Thoughts from Lawson, Ticktum and Piastri
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the second FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here in Monaco. Finishing in third place, Oscar Piastri for PREMA Racing, in second place Dan Ticktum for Carlin and taking his second victory of the season our winner, Liam Lawson. Liam what a sensational race by you today, dramatic, ultimately very dominant. Just how satisfied do you feel?
Liam Lawson: It's a pretty happy feeling! If I could pick a place on the calendar where I wanted to win this year it would definitely be Monaco. To grab a win here is very nice, especially after our horrendous Qualifying. So, I'm really happy. Obviously, I didn't get off to a great start, I had too much wheelspin and dropped in behind Oscar at the start. But straight away the car was really good, I actually thought it might be too good early on which is why I tried to clear Oscar as quickly as I could and then manage from there. I made a gap of a couple of seconds, and then tried to keep the tyres cool as they started to go away quite quickly as the track was drying. Then I saw Dan going through into second and it started to get a bit stressful because he came at me really fast. From there I had to use that grip to give everything I had and throughout the end of the race the car stayed really fast so I'm really happy.
FIA Formula 2: Liam can you talk us through those two key moments in the race? First of all, the start, was it slippier on your side of the track do you think?
Lawson: I don't think so, obviously you don't want to be on the rubber, but we drive through the middle of the grid at that point, so I'd say neither me or Oscar were on the rubber. I think I had too aggressive clutch map and got wheel spin from that. Then the overtake, I wanted to do it earlier, but it's so hard to pass at Monaco and I didn't want to send it into the side of him so I waited for an opportunity where I was close and there was a small gap. I just sent it in there!
FIA Formula 2: Your car looked particularly strong in the second half of the lap as well?
Lawson: The second half was really strong the whole race, that's where I was right on the back of Oscar earlier on. I knew that the first sector was quite close and then through up to Turn 6, the hairpin, and on the straight under the tunnel I wasn't really faster than Oscar, it was just that last sector through the swimming pool and the last chicane. That's why I got as close as I could and that was where I wanted to try and pass him.
FIA Formula 2: And finally, how difficult was it to keep the tyres alive for the whole race?
Lawson: It was pretty difficult, for me at least I was in a position where I had the lead so I could control it a bit. For Dan when he got through the second sector, he had to close the gap to me and by doing that you use up a lot more of the tyres. For me, when he was closing in, I was driving through all the water trying to cool the tyres and then when he got close to me I probably had a bit more life and could start to stretch away again.
FIA Formula 2: Well done Liam, great job. Dan coming to you, well done to you as well, P5 on the grid to P2 is a great effort, but it was far from easy for you. It was eventful from before you'd even taken the start. Talk us through it?
Dan Ticktum: Eventful is definitely the word I would use to sum my morning. The throttle motor failed on the lap to the grid, so I thought that was us out to be honest. I know you can change them pretty quickly, but not in five or six minutes. But the boys managed to get it done, so before I say anything else a massive thank you to them for enabling me to get going and get on the podium. It's a very valuable 12 points which I might need later in the season. It was a very good start, I was just very conservative with the clutch and tried to pull away like you would out of a car park and so there was no wheel spin. It wasn't far off the lead I don't think. Then for the first seven laps I was just sat watching these two having a great time. I was there the whole time, I think Liam just had a bit more pace than me in the first few laps, but in the middle of the race when I started to come at Oscar quite quickly that was when my car was quite strong. When I past Oscar it was a bit of a touch and go move, but it was fun. Then, as Liam said, I came at him very quickly but in doing so I did use up the tyre a lot. His car was very, very quick through Tabac and the swimming pool chicane, but we were good on the low speed parts because I had really good rotation so I was able to use the traction. Just happy to be second from fifth in Monaco, where you can't overtake - I proved that wrong today I guess!
FIA Formula 2: Well you did prove it wrong, can you just talk us through that overtake on Oscar just one more time? You went on to the damp part of the track, how touch and go was it going into the chicane?
Ticktum: I actually got it stuck better than I thought I would, I made the apex and got quite a good exit, if you look at the data it was probably my quickest lap! Obviously, I braked a little bit later and it was on the damper part of the track. There wasn't really a dry line at that part, but it was drying. There wasn't that much less grip on the inside, but I was still a bit nervous going for the move. But I knew I had to do it if I had any chance of either finishing second or going for Liam which is what I was trying to do. I needed to get past him as quick as possible. Actually, a lap before the safety car came out I hit the wall quite hard at the exit of Tabac and bent the whole of the right of the car so I was then going down the straight a bit off. So, the safety car saved me a bit really, bit lucky there. But I was going for it and I wanted the win, but there you go, it was a good race overall.
FIA Formula 2: And Dan you've had great success on street circuits in the past, was this one of the toughest you've experienced?
Ticktum: I think as soon as you put water on a street circuit, well there's no room for error in the dry so if you take away however much grip you have by making it wet then it's a lot, lot harder. I'm going to use a Call of Duty reference here, but the skill gap is bigger! It sorts the men from the boys anyway a street circuit, but then if you make it wet... well a street circuit in the rain is about as hard as it's going to get!
FIA Formula 2: Well done Dan, thank you! And Oscar, coming to you, you have had one tough morning with pressure all the way. How tough was it?
Oscar Piastri: You summed it up pretty well there, I got a good start obviously and got into the lead. After that I had one eye in the mirrors and one eye going forwards, I was struggling a lot for grip and like Dan said being on a street circuit in the rain it's already pretty tough and when you're the first car coming around every lap it's even more tricky. I think we just struggled a bit with the car, in some of the first big corners I was doing 40/50 kph and still nearly hitting the wall so I think we need to look at that and try and sort it out a bit better for next time. But 10 points and a podium in Monaco is still a good result.
FIA Formula 2: And just how much experience on a wet street track have you had?
Piastri: I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who's actually driven here in the rain before, oh, and Dan as well. I'd done about five laps here in the rain two years ago, and then I'd also done pretty much a whole Qualifying session on slicks on a drying track. So, I'm kind of a Monaco guru in terms of track conditions which is a bit weird to say in my second Formula 2 race here but clearly it didn't make that much difference today. But yeah, I think me, and Dan are the only ones who've driven on a street circuit in the rain before.
FIA Formula 2: Oscar hats off to you, because you kept it clean when these guys were coming though past you. One eye on the Championship?
Piastri: I thought I defended both moves to be honest, but once I saw they were up the inside I knew that if I turned in it was only going to end one way and that was badly for both of us. I think we still outscored a lot of people, a lot of people had a pretty tough weekend. So, at that point it didn't really matter if I defended for my life or not, I'm pretty sure when a guy passes you and pulls about 10 seconds in two laps there's not a whole lot you can do. I was never going to fight it too hard, because I knew I didn't have the pace and if I turned in I was going to crash.
FIA Formula 2: Well, well done, thank you Oscar.