we had one less warm-up lap than we normally do, and also with these conditions, the tyres were really cold for the start.
FIA Formula 2: It's been an incredible weekend for you so far, also doing FP1 for AlphaTauri. Has it been difficult swapping between the F1 car and the F2 car?
Lawson: Yeah! They are so different to drive. Even with all the simulator work we do it was a big jump to go from F2 to F1 and then back to F2 for Qualifying. We got there by the end of the second run in quali, the car was competitive. If we didn't have the issue we had, then I think we could have been even higher up the grid, to be honest. It's been a great weekend so far, but the important one is tomorrow.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today and best of luck for tomorrow. Jack coming to you now. From seventh on the grid, you've clearly had a very strong race to take your fifth podium of the year. Aggressive when you needed to be, patient when you needed to be. Some it all up for us?
Jack Doohan: Finally I did the right thing, so that's good. We're making progress. I'm happy to be back on the podium, it's only a Sprint Race but I'm really happy with the Virtuosi boys and the race car we've now evolved to make sure I'm comfortable and can manage the race well. I got a decent getaway, like Liam said it's one less lap to the grid so the tyres weren't ready. I think everyone's initial launch was pretty slow, so they didn't go into wheel spin. I think I passed Beckmann into Turn 1 and then got past Pourchaire into Turn 5 and then I was able to make two clean passes for P2.
FIA Formula 2: Drugovich pitted for slicks, along with other drivers as well, but he made a very aggressive comeback. Were you tempted to dive into the pitlane as well?
Doohan: No. I think with where Logan went off, being Pouhon, it's not going to be a light one so the chances of a longer Safety Car period is high. By the time we were behind the Safety Car, it was Lap 12 and I was in a good position. If Liam and Ralph had dived into the box, it would have been a little more tempting but when you're in that position it's difficult. I was confident with the pace we had.
FIA Formula 2: You said a minute ago you've always loved Spa, this is your first visit in a Formula 2 car, what's it like to drive?
Doohan: It's a little bit different from the Formula 3 car, which is lighter, a little bit more nimble, especially in the second sector, but to be honest the fundamentals are much the same. However, on a high fuel load now Eau Rouge and Raidillon are actually a corner, and it does get a little bit hairy. So it's somewhere where you can make a difference, especially in the first couple of laps. I think we're already all at such a high level that it's much the same. I'm loving it and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you, Jack, well done today. Ralph, coming to you. Welcome back, both to the podium and to Formula 2. After all the problems you've experienced this year, how was it to be in the car, and to put a race together like that?
Ralph Boschung: Well, when I came back here for Spa, finishing the race weekend would have been an achievement even if the results weren't there because my neck condition is very serious. To qualify in the top ten, and to have the pace to have been qualifying in the top five was very strong, I was very happy about that. Finishing on the podium today is massive, I'm really especially for the team because the year started very well and then as soon as I stopped it was a little bit difficult with trial and error while I was trying to race again, but super stoked for the team.
FIA Formula 2: Were you in any pain today?
Boschung: The pain is quite good actually, it's just my overall physical condition that's pretty poor because since Silverstone I was actually not allowed to train. That was the procedure to keep the neck as smooth as possible, not to move it too much. I also suffered a couple of infections, I had to take antibiotics and so on so I couldn't really do any cardio as well. So I came in and jumped in the cold bath here, but the neck was pretty good.
FIA Formula 2: And Ralph, talk us through your race. You haven't forgotten how to start a Formula 2 car you got away from the grid very well. I guess your life was made a bit easier as well when Jehan was unable to take the start.
Boschung: Well for the launch itself I was confident I was going to stay P1 because we're just too good at the start. That was really good, and I stayed in the lead into the first lap and then when I lost the position to Liam I still managed to keep pretty good behind him for a couple of laps. But then after the Safety Car, I just struggled on the restart with the front tyres but still on the podium!
FIA Formula 2: Very well done Ralph.