Thoughts from Hauger, Crawford and Maini
FIA Formula 2: Congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here at Albert Park in Melbourne. In third place, Kush Maini for Campos Racing, second, Jak Crawford for Hitech Pulse-Eight and taking his third win in FIA Formula 2, our winner Dennis Hauger for MP Motorsport. Dennis, many congratulations. It was a difficult race with the conditions, talk us through it.
Dennis Hauger: Obviously it was quite tricky with the weather. Overall, I think the pace was good when it was dry, and we started to pull a gap. Considering Free Practice where we struggled a bit, I'm really happy with that. The start itself was good as well, but being the first driver to go into the first lap with a bit of a damp track is not easy. It was like that twice during the race. It was not easy to be in front and come into the corners first with everything changing all the time, but overall, we're really happy to get the first win of the season. It’s really good considering how it's been in the races earlier.
FIA Formula 2: First win of the season also means first win with your new team. How significant is that?
Hauger: Overall, I think we can be really confident about the the pace we have. It's just not being fully together in one weekend. I think starting at the top now, showing that we have the pace to pull away and up there be is important. I’m feeling really good with the team, just got to sort of put it all together in the end.
FIA Formula 2: Final one from me. Was it frustrating spending so many laps behind the Safety Car? Were you really wanting to get going?
Hauger: Not really, to be honest, it was getting quite damp or even wet during some sectors behind the Safety Car, so it was really hard to judge even if you were going to go in for you know, what's or not and. In that case I was happy that we could stay out a few more laps to just let everything calm down and dry up a bit. I think it was better and safe in the end.
FIA Formula 2: Alright, look very well done to you and first win of the season. Jak coming to you. You're a rookie and you you've got your first podium at a very difficult racetrack here in Albert Park. What does this all mean for you?
Jak Crawford: It means a lot for me at the moment. We were struggling a bit on pace the first two weekends and finally we have some good pace this weekend in both dry and wet conditions. It was a difficult race and especially under the Safety Car and before the race I was stressing a bit because of the mixed conditions, which were difficult to judge. But in the end, really happy and it gives a good confidence boost for the for the rest of the season.
FIA Formula 2: You showed really strong pace early on. Then Dennis started to pull out a bit of a gap. What happened?
Crawford: I was pushing a lot when the track had mixed conditions to try and overtake Dennis, it was really difficult to judge, and I was just trying to overtake him in the first few laps and then when the the DRS was enabled, I was also pushing a lot to try and overtake. I sort of just lost my tyres in the end trying to trying to stay in DRS.
FIA Formula 2: Just how big an ask is it for you as a rookie, with a new car to come to Albert Park of all places? How difficult is it?
Crawford: It's difficult, but the track is really fun, and I think it has similar track characteristics to Jeddah, so we sort of sort of knew what we were expecting. With the sim prep, it all went well so I was really, really excited to drive this track and it was a great track.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you. Kush coming to you now, rookie as well. First podium in FIA Formula 2. Is this an emotional moment for you?
Kush Maini: Not really, I feel all year we’ve had the pace we’ve been in the top eight every Qualifying and knocking on the door of the podium on both weekends prior to this. So, coming into this weekend it was just a case of doing the same thing as the first two weekends, and it was bound to come together at some point. Happy to get it off my back now that I finally got my first podium, but I’m definitely wanting more in the future.
FIA Formula 2: You just described in Parc Ferme the battle you had with Arthur Leclerc. My question to you is, how easy is it to race here at Albert Park?
Maini: I was expecting there to be a train, but the tow down that back section was just crazy. So, there was a lot of looking in your mirrors, a lot of positioning the car so you don't give the car behind enough space to squeeze through. It was fun to battle with him and I think tomorrow's Feature Race I'm going to expect something completely different.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you!